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Last post Author Topic: Sony v. Hotz: Sony Sends a Dangerous Message to Researchers -- and Its Customers  (Read 5043 times)

Deozaan

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For years, EFF has been warning that the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be used to chill speech, particularly security research, because legitimate researchers will be afraid to publish their results lest they be accused of circumventing a technological protection measure. We've also been concerned that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could be abused to try to make alleged contract violations into crimes.

We've never been sorrier to be right. These two things are precisely what's happening in Sony v. Hotz. If you have missed this one, Sony has sued several security researchers for publishing information about security holes in Sony’s PlayStation 3. At first glance, it's hard to see why Sony is bothering — after all, the research was presented three weeks ago at the Chaos Communication Congress and promptly circulated around the world. The security flaws discovered by the researchers allow users to run Linux on their machines again — something Sony used to support but recently started trying to prevent. Paying lawyers to try to put the cat back in the bag is just throwing good money after bad. And even if they won — we'll save the legal analysis for another post — the defendants seem unlikely to be able to pay significant damages. So what's the point?

The real point, it appears, is to send a message to security researchers around the world: publish the details of our security flaws and we'll come after youwith both barrels blazing. For example, Sony has asked the court to immediately impound all "circumvention devices" — which it defines to include not only the defendants' computers, but also all "instructions," i.e., their research and findings. Given that the research results Sony presumably cares about are available online, granting the order would mean that everyone except the researchers themselves would have access to their work.

Click to read entire article.

[EDIT]That article is pretty popular right now so the site may be slow or non-responsive.[/EDIT]

I was following the news as it unfolded over the past couple weeks, and was very delighted to see this Carnegie Mellon professor not only fearlessly mirror geohot's site after Sony issued the takedown, but almost dare Sony to try to get him to take it down as well.

« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 12:50:41 PM by Deozaan »

f0dder

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Hint: when linking to a to-be-slashdotted URL, use the Coral Cache :)
- carpe noctem

Deozaan

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Like this? http://www.eff.org.n...ds-dangerous-message

Problem is that https doesn't seem to work with it, but I guess that makes sense...


f0dder

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Like this? http://www.eff.org.n...ds-dangerous-message
Yup :)

Problem is that https doesn't seem to work with it, but I guess that makes sense...
It's definitely not perfect, but it helps a lot wrt. avoiding DDoS'ing sites :)
- carpe noctem

rjbull

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New Scientist online article 18:10 14 January 2011 by Duncan Graham-Rowe: Sony sues over PS3 encryption hack

Renegade

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GACK~!

Quote
Simply put, Sony claims that it's illegal for users to access their own computers in a way that Sony doesn't like. Moreover, because the CFAA has criminal as well as civil penalties, Sony is actually saying that it's a crime for users to access their own computers in a way that Sony doesn't like.

That means Sony is sending another dangerous message: that it has rights in the computer it sells you even after you buy it, and therefore can decide whether your tinkering with that computer is legal or not. We disagree. Once you buy a computer, it's yours. It shouldn't be a crime for you to access your own computer, regardless of whether Sony or any other company likes what you're doing.

Wow.

This stuff is DANGEROUS~!

Sounds like a brave new world out there...
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Eóin

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I sure hope laws like that never make it here to europe.

app103

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I sure hope laws like that never make it here to europe.

Remember, this is only Sony's interpretation of what they want the law to mean. It's not actually the law unless a court agrees with their interpretation.  ;)

mouser

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Whenever i see the title of this thread my mind thinks of:

http://www.kennyvsspenny.tv/

Screenshot - 1_22_2011 , 2_18_01 AM_thumb.png

Deozaan

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From what I can tell it looks very unlikely that Sony will win this lawsuit. The judge(s?) is/are already questioning/denying certain requests and [insert proper legal terms here] by Sony. Such as whether or not the court actually has jurisdiction on this case in California.


Renegade

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From what I can tell it looks very unlikely that Sony will win this lawsuit. The judge(s?) is/are already questioning/denying certain requests and [insert proper legal terms here] by Sony. Such as whether or not the court actually has jurisdiction on this case in California.

I hope you're right.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Deozaan

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George Hotz's lawyer(s) move for dismissal:

In the present case, Sony cannot demonstrate that Mr. Hotz?s activity could even arguably be construed as expressly aimed at California. To the contrary, the sole alleged tortious activity alleged in this action involves Mr. Hotz-- who is located in New Jersey-- purportedly improperly accessing portions of his own Playstation Computer-- which is also located in New Jersey. Sony's primary allegation is that Mr. Hotz violated the circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) by allegedly circumventing control access to the Playstation Computer. Sony also includes various other inexplicable claims for good measure, including Mr. Hotz violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the California Computer Crime Law for allegedly "exceeding access" to Mr. Hotz's very own Playstation Computer, as well as for Mr. Hotz purportedly "trespassing" on the very Playstation Computer he lawfully purchased and owns. Sony also alleges that, by engaging in such conduct, Mr. Hotz has breached the PSN TOS (which is actually not applicable to Mr. Hotz as demonstrated above). Nonetheless, this suit centers around the allegation that Mr. Hotz improperly accessed portions of his Playstation Computer.


Carol Haynes

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I sure hope laws like that never make it here to europe.

Remember, this is only Sony's interpretation of what they want the law to mean. It's not actually the law unless a court agrees with their interpretation.  ;)

They have already - it is illegal in the UK to buy or have access to any software that CAN be used to circumvent copyright protection. You don't have to use the software to actually do that.

This means that technically you could face criminal charges for owning a software debugger because it could be potentially used (as one part of a toolkit) to work out how copyright protection works.

Presumably it also means it is illegal to use software to allow you to rip certain copyright protected CDs to media players because it has to circumvent the protection.

The Sony Rootkit debacle was an example of software protected in law in the UK. Technically once you have inserted an offending Sony audio CD if you remove the rootkit from your computer (or even attempt to and don't succeed) you are guilty of a criminal act - even though you never installed it, asked for it to be installed, or agreed to any license to allow its installation and that it effectively acted as a virus subverting the normal running of your computer. Presumably if you look for instructions on the internet on how to remove the rootkit and download those instructions to your computer but never actually use them then you are also breaking the law.

It strikes me as madness that UK law is now designed to favour foreign corporations over the thoughts of its own people. Brave New World is here - and has been for some time.

Renegade

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They have already -*1* it is illegal in the UK to buy or have access to any software that CAN be used to circumvent copyright protection. You don't have to use the software to actually do that.

This means that technically *2* you could face criminal charges for owning a software debugger because it could be potentially used (as one part of a toolkit) to work out how copyright protection works.

Presumably it also means it is illegal to use software to allow you to rip certain copyright protected CDs to media players because it has to circumvent the protection.

The Sony Rootkit debacle was an example of software protected in law in the UK. Technically once you have inserted an offending Sony audio CD *3* if you remove the rootkit from your computer (or even attempt to and don't succeed) you are guilty of a criminal act - even though you never installed it, asked for it to be installed, or agreed to any license to allow its installation and that it effectively acted as a virus subverting the normal running of your computer. Presumably if you look for instructions on the internet on how to remove the rootkit and download those instructions to your computer but never actually use them then you are also breaking the law.

It strikes me as madness that UK law is now designed to favour foreign corporations over the thoughts of its own people. *4* Brave New World is here - and has been for some time.



AAARRRGGGHHH~~~!!!



Had to scream... That stuff drives me nuts.

*1* That's a moronic law.

*2* And there's one reason why.

*3* Next we'll have virus authors suing anti-virus vendors, and people that use anti-virus software thrown in prison...

*4* You're so right. And it's a shame. Laws now seem to be designed to make EVERYONE a criminal so that ANYONE can be thrown in prison at any time.

Just so I'm clear on the topic...



AAARRRGGGHHH~~~!!!



+1 Carol!

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Carol Haynes

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Just listening to the news - UK government promised when it came into power to remove the 'detention' laws currently in force in the UK.

All they seem to have done is put a limit of 2 years on it and relaxed the use of the internet for detainees.

This is a law that allows the UK government to put anyone they like under house arrest without charge or even saying why they are being charged.

Doesn't democracy give a warm glow!

nudone

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May as well start planning to become a criminal mastermind, it seems everyone (here) in the UK is automatically a criminal by default - no point being a petty criminal. think big.

Renegade

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May as well start planning to become a criminal mastermind, it seems everyone (here) in the UK is automatically a criminal by default - no point being a petty criminal. think big.

Grrr... I hate it, but you're pretty much right.

The thing is, good people that haven't done anything "wrong" are criminals! HUH? WTF!?!

I have a problem with doing things that hurt other people and things that I find morally or ethically repugnant. But I don't really have a problem with breaking the law. I just have no respect for the law at all anymore. I've lost it. None. Zero. It's a bunch of crap.

I don't steal from people because it's wrong -- not because there's a law.

I don't speed like a demon -- not because it's against the law, but because it's simply dangerous.

I don't do certain kinds of business because I find them morally/ethically repugnant, but they are still legal...

Sigh...

Making criminals out of good people isn't what a benevolent state does -- it's what an evil state does.



I think I want to go bury my head in the sand...
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

nudone

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I know what you mean.

But rather than bury my head in the sand, I bury my head in the computer. If you keep away from anything that will scare you about the real world it's the best distraction there is.

My computer is my own little perfect world (almost). And I'm lazy and timid enough to just keep my focus on that. When the rioters reach my door then I'll be forced to go and join them. (Hopefully they won't cut off my power supply and broadband before that.)

Carol Haynes

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ah bless - so naive ...  :-*

Eóin

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Damn : Court orders seizure of PS3 hacker's computers.

Still it's early days yet.

Deozaan

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Strange for the judge to have such a change of heart... I wish I knew that story.


Renegade

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That's disappointing. But not unexpected...  >:(
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Stoic Joker

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Strange for the judge to have such a change of heart... I wish I knew that story.

Chances are it involves a cash payment and/or photographs...

Eóin

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Makes me think I should shut down my paypal acc.

Deozaan

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Sony is sending out the DMCA takedown notices like crazy and even the Carnegie Mellon professor has taken down his mirror for the time being...

Quote
1/27/2011 Update: Judge Illston has granted the TRO against George Hotz despite the venue issue still being contested by Hotz's attorney. And I'm out of town. Since CMU has a west coast campus in California and is therefore subject to her jurisdiction, I have disabled my mirror until I can get back to Pittsburgh and look more closely at the current state of things.

http://psgroove.com/...MCA-Takedown-Notices

EDIT:

Hmm... Wonder what this is all about? ;)

freedom355.png

« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 03:30:54 PM by Deozaan »