Copyright, Infringement and VICTORY: Update 8

Remember that post, 3 More Thoughts? I was rambling on about a few things (3 to be precise), including the then recent lawsuit against the PS3 hacker, George Hotz. Sony sued Hotz because he had hacked the PlayStation 3 to play home brew games on the device, his device, which he bought, making it his own property. In my opinion, Sony had no right to sue him, as he bought the device, so he can do whatever he wants with it. Sony cannot hold us down to their operating system, just like Apple is not allowed to hold us down to iOS on the i-devices.

Anyway, back to the point of victory, Sony and hotz have now signed a settlement, which states that Hotz is not allowed to undertake similar activity (on the PS3 at least) and Sony must drop the law suit. There are 100 other people facing action from Sony, so what makes Hotz’s case special? Well, After hacking the device, Hotz posted his findings on his website, including a download to the hack.
The overall outcome of the case was not exactly I had hoped for, but an individual settling with a multi-billion dollar company is near to impossible [the other well known case was with all the drama surrounding Facebook]. At least Sony finally did not get what they always want! Sony is not above the law!
Recently, Hotz posted an article on his blog, which outlines what crooks Sony are.
And some of Sony’s words just really unsettle me. “You don’t have an ownership right in the software that Sony Computer allows you to use. That’s the whole point of the license agreement, it’s not an ownership interest, it is a privilege that Sony conveys on them.” Should I feel privileged to give you $300? If you take the privilege back, what can I do with my uncontested ownership physical PS3? If I stop using your software and install my own, you’ll sue me.
Basically, you do not own the software you get preinstalled on your PS3, you pay Sony to use it. Then, if you do not want the “privilege” of using Sony’s software, they sue you. Massive crooks. Its like saying you own a book [device] but you do not own the physical ink the book is printed with [software]. Get it?
There are many different laws protecting copyright and software. The two big ‘terms’ for these laws are called DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and EULA (End User Licence Agreement). Lets digress into the EULA. This is an agreement, which we all agree to after looking at the block of indecipherable text above the “I Agree” button, between the manufacturer/author and user that dictates any restrictions on the software. Most of these laws are out of date and are hindering innovation and progression. Look at Mark Zuckerberg: he was a hacker, and we could not be more grateful for his work. I myself have found many lost friends through Facebook. The DMCA laws were made back in 2000, before Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many other web revolutions. They are out of date and are giving content providers too much power, where that same power should be in the hands of the users.
I, for one, am joining the Sony Boycott. I will not purchase anymore Sony products, and I suggest you do too. If the preceding part of this post does not persuade you, look at this article [Its a bit rude so, user discretion is advised]
Just a quick note about games: If I own a game, and in most cases, you will, what is to stop me from playing it on a device that can play it? To clarify, look at Hotz’s example: he wants to play Super Mario on his PS3, and why not? Don’t say, “Oh, but its in the wrong format”. The PS3 has a disk slot and USB ports, it is the operating system thats the problem. I think that there should be a universal standard of game and controller that can be used on any console in the world. No more PAl, NTSC, PS3 only and XBox only. We want a universal standard!
We are not stuck in a dictatorship any more! The DMCA and EULA laws are outdated and need revision. Monopolies such as Sony’s need to collapse to free the user. Sony used to make great products, now, I will not dare buy one for fear that Sony will sue me for violation of intellectual property!
Good luck George Hotz, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

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