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QOTD: Should Sony be Sued for Removing Linux?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 81 comments

Over the last few weeks, there's been a lot of discussion surrounding Sony's decision to remove Linux support from the PS3. Those inclined to sue over the removal of Other OS support say they purchased their PS3 because they could install Linux on it.

Nielsen recently conducted a survey of 700 potential PS3 owners aged 7-54. The research firm asked these people why they were considering buying a PS3 and the top three reasons they received in response were the Blu-ray player, the recent price drop and the games available.

The table below shows the complete list of reasons offered by those in the market for a PS3. Because this survey was conducted after Other OS support was removed, this is not on the list. However, if Other OS support was available, it's likely it wouldn't feature high on the list of features people are looking for. That said, for those who did purchase a PS3 with it in mind, it's likely that it was an incredibly important feature for them.

Today's Question of the Day is: Should Sony be sued for the removal of Other OS support?

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  • 25 Hide
    znegval , May 28, 2010 8:29 PM
    They marketed it with a feature and after the product was sold they took it out. Doesn't really matter what the feature was, they shouldn't have done that. Not Sony, not any company should be allowed to do that.
  • 23 Hide
    nforce4max , May 28, 2010 8:31 PM
    My answer is yes, it was well known prior to the update that the PS3 supports Linux and was used on several occasions as a selling point. With the feature removed with numerous users, universities, and the military being impacted with this loss Sony should either reimburse in partial for the loss of the feature or restore it on existing models. Under EU law Sony could face some legal trouble in that region.
  • 16 Hide
    twbg4cq , May 28, 2010 8:31 PM
    Yes, and if we're going to sue Sony for removing Linux support, then let's get them to bring back backwards compatibility for PS1 and PS2 games while we're at it.
    That's one of the things holding me back from buying one.
Other Comments
  • 25 Hide
    znegval , May 28, 2010 8:29 PM
    They marketed it with a feature and after the product was sold they took it out. Doesn't really matter what the feature was, they shouldn't have done that. Not Sony, not any company should be allowed to do that.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , May 28, 2010 8:30 PM
    totally
  • 23 Hide
    nforce4max , May 28, 2010 8:31 PM
    My answer is yes, it was well known prior to the update that the PS3 supports Linux and was used on several occasions as a selling point. With the feature removed with numerous users, universities, and the military being impacted with this loss Sony should either reimburse in partial for the loss of the feature or restore it on existing models. Under EU law Sony could face some legal trouble in that region.
  • 16 Hide
    twbg4cq , May 28, 2010 8:31 PM
    Yes, and if we're going to sue Sony for removing Linux support, then let's get them to bring back backwards compatibility for PS1 and PS2 games while we're at it.
    That's one of the things holding me back from buying one.
  • 11 Hide
    pinkeyes , May 28, 2010 8:31 PM
    Yes
  • 11 Hide
    Franklin Hennersdorfer , May 28, 2010 8:32 PM
    Yes, they should, if only to set a precedent to stop others from doing this same kind of thing. Removing features from an already purchased product is tantamount to theft if you ask me, (and any EULA that tries to make this practice kosher should be illegal, too). If Toyota recalled those accelerator challenged vehicles, and in the process disabled 'left turns', shouldn't they be sued? There's little difference here in my eyes. Sure, Toyota could argue that one could live without left turns, after all 3 right turns equals one left. But would you buy that excuse? Doubtful.
  • -3 Hide
    jhansonxi , May 28, 2010 8:35 PM
    The result of any lawsuit is likely to be just some coupons for future Sony products. They are not going to bring the other OS option back. While it was a nifty feature for the technically inclined it's market importance is small compared to game and movie sales and the required DRM. I'm sure third-parties will fix the problem regardless.
  • 2 Hide
    techguy911 , May 28, 2010 8:36 PM
    The air force also is looking into taking sony to court as well as researchers if the system fails and they send it in to be repaired they will flash the ps3 with newest firmware as policy thus loosing otherOS.
  • -4 Hide
    sstym , May 28, 2010 8:36 PM
    I don't think they should be sued, because they actually have the rights to add or remove software features at anytime:

    http://www.scei.co.jp/ps3-eula/ps3_eula_en.html

    in particular, read section 3 (Services and Updates)

    "Some services may change your current settings, cause a loss of data or content, or cause some loss of functionality."

    However, this is so deceptive that they should be heckled and/or boycotted for actually doing it.
  • 9 Hide
    ArgleBargle , May 28, 2010 8:40 PM
    If Sony can remove features at their whim, then who really owns the PS3? Does Sony own the operating system? Can you install your own OS on the hardware without coming up against DRM? If Sony can get away with this, the next thing you know, all consoles will be "rentals." You won't be able to resell them, you won't be able to play them in the future when Sony changes to the PS4.
  • 9 Hide
    MadAdmiral , May 28, 2010 8:45 PM
    I'd say that they should be sued. Yes, the penalty won't be that bad, but the company did market their products with certain features that they then revoked. That's a classic example of not only breach of contract, but if it's shown it was planned in advance, it can be deemed fraud.
  • 4 Hide
    Rahbot , May 28, 2010 8:46 PM
    I believe that they should be sued for the removal of added features. I would be one that would sue also. I bought my PS3 just for the fact that I could install Linux and use it as a Muti-Media Center for files that the PS3 can't natively play. Like RealMedia, some AVI and MPEG, Quicktime files, geez I wish Sony would put those formats useable in an update. I know some of Picture and video files dont play on my PS3.
  • 4 Hide
    tsnorquist , May 28, 2010 8:48 PM
    I think this is akin to what Amazon did recently with removing books from user's Kindles.

    Not right. If you don't want the feature on the machine Sony, then stop allowing the feature on all *NEW* PS3's.

    I'll gladly raise my hand for a share of my money lost b/c of this.
  • -4 Hide
    weepee , May 28, 2010 8:57 PM
    so can i sue Apple because i bought an iphone for the "baby shaker" game, and then apple removed it without my consent?
  • 8 Hide
    njalterio , May 28, 2010 8:58 PM
    sstymI don't think they should be sued, because they actually have the rights to add or remove software features at anytime:http://www.scei.co.jp/ps3-eula/ps3_eula_en.htmlin particular, read section 3 (Services and Updates) "Some services may change your current settings, cause a loss of data or content, or cause some loss of functionality."However, this is so deceptive that they should be heckled and/or boycotted for actually doing it.


    Just because it is in the EULA it doesn't make it legal. The EULA still needs to satisfy the requirements of U.S. law.
  • -1 Hide
    BloodyIron , May 28, 2010 9:03 PM
    700 people is a shitty sample size. this shouldn't be taken as a serious survey as statistics and interests can vary widely from region to region. was this even international?
  • 6 Hide
    the_krasno , May 28, 2010 9:07 PM
    weepeeso can i sue Apple because i bought an iphone for the "baby shaker" game, and then apple removed it without my consent?


    Yes. As distasteful that it is, you paid for it and it became yours. Not theirs.
  • 7 Hide
    DaddyW123 , May 28, 2010 9:22 PM
    njalterioJust because it is in the EULA it doesn't make it legal. The EULA still needs to satisfy the requirements of U.S. law.


    Absolutely. I can put in a EULA that upon you purchasing a PS3, I am allowed to come over to your house and shoot you in the face. Just because you signed an agreement unwittingly saying "hey, go ahead and shoot me in the face", doesn't mean I shouldn't go to jail for killing you.

    Some people are just stupid. "the EULA this and the EULA that"... f**k the EULA. Ever heard of such a thing as Right and Wrong? Apparently Sony hasn't.
  • -4 Hide
    gm0n3y , May 28, 2010 9:30 PM
    Yes.

    But what a stupid, useless article. Why bother even talking about a survey that has nothing to do with the topic? Bad journalism. No offense Jane, normally I like your reporting.
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