Sony sued for removing "Other OS" feature on PS3s

By on April 29, 2010, 8:21 PM
It took longer than we expected, but someone has finally filed a class-action lawsuit against Sony for removing the "Other OS" feature on its PlayStation 3 consoles in a patch last month. Filed on April 27 by Anthony Ventura of California, the suit accuses Sony of the "intentional disablement of the valuable functionality originally advertised as available."

In addition to breaching the sales contract between purchasers, Ventura's filing says Sony deceived "millions of unsuspecting customers." As such, the lawsuit is being brought "on behalf of a nationwide class of all persons who purchased a PS3 during the period of November 17, 2006 to March 27, 2010 and who did not sell their PS3 before March 27, 2010."

Among other things, Ventura is after compensatory damages and injunction relief. While no exact figure is given, the suit says "the amount in controversy is in excess of $5 million." Further details are available at IGN, who has retrieved a copy of the lawsuit (PDF).




User Comments: 33

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Trust america to lead the way. I bet he doesnt even use the feature.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think that in this case it's an important decision for a court to make. Can a manufacturer of a product remove a significant feature after a consumer buys the product?

Guest said:

Hello sir, remember the car you bought from us last year? Well I am here to weld the back doors shut, you can't use them anymore because we say so.

Have a nice day and FU

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

humm i've had a lot of troubles with this FW, had to backup all my files, format the hard-disk to recover the reserved space, restore the DATA before doing the update.

but will i sue SONY for this, i don't think so, wasn't really using that feature, i intended though, but no big loss.

well i hope SONY reintroduce the feature with possibility to run from an external drive.

cheers!

Guest said:

When you have people that will use that feature to steal money from that manufactor,then yes.I dont blame sony for what they did.

Guest said:

Off course it's an american, they sue everyone and everything for anything.

Guest said:

The courts should just throw this out.

Why should Sony support some fringe feature ?

If 0.000009 of market uses the "other OS" - boo hoo. Buy a desktop system or nettop like a normal human being.

LightHeart said:

I don't think it matters if someone uses the feature or not, it's the fact that a manufacturer has removed a working function. What is your OS of choice decided to remove some function via an update, most people would be upset. The real question is does a manufacturer have the right to sell you a product and then remove some function?

RealXboxMaster said:

I agree. I might not use the feature now but down the road...maybe yes if my other pc dies.. I can turn my PS3 into a full blown computer....Make sense

Renrew Renrew said:

Another BS lawsuit that will enrich the Lawyers and leave the PS3 users with nothing but a pittance.

When will the public realize they are getting screwed every time a class action suit is filed?

windmill007 said:

I never use the feature but I don't want things taken away. If they can do that whats next...they will make it so you can't stream certain video files. I say this needs stopped now before they do more damage to the PS3. I for one haven't done this upgrade and won't til I have no choice or there is an alternative firmware out there. You mass non boo-hooers just have the follow the herd mentality. If everything was left to you we would have Apple ruling the world and we would all have way less freedoms.

BMfan BMfan said:

realxboxmaster said:

I agree. I might not use the feature now but down the road...maybe yes if my other pc dies.. I can turn my PS3 into a full blown computer....Make sense

You can build a very cheap pc that works better than the PS3 with yellow dog on it.

I'm glad they removed it,it was just a waste.

I tried yellow dog for a while and compared to a pc it was rubbish.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Off course it's an american, they sue everyone and everything for anything.

You're a fine example of why Guest poster's shouldn't be allowed on these forums. You're a coward.

There is a legitmate reason to sue Sony for this. For one, They advertised it on a regular basis as a computer, not just a gaming console. Sony has all but taken away the computing aspects of the ps3, and left consumers with a shell of what they used to have.

Lets say HP advertises a new mediasmart all-in-one pc to have the best HD picture and fastest dvd-rw of any system in its class. Six months down the road they come out with a mandatory patch that disables your dvd drive simply because it has the ability to burn discs and could be used to duplicate copyrighted movies. Does that make sense? No? Neither does Sony advertising the ps3 as a computer and removing all computing ability from it.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

To the post above me, it's not the

matter that you can or can't buy a computer really cheap and still be better than a ps3. It's the fact they have sold and advertised a product with that functionality but now they have removed it by "updating" the console software. To me that is not even an update as updates are supposed to add functions not remove them so even calling it an "update" is a little missleading,

anyway I hope Sony either just add the function back in or pay a hefty fine or severly reduce the price of ps3 to say £100

I could buy one then

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Sorry meant to bmfan

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Wendig0 said:

Lets say HP advertises a new mediasmart all-in-one pc to have the best HD picture and fastest dvd-rw of any system in its class. Six months down the road they come out with a mandatory patch that disables your dvd drive simply because it has the ability to burn discs and could be used to duplicate copyrighted movies. Does that make sense? No? Neither does Sony advertising the ps3 as a computer and removing all computing ability from it.

While I agree with you I think your analogy is a little bit off. It would be more like they disabled the burning capability of the optical drive than disabled it all together. Disabling it completely would render the system useless. Disabling the other OS feature does not render the PS3 useless it just took away a valued feature.

BMfan BMfan said:

anyway I hope Sony either just add the function back in or pay a hefty fine or severly reduce the price of ps3 to say £100

I could buy one then

You are unhappy with Sony even though you don't own a PS3,i'm the one that should be upset but i don't care it was a useless feature for me.

When i 1st got my PS3 i bought myself an external,downloaded yellow dog because i thought i will give the other OS feature a try.What a waste of time,within 3 months i bought myself an entry level PC and never looked back.

I doubt sony would lose that case,all they have to do is prove that people would use it to hack their machine.

Guest said:

To BF man

Then they came for the other OS feature, but I did not use it so I did not speak out.

And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me."

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Good, I hope the court sees how anti-consumer this is and what a horrible precedent could follow if products down the road can have features simply turned off just cause. How anyone can defend Sony for this action is beyond me and makes me assume you're just a fanboy. Any product I had that the manufacture decided to retroactively remove features from would make me question if I should purchase anything from them again. I remember how Sony proudly promoted the OtherOS feature too on the original PS3 which makes this even worse.

theosephus said:

the first recorded legal action on this matter was in europe, but the suit was filed against amazon.com utilizing a european law (Directive 1999/44/EC). so let's not be too quick to complain about america's legal trigger finger. and no im not an american, nor do i have a ps3. this is strictly a legal issue involving consumer rights and the nature of product ownership and personal property.

despite the company staying within their terms & conditions, the disabling of a feature that was advertised as a selling point is without doubt a matter for the courts and should not be accepted without protest. it genuinely devalues the product. the mere mention that it is optional is nonsensical as to refuse the update will disable access to the playstation online network. i'll explain why:

once money changes hands, the sold item becomes personal property and while the playstation online network is a free service, it is still intrinsic to the value of the product. to make the update 'optional' only by forbidding access to the playstation network upon refusal gives sony an unacceptable amount of leverage over the consumer's behavior after the product has been sold to the consumer and is rightfully theirs.

personal property issues come into play here, and despite the terms and conditions giving sony the practical right to do this, there still stands the question as to whether the terms and conditions themselves are a violation of a consumer's right to pay for and own a product in its entirety.

understand this; if all ps3s were being rented from sony, i would understand and accept this move. ..but to advertise and sell the item then force the consumer to choose between online access or the OS function is too much control over the product after it has been sold.

to conclude all this windbaggery, this move by sony is something the courts should look at and decide whether the affected owners should be refunded for the value of the lost functionality. i think the company has a right to do this due to their terms and conditions, but they must also accept that the limitation of their product after the point of sale is a devaluation of the product and demands monetary compensation or a retraction of the update itself.

this could get very expensive for Sony if the lawyers on our side are worth their salt. what sony does next comes down to whether they value brand reputation and consumer opinion above the potential lost revenue that the OS feature presents via piracy.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Ok, so a lot of you people are forgetting the point of the lawsuit. The point is that consumers bought a product for all the advertised features, and now Sony is taking that feature away from the very system they advertised. I don't own a PS3 and even I don't think they should be allowed to do this. If we allow them to do this once, what's to stop them from doing it again...or what's to stop another company from doing the same thing to a different product.

Unless the consumers signed or agreed to allow Sony to take away an advertised feature, Sony has no right to do so. I don't know much about law, but I don't think that this is a legal move. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Tekkaraiden said:

Wendig0 said:

Lets say HP advertises a new mediasmart all-in-one pc to have the best HD picture and fastest dvd-rw of any system in its class. Six months down the road they come out with a mandatory patch that disables your dvd drive simply because it has the ability to burn discs and could be used to duplicate copyrighted movies. Does that make sense? No? Neither does Sony advertising the ps3 as a computer and removing all computing ability from it.

While I agree with you I think your analogy is a little bit off. It would be more like they disabled the burning capability of the optical drive than disabled it all together. Disabling it completely would render the system useless. Disabling the other OS feature does not render the PS3 useless it just took away a valued feature.

At least you understood my point

tengeta tengeta said:

Nobody cares about the loss of features until its one they like, be careful Sony fanboys. Microsoft slowly opens with 360 with each update, Sony slowly turns it into their corporate controlled device just like the PSP go.

Guest said:

I'm sorry but I don't see this going anywhere, people can argue and whine all they want that they can't do this because it was listed as a feature when they bought their PS3, but really... who bought a PS3 just because it had "other OS" included? maybe 1,2..3 people? (hackers maybe). Every one and their mothers bought a PS3 because they wanted to play the latest games and Blue ray movies, and i can guaranteed the other OS was the least of their concerns. This thing is just a pathetic attempt to collect some money which is not going to happen because of this that they agreed to when they bought a PS3...

"Without limitation, services may include the provision of the latest update or download of new release that may include security patches, new technology or revised settings and features which may prevent access to unauthorized or pirated content, or use of unauthorized hardware or software in connection with the PS3? system."

Sony can argue that the "other OS" prove to be a security risk and it'll most likely fall under the statement above which the user agreed to when they bought the PS3.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

"Without limitation, services may include the provision of the latest update or download of new release that may include security patches, new technology or revised settings and features which may prevent access to unauthorized or pirated content, or use of unauthorized hardware or software in connection with the PS3? system."

Sony can argue that the "other OS" prove to be a security risk and it'll most likely fall under the statement above which the user agreed to when they bought the PS3.

You didn't need to add in the security risk issue. That statement is enough for them to win this case. Having access to the internet gives you plenty of access to unauthorized or pirated content. But the biggest issue is whether or not you will still be able to get that content. If you still have access to it regardless of the "other OS" feature then they don't really have anything solid here. Just plain and simple access to the internet is a security risk.

Guest said:

I can understand the frustration of this 5 or so people arguing the removal of this feature but they're forgetting that this doesn't hinder the PS3 on what was intended to do for the user, they also agreed to the user agreement which allow Sony to do just this. For them to win the case over Sony, they have to prove that this somehow caused severe problems to the masses of users when they use their PS3s after the removal of this feature, or prove that this severely hindered the PS3's ability to work as intended, they'll have to have conclusive evidence of this and just not throw the words "consumer rights" out there, it'll be a very tough battle for the plaintiff. We'll have to see how it plays out, I doubt it'll go anywhere though.

RealXboxMaster said:

Thks for the advise. I understand that I can build a cheap PC and put Yellow dog onit. I custom build PC's for a living. My point what I'm trying to make here is that. Sony had no right to do that whether people will use it or not. So people that are using it as a PC.. now are screwed cause they cant update ther FW and go online if they dont update. Sony should of relized this before releasing ther Piece Of Sh.t 3 =PS3. They made sooooooooo many promises about ther system before launch. And still to this day screwing ther loyal customers. Slowly removing features. It's not really an update , it's a downgrade. They should give consumer a choice not by eliminating a feature that customers had paid for.

Guest said:

Without prejudice..

its obvious the majority here have no bloody clue as to the difference in in power from a CBEA {Cell Broadband Engine]], an the typical pathetic x86 PC crap [though they have come far, but still, but since those technically challenged and uninformed individuals who don't care and could not install or make use of the feature because it involved more then using 3 braincells [typical of what is required to play your avg game (yes sarcasm and stereotyping.. woaw in one sentence too!) - that large corporations at there will dictate and do whatever they want, weather it be against the law or not and give ultimatums to consumers who purchased the product with the expectation that they would not up and rip a major [yes, its major, sorry gamers, but the PS3 was marketed as a home entertainment/computer/and games machine [covering off all areas.. when first released, you had few games, few blu-rays, but one hell of a kick *** processor which you had access to - [if you have a slim, you do not have any right to comment on the subject as this does not involve you]

When you people who are not giving a crap and allowing company's do as they please to stuff you paid for , may the manufacture of your vehicle [if you can afford one] remove its engine to prevent you from potentially speeding as excuse , or your the normal pc you own, have them come and disable the HD' so you cant store any warez or anything on it, or hell, disable the cpu in it so you definatly cant potentially play or run any pirated stuff [even if you purchase all content you use], so you know what its like to be screwed and not get any enjoyment outta it... sheep like you who are the reason WHY company's end up going so far and thinking they can get away with anything, because you blow it off as who cares, doesn't effect me, well, guess what, it does. .. and eventually its gonna bite you in the *** because you did not do a damn thing .. and for that i say, you all deserve it.. [direct all comments to devl null, as i wont be reading this thread so pointless in your complaints and flaming -i wont see it, but if it makes you feel any better, go for it ... ]

-wonders if his suggestion to individuals on certain Sony forum to use class action lawsuit caused this, if so, I'm happy, if not, im still happy, as [If any of you have ever read the licensing agreement when you install the firmware -doubtful- READ IT.. see just what you are giving Sony the right ot do to equipment you own -which includes, literally, ability to brick it [i know quite a lot about the technical aspects of it, and differences in versions and hardware models, flawed engineering comes to mind when i think of xbox360, i think Sony learned something from MS's marketing [just to bad ms' looses out on $ of every unit sold , unlike Sony who now profits..]

... now.. the big question is out of all the people bashing over this class action lawsuit, have any of you read the lawsuit claims against Sony? if not, go educate yourself and read it.. and ask yourself, if "other os" was some other feature that YOU had purchased item for, and it was removed, how would you react? [remain over the barrel or fight back -which is exactly what a class action lawsuit is meant to do, speak for the millions who got screwed outta feature and Sony's ultimatums .. you do what we want or else.. sorry.. I am not one of the sheep.. those who wish to be one, don't expect a sweater when they steal your wool ;)

a person who bought and uses the "other os" to gain access to processor that falls short by itself from wiping 500th place on top 500 supercomputers off list, a few more cell processors and hey, system in 500th place gets bumped off .. [now, you point me to a cheap pc that has that sorta processing power and ill buy it [oh wait, already own several.. oops] -and in middle of designing 4 processor - powerXcell 8i based system [for fun of it.. -no, not same cell processor in ps3 FYI, its more powerful and doesn't revolve around the Ram bus XIO memory interface - ,and FLexIO for peripherals .- have time, have money, might as well design]

-i will never understand gamers minds, i just can't turn off over 98% of my brain AHH-. ..

all enjoy, and may your consoles survive Sony's mandatory firmware updates .. lol

peace'

Guest said:

So does this mean i can sue microsoft because i dont like their name? because looking from what just happened i think i can as that guy got $5mil for something he didnt make or own i mean cmon who in their right mind sue's a company like sony for something sony made and they can do anything they want freely and yet the retarded judge thinks that guy that sued sony ownes the product sony made and sold and theirfore he is allowed to get cash for somet he didnt make or even help make so i guess i can sue microsoft because their products suck *** and i dont like their name ..... does this mean i get $20billion ???? because it looks like i will.

BMfan BMfan said:

Ever time you guys say it's like taking out a car engine,which it isn't,that would be if Sony decided to take away the capabilitiy to play games.

Guest said:

If you read the TOS it clearly states they can legally remove it, not to say this correct or above the law, but it does help.

Guest said:

I never used it but when my pc went out I was in the middle of figure out how to put it on they had the update when that happen i was pissed but got over it seeing never used it. But now my problems with that firmware update so few pep got that sony is screwin them stickin to the story its wasnt firmware it happened upon restart after update and sys recovery works but still gives rsod many say nand chipped is to blame i say sony just needs to quit screwing everyone for this should stuck to xbox at least they fixed free out of warranty sony just deny deny and say there perfect and theres no problems but i have 4 broken ps3 and nothing to do im so sad i wasted so much money on these systems. I HOPE SONY GETS A LOT OF PROBLEMS FOR THIS i remember the commercial and how they told you about was like they were calling all hackers hey hey free games. watch on utube unless it got removed for whatever reason lol thought i would vent just talked to sony they really dont care about their customers in any way

Guest said:

That is the hilarious.

-Talkashie-

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.