Sony sued over Other OS loss

Linux user begins $5 million class action over removal of PS3 feature

Sony Computer Entertainment America is facing a class action lawsuit over the removal of the "Install Other OS" feature on the PlayStation 3.

The feature, which has been most frequently used to install open source operating system Linux, was removed as part of the mandatory 3.21 firmware update on April 1.

Although little used by the majority of users Sony removed the feature citing "security concerns". Just a month earlier infamous hacker George Hotz had released software that allowed read/write access to the console via an exploit in the Other OS feature.

The move came despite earlier assurances that Linux support in particular would not be removed and now a class action lawsuit has been filed in a North District of California court by one Anthony Ventura.

As first discovered by website Kotaku, the complaint states that: "Sony's decision to force users to disable the Other OS function was based on its own interest and was made at the expense of its customers."

Ventura insists that the feature was "extremely valuable" and that he has not yet applied the firmware 3.21 patch. As a result he is unable to access the PlayStation Network, play games online or play any new games or Blu-rays which require the patch.

He is now seeking damages "including but not limited to compensatory damages; restitution; injuctive relief; attorneys' fees; and the cost of this suit." Court documents suggest this could amount to over $5 million.

Earlier in the month a separate PlayStation 3 users was reportedly offered a partial refund by retailer Amazon, after complaining about the removal of the feature. Sony themselves were not involved in the refund, which relied on European consumer laws.

Ventura's lawsuit encourages anyone who purchased a PS3 between November 17, 2006 and March 27, 2010 to join the class action. The Install Other OS feature has been removed from all new PS3s manufactured after that date.

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Latest comments (3)

Bruce McNeish Senior Programmer, 4J Studios12 years ago
Would Ventura's claim have a leg to stand on given that previous reports have indicated:

"Sony's user agreement also states clearly that it has the right to revise the PS3's settings and features in order to prevent access to unauthorised or pirated content."

Would seem like a no brainer throw out case to me?
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Robert Dibley Lead Render Coder, Slightly Mad Studios12 years ago
Claiming the right to do something in a user agreement does not automatically mean that you actually have that right. In the UK there have been cases where a clause was overturned by a court because it was was deemed unfair or illegal within consumer legislation.

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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 12 years ago
I think this is a case of what is within legal right or not. If Sony did make the use other OS as a feature that attracts people to buy it and then take out the function then it is deception or trickery in business. Just like you said the house has 3 levels when you sold it but then it became 2 levels with a small attic of no use at all.
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