To: The Game Industry
From: Lou Katz, Technical Editor
Topic: You may already have lost ... - Sony does it again
Date: Apr 2010

I have learned to be suspicious of actions done in the name of "security"

Claims of security have given us abridgment of human rights - wire tapping - even wars.

For "security", as of April 1, 2010, Sony will disable my PS3 leaving me with a bookend. If I do not upgrade to 3.21 - no Linux, no games, no movies, no access to PSN. This is about the "security" of THEIR profits, not the security of YOUR machine!

This is the same concern for "security" that Sony showed in 2005 when they released and sold at least 20 music CDs with 'root kits' - executable programs slipped onto audio CDs that, without your knowledge, installed themselves on your PC when you played the CD you had purchased. These 'root kits' allowed Sony (and almost immediately anyone else - which, of course, happened) to take over your computer, a computer that Sony had not manufactured nor sold to you. (See, for instance, for one of many postings about this attack on you.) So Sony's trick disabled the security of YOUR computer.

We specifically purchased our PS3 because Sony told us that it could play PS2 titles, we could put on a Linux OS - true, not many Linux games, but some, and it has Blu-ray. How advanced and ahead of the industry Sony was.

Sony then decided to wipe out backward compatibility in newer models of the PS3 machines. Too bad we gave away our PS2's. And now they want to remove the Linux OS and all our work and files from the machines that we bought from them - what next - Blu-ray?

It becomes apparent now that Sony's constant "upgrading" was their way get their fingers on OUR machines. They are reneging on features that were officially advertised as selling points. I bought the PS3 - I didn't rent it. It feels like blackmail - let us defenestrate your machine - or you won't be able to use it. It's worse - you can't even pay the blackmail and keep going.

If they have "security concerns"- they should figure some way to go after the hole in the net - not take down the whole net. Just imagine bringing in your car for the thousand mile check-up and being told when you got it back that it was modified to run only on castor oil - for "security concerns". Don't want to use castor oil? Well, you can always chose to not drive! They are treating all of us as criminals. Collective punishment - because someone broke their restrictions - punishment of many for the 'crimes' of a few is a violation of the Geneva Convention.

People are angry about the misuse of the DRM and how it has eliminated people's access to content they have legally purchased, and about how DRM is trying to convert ownership into a feudal regime of existence, with your stuff being available to you only at the pleasure and whim of your feudal master. We need some regime change here too!

This has to stop and here is as good a place as any to make a stand. Maybe this will be the tipping point. There is now a class action suit against Sony filed by Anthony Ventura in the San Francisco Federal Court. The actual filing is not hard to read, and is quite illuminating: Read it.