Monday, March 7, 2011

Why Sony is Right to Sue

 Sony has every right to sue George Hotz and as of right now should win the case.  According to the Digital Millenium Copyright act, George Hotz broke the the law, and Sony has every right to look at the IP addresses of those who were on Hotz's site.  Sony has the right to request subpoenas for the IP addresses of those who visited the site, and those who downloaded the materials.  It is stated in the Digital Millenium Copyright act that Sony has the right to that information.  This is a law that is fully constitution, and to say it is not is to say that the constitution is unconstitutional.  Second of all Hotz did break the law.  The law "criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works." This means that George Hotz broke the law.  You may point out that cellphones are an exception to this law, and that the PS3 should be under the same exception as a cellphone.  The problem with that argument is that the PS3 is not included under the exceptions.  As the law stands now, Hotz broke the law.  Not only did he break the law, but he helped others break the law by providing the information on a web-site.  If he had wanted to not break the law he could have gotten the PS3 included under the exception.  Until the law changes, Hotz broke it and should be punished accordingly, along with anyone else who broke the law. 

What do you think?  Tell me about it by making a comment.


  1. That it is the law does make it right or wrong. Our history is littered with laws that we now consider wrong. People have been executed, jailed, fined and, of course, ostracized for doing what we know consider ok and lawful. A few American examples:  anti-miscegenation laws, Fugitive Slave Act, Prohibition, Sedition Act. The United States Constitution was not and is not prefect either - Slavery was legal under the original document. The law changes, both for good and bad. We should strive to improve the law and not just blindly enforce it.

  2. First of all I never made a comment on the validity of the law. All I said was the law as it is now puts Hotz in the wrong. Second of all the law I commented on can change. Exceptions are made to it all the time. If enough people decided to change the law, it could be changed to have the PS3 as an exception. Hotz could have gone through regular government channels and changed the law, to make what he was doing was legal. It is his responsibility to make sure he is following the law, and if he disagrees with it he could have requested that the law be modified. The law is set up so that it can change, with new technology. He had every right to change the law, but when did he try to change the law, until he was caught? Did he even care about the law until it hurt him? The best way to change this law is to go through legislation, not though a judge. He broke the law and deserves to be punished for it. And lastly the Constitution delegated the slavery issue to the state. Each state was allowed to choose if it would allow slavery or not. It was not that the constitution allowed slavery, it was that the federal government did not have the power to make that decision.

  3. Except Geohotz's hacking was done to allow homebrew, and if I'm not mistaken, he specifically attempted to /prevent/ piracy using his hack. There's been legal precedent already to allow people to hack their own devices provided they don't actively pirate, and there are other ways to use a modded console besides solely piracy.

  4. It isn't against the law to break the DRM. It is against the law to break DRM with intent to infringe on copywritted material. Sony's own initial filing never accused GEOHOT of making illegal copies. It stated that his breaking of the DRM was a crucial part in other programs that broke the DMCA. So they are saying he is guilty by association.

  5. Everyone has "the right to sue". That doesn't necessarily make it right.

    Please do explain why the PS3 is not covered and a smartphone is. What is the difference in these two devices technology wise. How many people "broke the law" before cellphones were an exception. Regardless I can't see how anyone would stand behind the DMCA. What a load of rubbish.

  6. The law was created recently as a move _against_ people being able to openly use the products they purchase in the manner that they desire. How the hell can it be illegal for me to install an OS on my PS3 that I bought? I can see the argument people make for licensing (they can tell you what to do with the music or software you purchase, since you only purchase a license, not the actual software itself), but a PS3 isn't a license. It's a physical device.

    It's impossible to even contemplate the insane negative effects this would have had on us had this law been enacted decades ago. SO. MUCH. TECHNOLOGY. in our current lives comes directly from people reverse engineering products they bought and extending the functionality.

    Should it be illegal for a user to purchase a canon digital camera and mod the firmware to enhance teh abilities of the camera? Should the person who made that software hack be punished and fined? What about DD-WRT and Tomato, the custom firmwares written for consumer routers? Those should be illegal too?

    What about computers? The modern PC couldn't have happened unless somebody bought one from IBM and reverse engineered it. And macs? Those are just ripped off from xerox.

    Let's take a brief look at wikipedia (obviously this isn't the best source in the world but this can be easily verified):

    It clearly states that it's legal to reverse engineer anything as long as the EULA doesn't prohibit it (which you do NOT have to agree to to open a PS3 and begin reversing, only to sign on to sony's service).

    The only thing happening here is that sony is trying to stifle the open community of developers that have long been some of the biggest factors in our technology advancement for the sole purpose of profit. You can't even begin to tell me that's moral.

  7. I want to add that this has nothing to do with DMCA or DRM. The software patch doesn't give you access to sony's proprietary DRMed gives you access to the hardware at which level you can run any other software (namely freely distributed open source software like linux). Some people may choose to use this for evil (reverse engineering the firmware itself and modifying it, then using this patch to apply cracked versions of the PS3 firmware), but then you should go after those people and sue them if you have a problem. That's like bringing a lawsuit against somebody who makes bricks because the construction company built a building that falls down.

  8. The people are not made for the law. The law is made for the people. As jurors the people have the obligation to judge not only the accused but the law itself. If you do not agree with the law then it is your duty to vote not guilty. It is called jury nullification and it is the citizens ultimate power over the government and "the law". If more people were aware of this there would be far fewer court cases.