Sony warns PS3 hack users will be banned from PSN

Those that exploit security jailbreak will be "terminated permanently" from online services

Sony has addressed the growing piracy threat on the PlayStation 3, warning that any users exploiting unauthorised or pirated software will be banned from the PlayStation Network and other services.

The company is taking legal action against George Hotz and a number of other individuals and hacking groups for releasing a jailbreak allowing users to circumnavigate PlayStation 3 security.

"Unauthorised circumvention devices for the PlayStation 3 system have been recently released by hackers," acknowledged Sony today in a statement. "These devices permit the use of unauthorised or pirated software.

"Use of such devices or software violates the terms of the 'System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System' and the 'Terms of Services and User Agreement' for the PlayStation Network/Qriocity and its Community Code of Conduct provisions.

"Violation of the System Software Licence Agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system. In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of International Copyright Laws," it warned.

"Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorised or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 System terminated permanently.

"To avoid this, consumers must immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorised or pirated software from their PlayStation 3 systems."

While Sony is taking legal action against individuals, others, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation has accused the corporation of abusing the Computer Fraud act.

While the legal debate is sure to rumble on, many consider that the PlayStation 3 system has now been broken open for good, with some security experts suggesting piracy on the hardware could be worse than it is on the PlayStation Portable.

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Latest comments (11)

Private Industry 10 years ago
The right move to at least keep people with costume firmware and cheats away from the multiplayer. That won`t stop piracy, but it`s at least a start to fix some things.
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Robert Kelly10 years ago
I didn't think Sony would acknowledge the hack on the PS Blog. Fair play to them, I don't really see this stopping piracy but it's good to are they're fighting it. Is there a way to stop piracy with a crack this big?
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Private Industry 10 years ago
The only thing that comes to my mind would be new security.measures for discs and combination with new checks from the ps3 but such a thing would only work for new releases.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 10 years ago
Even a hacked console is still a potential customer. If you outright ban the PS3, you take away the developers' ability to fight piracy with new tools, game models and services.

Sony is actively working on destroying their own platform and their relationship with the customers, instead of creating an alliance with their 3rd parties to make a legal PS3 that much more attractive than a hacked one.

Take this press release, all it does is make people reflect on the value proposition of PSN and Qriocity, as opposed to copying each game for single player purposes. All you need to do is to glance quickly at the number of PS3 games you own and their overwhelmingly single player nature, add up what you paid for them and compare that to the bunch of nickel and dime stuff you bought off PSN. What Sony needs to do is to compete, not whine and behave like an Austrian execution squad (i.e. a squad shooting itself).
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Private Industry 10 years ago
MS does the same when it comes to modded consoles and that`s the way to at least stop the cheaters online for the moment and removing online functionality is a way to make a not hacked console more attractive than a hacked one. If someone buys a retail game and than uses a hacked console to cheat in the online part of this game that person needs to be banned even if he bought the retail game. New game models and services take a long time to develop you can`t leave those cheaters running around while you do that and removing them helps costumer relationships. Thats nothing else as people getting banned in lets say MMO`s because they don`t stick to the Terms of Use, that action isn`t going to stop piracy and I think the people at Sony know that this will not stop piracy but something needs to be done now and not in 9 month. It`s one step at a time and that`s the first one.

Guess that Austrian execution squad must be one of those less mainstream unfunny German terms because I never heard of that one.
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Banning PSN is, the way I see it, a very predictable step. I have no idea what anyone had to be thinking not to expect this.
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Andrzej Wroblewski Localization Generalist, Albion Localisations10 years ago
Sticks above carrots, Sony flogs the horse that tows them. The only variable they did not take into the equation is that this horse has a choice, and can simply choose to tow some other cart.
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Private Industry 10 years ago
I think there are many horses left comparing to how many people use the custom firmware and how many people don`t use it. Especially comparing how many use it for legal things and how many for illegal things, sometimes a few people have to suffer for the greater good. For the people who just want to program stuff for it thats not used for cheating or pirating and want to also play online I feel bad, but as harsh as it sounds that`s only a minority and a small part of people you can`t put them ahead of all the people who don`t use it and are effected in one way or another or the company. They could still get a cheap second hand PS3 somewhere that can be used for homebrew, they are not expensive anymore especially the fat PS3 units that don`t have the PS2 emulation.

That it will come this was already clear once it was hacked and the custom firmware was released and thats one of the reasons why I never installed it even if when I wanted to check out some of the legal homebrew stuff out of curiosity and I support this actions from Sony. Sure they could have done better on allowing homebrew, still the console would have been hacked 360 has free XNA and that did not stop people from hacking it. Because thats what those people do, they don`t think about what`s going to happen they just want to get recognized by someone and an ego boost instead of using those skills for something productive.
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Sanjay Jagmohan Project Monitor (Functionality Team Lead), SEGA Europe10 years ago
I agree with a majority of you guys; I don't think that this will scare off hackers or combat piracy, but it definitely is a start.!
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Stephen Northcott Senior Consulting Engineer 10 years ago
Ironically, it might all actually spur PS3 sales. But not do much for games.

Over here in Asia the PS3 has not been as popular as the 360 because of it being so secure.
360 games have been widely available for a few $$s for years.

Since the various hacks have taken off the PS3 population is growing, and all the same market stalls selling 360 games now also sell PS3 ones, dongles and HD bumper packs.

I am sure hard core pirates will also want to play online. At the price of original games, verses the price of consoles I can see a lot of people doing the same as 360 pirates do. One for offline. One for online.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Stephen Northcott on 17th February 2011 5:00am

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Luke Salvoni Senior iOS Developer 10 years ago
Klaus has made a good point about hacked console owners still being potential customers. The PS3 still has the chance to become the Android of the console market if they play their cards right during this period - also to have gone over 4 years without the console being cracked... I'd say they did quite well.
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