PlayStation 3 Owner Files Class Action Suit Against Sony For Dropping 'OtherOS'

In early April, Sony issued a new software update for the PlayStation 3 that eliminated the option to install an alternate operating system, like Linux, to the console. Now, a California man is suing Sony Computer Entertainment over the change.

PlayStation 3 firmware 3.21—a mandatory update—went live on April 1, removing the "Install Other OS" feature present in the original version of the console. Sony Computer Entertainment reps said the decision to drop the feature change "due to security concerns," that dropping a secondary operating system would "help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system."

Plaintiff Anthony Ventura takes issue with that decision in a suit filed against SCEA in a North District of California court.

The class action suit was brought on behalf of "a nationwide class of all persons who purchased a PS3 during the period November 17, 2006 and March 27, 2010 and who did not resell their PS3" during that time.

The suit claims that the "Install Other OS" function was "extremely valuable." According to the suit, the plaintiff he has not yet installed the latest firmware update so that he can continue to use the Other OS feature. The suit also notes that PS3 owners who choose not to update their firmware cannot access the PlayStation Network, play PS3 games online, nor can they play new games or Blu-ray videos that require firmware 3.21.

Ventura's suit against the PlayStation maker seeks "damages for Plaintiff and each class member, including but not limited to compensatory damages; restitution; injuctive relief; attorneys' fees; and the cost of this suit." Specific sums are not listed, although court documents not "the amount in controversy is in excess of $US5 million."


Comments

    lol, where do i sign up?

    I got a ps3 with Zerogame installed, I want a piece on all them monies as I don't want to go without my illegal emulation programs!

    If an Aussie guy was doing this I'd join in.
    I haven't yet installed Linux on my PS3 (nor have I updated it to proclude Linux installation) as ultimately once I stopped using it for games I was going to keep it as a Linux media server.

    Taking away the option this late seems pretty pointless.

    I would think this is just another silly lawsuit that wouldn't go anywhere, but it was one of these that led to chipping xbox's and ps2's to become legal. So anyone that is running a different OS, maybe hold onto a little hope.

    We spent our money on it so we should be allowed to do something later on it that was allowed when we first bought it.

    Meh might agree had the compensation been "bring it back" but this to me seems like money grubbing because they can

    Really it's Sony product - i know us consumers OWN it - but when it comes to firmware, i guess they have every right to take things out and add things.

    It seems pretty stupid that their isn't some Terms & Conditions point that specifies that Sony have the right to removie/add features vital to the PS3's firmware, security and online capabilities etc...

    If their is, well Sony are smart and this guy is stupid for not spotting it cause he won't get far if so. If not, Sony you are dumb!

    Personally i don't care - but i understand a lot of peoples anger towards the issue. But can i sue Sony for not updating the Flash Player on the PS3 to make it like the current Flash on other computers and devices?

      Maybe not, but you'd be able to sue them if they decided to remove blu-ray movie playability. This is similar, though not as drastic.

      @Jay / @OrderOfFaith

      This Class Action / Lawsuit is all because Sony - in their infinite wisdom (so they believe) decided to backpedal on support for Other OS which was advertised with the PS3 as a "Computer Entertainment System" and which Sony said they would always support this feature. This feature was valid for over 3 years on the orginal PlayStation 3 and I and others paid for this feature at the time of purchase.

      Firstly, the announcement of a new version of Firmware on April 1st was deliberately done to make this appear as an April Fools Day joke, but smiles / laughter soon turned to uproar / complains and vanishing Lunix partitions afterwards - unbeknowance to the user.

      Secondly, the Terms / Conditions / EULA of the System are not legally enforceable, and cannot override State / Commonwealth Laws, including the Trade Practices Act which Sony have broken. This so-called agreement was not seen at the time of purchase and was only viewable after purchase, which also breaks Contract Law - breach of Sales Contract.

      The Court document states "Sony represented that the PS3 had the Other OS feature while simultaneously omitting the material fact that the Other OS feature would likely not be available in future". In other words they advertised the PS3 as a selling point of the system, while at the same time trying to remove it secretly before the April 1st announcement.

      The court document here says it all - http://ia331218.us.archive.org/2/items/gov.uscourts.cand.226894/gov.uscourts.cand.226894.1.0.pdf

      There is a difference here. The biggest thing was that the ability to install Other Operating Systems was a deciding factor for some people. The US Air Force for instance purchased hundreds of units for a supercluster. Sony removed an advertised feature, completely removing a useful capability that may have been the reason some people purchased the unit. Think about it like this. You go to a car dealership to get a tuneup and while you're there they remove your A/C. That's essentially what Sony did to the PS3.

    I guess not all the information is here, but how can you say that linux on the PS3 was an extremely valuable asset in the PS3?

    Meanwhile, ALMOST every person using linux on the PS3 pretty much is only using it for it standard linux applications.
    So what are they doing on the PS3 that a normal computer can't do?

    The only thing that would stand out as an argument is a number of corporations or developers playing around with the six cores.
    But in probably 90% of those cases, it'll be a corporation that wouldnt even care about updating their system, since it allows you to get on PSN and play games, both pretty much un-related to a workplace.

      I am one of the people suffering from this situation that Sony created. I have mixed feelings on this lawsuit. This is because I am sure it will not give me enough money to by a second 60GB PS3 (used) so that I can keep it on the latest firmware while my existing PS3 continues to stay down-revved. The lawsuit should be for the reinstatement of the feature + court costs OR fail that, financial compensation.

      On a second note, anyone who calls this lawsuit bogus/stupid is part of the problem, not the solution. Sony DID advertise this feature, some customers DO use it, and those customers ARE getting the shaft. While you may not use the feature, you would be foolish to allow a company to set this precedent. The ethical course of action for Sony was/is to patch the firmware to remove the exploit. Sony chose not to do that and now they should be sued in some fashion.

      Let me also state that I HATE frivilous lawsuits, but I myself was thinking of suing Sony over this move. If by not upgrading I lost new functionality, that's one thing. But disallowing me to use existing functionality irregardless of if I upgrade firmware or not is a violation of their contract with the consumer. A precedent like this cannot be allowed to be established.

      -Greg

    this is just bs i dont use my ps3's for linux but i have three systems two 60 gig models and an 80 gig model all of which support the seperate os features these were not the 299 dollar version of the ps3 but with every firmware update the seem to knock about 10 dollars worth of functionality away from my 600 dollar launch models wtf i dont even use it but i like to know if i need it i have the ability to use it i bought the 80 gig instead of the new slim for the same reason more functionality and now that sony is taking all this away i am ready to throw in the towel i am a hard core gamer i am an online gamer but if i do the update i lose functionality if i dont i really lose functionality so i guess im just fuckedinreality. sony can go to hell i am through with them if anyone is interested there will be two launch models and an 80 gig model on ebay for the low......

    Join class action http://chimicles.com/case/sony-playstation-3-ps3-321-firmware-update

    Sony just can't help but bite off their nose to spite their face since Sir Stringnutz took over and fired Kutaragi!

    What do you idiots have to say about us taxpayers having purchased 2200 PS3's for the Air Force's PS3 Supercomputer that just got taken down? They just bought them in December 2009!

    This is going to be a bigger mistake than Sir Howard Stringnutz choice of hiring his brother to head Sony BMG and the Rootkit fiasco that cost them MILLIONS! .....no doubt Sony is digging themselves a hole to be buried with these asinine moves.

    In case you don't know, the reason they are doing this, is because Mesa GL libraries have been enabled to run on the other OS with GPU support. So in-spite of pitching the sale of the PS3 as being capable of running Linux and that it was going to be able to do HOMEBREW, they went back on their word.

    This is a breach the original sale conditions and in EU Amazon has already refunded partial payment to some PS3 users. In light of this there now over 3 class action lawsuits in progress in the United States. No doubt the US Airforce will be filing breach of sales contract on this as well! Sony is now in Dire Straits.... sales of games have sunk to an all time low and PS3 sales are going nowhere but down. HOME users are upset and are boycotting the purchase of games as well!

    Way to go Sony, destroy your customers confidence by sneaking in this shizt. I will NO LONGER BUY ANYTHING WITH SONY ON IT.... AGAIN!

      If the "US Air Force" was indeed using PS3s in a cluster, they wouldn't have been connecting them to PSN, and hence not downloading Sony's updates. Same goes for anyone using them for non-gaming purposes. That's a dumb argument.

      At the end of the day, the update told you what it was going to do, and you had to scroll across and hit "I Agree" before anything happened. You had to decide if you wanted to use the online service, or have a slightly exotic Linux box.

      Don't get me wrong, I still think it was shitty what Sony did, but IMO it doesn't wash that anybody was caught off-guard by it.

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