back to article Sony Oz mod chip dongle ban hearing delayed

The ban granted to Sony against three Australian companies who had been offering PSJailbreak, a USB dongle that lets PS3 owners play ripped game discs, has been extended. The defendants - mod chip sellers OzModChips, Mod Supplier and Quantronics - were today due their opportunity to challenge the temporary injunction ordered …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward


    "Everyone that was using OtherOS.."

    Erm, this does not bring OtherOS back... There is no reason for this modchip other than piracy, that is the bottom line.

    They are trying to get gamers on their side by spreading FUD... I'm suprised they havn't used the lame Lik-Sang line yet... (the obscure fred-in-the-shed outfit that Sony closed down for selling piracy devices a few years back).

    Even the "legal backups" is a dubious excuse considering all Blu-Ray discs have a anti-scratch coating, and it's VERY hard to damage a Blu-Ray disk.

    There is no way on earth the PS3 modchip will ever be sold in the UK, what with the Nintendo R4 ban being so fresh in everyones minds... This is no different at all (well it is different of course, as the PS3 Modchips days are numbered... I'm guessing Sony have a firmware ready to roll as soon as this courtcase is resolved one way or another)

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Jobs Horns


      yes, this does not bring back OtherOS.

      But it may, just may, be enough to allow someone how to boot a linux on an PS3 unbriddled by protection. I believe this will require a lot of work and I am not sure there are enough in the community left, but nevertheless, I am for the dongle in this regard.

      However, I agree it's a device mainly pirates will love.

      2 wrongs don't make a right, but I hope this device does not ever get banned. More crucially, I hope they find they can't find a fix for it (this I doubt) and Sony sees a serious dint in their profits...

      They deserve it, as far as I am concerned for canning OtherOS.


      I can only say HA HA, you ban OtherOS and some other bright spark finds another way to pirate your stuff.


      HA HA...

      You're a right shower of bastards and you deserve any and all the shit you get.


      (Evil jobs icon because there's no evil Sony icon)

      1. Daniel B.

        OtherOS, indeed.

        "yes, this does not bring back OtherOS."

        This is why this dongle doesn't interest me at all. I don't want to engage in piracy at all, but I do want my frickin' OtherOS back. However, I do not wish Sony to be harmed as the competition (MS XBOX 360) has an even worse customer disservice record. At least Sony isn't pimping console owners for online play, charging extra for wireless controllers or banning third-party accessories. Yes, I'm still mad at them for killing OtherOS, but I hate MS even more!

        I do hope that Sony realizes that by killing OtherOS, they only pissed off the hacking community enough to make them take a shot and actually try to crack the PS3's security. Its been 5 months since the infamous 3.21 firmware came out, more than enough time for a dedicated team to start churning out these cracks.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      I thought lik-sang were shut down...

      .. for daring to export Japanese psp's to other countries. It was Nintendo that got them to stop exporting R4's and the like, which lik-sang did. Sony went after them for a very different (and in my mind pretty stupid) reason.

      Why do Sony care if I import a psp from Japan? They make exactly the same profit as they would if stayed in Japan. (I did it to get a white one as a gift for the boy when all we had over here was black ones) Bizarre...

      1. Anonymous Coward


        That's the twisted version of events that people prefer to remember, as Sony are always the bad guys right?

        "In 2002, the company was sued by major game console producers, such as Sony Computer Entertainment, Nintendo, and Microsoft, alleging contributory copyright infringement, since the mod chips (and other related devices) enabled playing of pirated game titles on those consoles. The court granted injunctions preventing Lik-Sang from selling these devices."

    3. noboard


      Lik-sang was done for selling Jap and US consoles to the UK. Why did people buy import consoles? Cheaper games, earlier releases, cheaper hardware. Sony shut Lik-sang down so it could screw the EU, not piracy.

      It's no coincidence the PS3 has been hacked a short while after the 'Other OS' option went. By default people could write software to run on the PS3 and the hackers were focused on allowing linux to use the full power of the GPU. Sony took that away so now they're all about opening up the device which also means pirated games can be played. Lesson, give people a reasonable amount of freedom and they'll leave you alone. Lock them in and they'll break out.

      Finally, I have bought lots more games for the Wii now I can install them on a hard drive. The ability to switch games at will is great. Being able to do this on the PS3 as well will mean I'll finally get round to completing some of my older games and spend a lot more time on the console. As long as new games don't block the ability I'll keep buying them. It's enough to make me switch from 360 to PS3 as my main console.

      As for the pirates, they'll play a lot more games and maybe even buy a few more.

  2. Piggy and Tazzy
    Thumb Down


    "There is no reason for this modchip other than piracy, that is the bottom line."

    What utter rubbish! How about wanting backups of those bloody expensive discs so that the original (purchased!) disc remains scratch free?

    It's pretty obvious you won't accept this argument though. In your eyes, everyone's a pirate, eh?

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      A miniscule %

      The reason the argument doesn't need to be accepted because the number of people who would use a modchip purely for backups without ever pirating software is so diminishingly small that the excuse really doesn't hold water. Same for people claiming using it for "homebrew".

      It is very clear what the vast majority of modchip owners would want it for.

      That's not to say Sony is helping themselves here. The removal of Other OS might have been necessary to block off a potential exploit but it allows pirates to pretend they need modchips for homebrew. Utter horseshit of course, but still.

      I also think Sony could help themselves by supporting something akin to Microsoft's HDD backups to remove the "I only want one for backups" excuse, although how it would work when some games utilise, 10, 20, or even 40Gb is an interesting question. As it is I've not put a scratch in any of my discs or encountered one on a rental disc which thanks in no small part to the mandatory scratch resistant coating that blu ray disks have.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      yeh right, backup discs...

      Backup discs are just lame word for piracy... Blu-Ray is VERY hard to destroy...

      1. Sooty

        you don't have to completely destroy

        a disk to stop it being readable, take this from someone who has accidentally superglued a game disk to a table before!

        Replacement disks should be much more freely available, to completely remove the backup angle, ie walk into game with a damaged disk and they just swap it.

  3. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    How about...

    A demonstration outside the courthall on that day? We should try and arrange one.

  4. Cameron Colley

    Dangerous precident indeed.

    What they are effectively saying is that (for example), should Ford so decide, they could make it illegal for you to plug an iPod into the power socket of the car to charge it or that Apple could actually make it illegal for you to add an anti-scratch sticker to your iPhone.

    If a court decides that someone cannot do whatever they like with a product that they purchased they purchased then the court has, effectively, handed control of the judicial system over to a private company to do with it as it wishes.

    So, the question is, why are governments of so called democracies giving companies ownership of the law?

    1. JaitcH

      Just wait until ...

      the new international convention on copyright produces it's work. Then the world will be owned by the corporate world.

  5. JaitcH

    Why not sell them as kits?

    These could be sold outright as kits or as 'some construction required' so, as sold, they are fit for no purpose.

    Alternatively a kit could contain everything except for a ROM/PROM/whatever which could be shipped separately by another company.

    If people buy product they should be free to use it for whatever they want. Of course, I am not an iPhan.

  6. Psymon


    Firstly, ripping the contents of a game to hard disk vastly speeds loading times.

    Games are expensive, and discs get lost or scratched. Yes, Blu-ray too. The odds of either happening are vastly reduced if you only use the disc occasionally.

    Sony PS3s are notorious for frequently breaking optical drives. Sony also charge more than £100 to replace what is essentially, a £20 blu-ray reader.

    This also opens up the potential for "bedroom programming". Something that has been long, long lost amongst the endless parade of stale sequels.

    These are not the veiled arguments of a pirate attempting to defend his illegal ways, these are the legitimate reasons I have not bought a console since 1998.

    Yours sincerely, a lost customer.

    1. DrXym Silver badge


      The PS3 isn't "notorious" for breaking drives. In fact, it has an extremely good reputation as a device, more so that the 360. That isn't to say faults don't occur, but in general the device is robust and reliable. I know my own console (an EU launch model) has stood up extremely well including an episode where my 2 year old son shoved a plastic disc into the slot loader and I had to dismantle the entire BD drive to get it out and reassemble everything including all the fiddly springs and cogs that make up the slot loader.

      As for the discs, they are scratch resistant. I haven't scratched or seen a rental with a scratch yet. Not to say it won't happen, but again this isn't like DVDs.

      The excuse that people need modchips for "backups" is laughably weak. I do think Sony should implement a transparent HDD cache of disk content instead of the lame HDD installs that some games do. But to claim people will physically modify their PS3 (thus invalidating any warranty or official repair) and lose out on all network play and risk a perma ban from the PSN just to play backups is laughable. It is for piracy and no other reason.

  7. Phil Rigby

    @Piggy, @Cameron

    @Piggy - the guy said in his fourth paragraph that (in his opinion) it's hard to scratch the discs. So if you'd read his whole comment you'd be a bit more informed about what he said.

    @Cameron - it's about stopping a device that can be used for piracy. Not about stopping people adding bling - which is what you described. Apple have no right to stop people from adding anti-scratch covers to their iPod - but they are well within their rights to stop people from adding mechanisms to pirate apps.

    If nothing else, people forget all this stuff is in the T&C you agree to when you buy the product. If you don't like it, stop using the product. I'm a XBox owner and I disagree with having to pay to play online. So I don't. That's my choice but I'm the only one who loses out.

  8. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    @ Cameron Colley and the "legit" crowd

    I think Cameron it is one step further on from your iPod analogy - or maybe it was that your analogy wasn't clear enough. My view is that it's not Ford simply banning the use of iPods in its cars, it's Ford banning the use of iPods because Ford claim to OWN the electricity streams being produced by your cars alternator, much in the same way that Sony are claiming breach of the terms of use of the data streams being copied onto this mod device or whatever it is.

    Sony are not trying to ban the use of all 3rd party USB devices. They are simply trying to stop people pirating/hacking their games and systems - which they have every right under commercial law to do. After all, you agreed to those terms of use in the first place.

    I understand the "non-piracy" angle very clearly - and I sympathise with you. But just take a look at the proliferation of websites allowing pirated downloads of Nintendo DS roms since the Edge device went on sale and you will see that your so called "legitimate" community is very much in the minority. If you are so worried about scratching your PS3 disks then perhaps you need to take much better care of them, and I also feel that this is a very poor justification for use of this device as if you had a genuine grievance, you could pursue this through other channels.

    I also do not buy your argument about democracies giving companies ownership of the law and I do not think that you have fully thought through this position. One example of this is that any piece of software that you buy comes with terms that you must agree to before use. For example - that you may not reverse engineer the software in question. If you do this, then company X has a right under law to take you to court for breach of those terms of use. How do you reconcile this with companies supposedly owning the law?

    Companies have every right to limit how products are used by consumers, but most I believe limit these uses to the bare minimum to protect their investments in R&D. In the case of Sony, and whilst I have no love for them - I fully agree that this device will have only one purpose when sold en masse on the open market - and that is to support the illegal copying and distribution of PS3 games; and if you were a SCEA director, I believe that you would be taking exactly the same stand in a court of law to protect your legitimate revenue streams and investments.

    1. Cameron Colley

      I completely disagree.

      if someone "sells" someone else a product then they are handing over that product (be it hardware or software) to the other person in return for money, after which point they give up ownership of that product.

      For cases of software piracy we have copyright, and for hardware copies we have patents and trademarks.

      If Sony feel they must tell someone what they can or cannot do with a product then the buyer should be made to sign a perpetual lease agreement wnich contains any terms and conditions they feel appropriate.

      If you sell something to someone ekse then, by definition, you no longer have any ownership of the object sold. For a goverment to say that a sale is not a sale, but a binding lease agreement without the need to provide a signed contract, ought to be unlawful and, to my mind, is a breach of the rights of those they are supposed to protect.,

      1. Mark 65 Silver badge


        A-fucking-1. If they want perpetual control then they are selling a license or renting a product, not selling it. You can't have it both ways and they need to understand this. If the product is out of warranty I can turn it into a weather vane if I like - it's got fuck all to do with them. IT companies need to learn to let go. You sold it, it's no longer yours.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Post your own message

      "If you do this, then company X has a right under law to take you to court for breach of those terms of use. How do you reconcile this with companies supposedly owning the law?"

      That's exactly what "owning the law" is about. A special interest group gets State to defend - on their behalf - some monopoly on ideas or products or can have State arbitrarily kick the ass of consumers who step out of some arbitrarily defined line.

      "Companies have every right to limit how products are used by consumers"

      In the same vein, Death's Head squads have every right to shift undesirable minorities onto eastbound trains.

    3. A J Stiles

      Er -- no.

      "Companies have every right to limit how products are used by consumers" -- *No* *they* *don't*.

      Once I have bought something and paid for it, with money I earned by hand or by brain, it is mine; and nobody can tell me what I can and cannot do with it.

  9. M Gale

    PS3 is a toy, not a tool...

    ...and Sony are determined to keep it that way. If you don't want to be treated like children and get your wrists slapped any time you use your own device in a way that Sony doesn't like, then buy a tool and not a toy.

    Not to say that I agree with this. Just that maybe when the only people using Playstations are children, and Sony's market begins to resemble Sega and Nintendo's circa 20 years ago (ie: nowhere near as big and powered by pocket money), they'll STFU.

  10. Sampler

    £90 for the dongle

    That's more than I've spent on games this year!

  11. Tom 38 Silver badge

    @Aristotles + others

    "Companies have every right to limit how products are used by consumers, but most I believe limit these uses to the bare minimum to protect their investments in R&D."

    No - they really do not. Ford do not have the right to insist that you only use genuine Ford parts on their car. This was established in the (60s or 70s?) by GM suing aftermarket parts manufacturors and losing, repeatedly.

    Meanwhile, electronic device manufacturors have managed to hoodwink the courts into thinking that the little box they have created is technological magic and only they have the right to make use of that magic, and no other company can produce 3rd party additions that make use of the technology the consumer has purchased.

    This is clearly analgous to the aftermarket parts for cars - except that the law treats the two cases differently.

  12. Wang N Staines


    Why doesn't Sony provide some sort of backup util for the games?

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      I agree

      They should do, or rather offer a way to cache the game content onto the HDD. It could still require the original disk to be inserted for validation but play from the HDD thereafter. The 360 does something like this and it's popular. Biggest fly in the ointment is that PS3 games have the potential to be huge which could make the feature more useful for some games than others.

      Some PS3 games do require a mandatory install, but IMO this is down to poor programming than anything else. HDD installs should be optional and preferably done in the background on first use.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Wait a minute...

        " 360 does something like this and it's popular."

        Except what "journelists" (bloggers) like to forget about it and then write stories about GT5 having a 10GB install... (good job the Xbox is not capable of running GT5, as it would therefore need a 40GB install)...

  13. copsewood
    Big Brother

    human rights versus copyrights

    The freedom to tinker and to express views on technical discoveries made through tinkering may be exercised legitimately by fewer than those who are interested in using similar techniques for copyright infringment. But that doesn't justify criminalising ownership and use of tools which have legitimate uses. It also doesn't justify criminalising expressions of knowledge gained using such tools, because freedom of expression is guaranteed by the supreme levels of law: the US Bill of Rights and the ECHR. Copyright has a lower legal status, so protection of copyright e.g. by banning devices whose main but not sole purpose is copyright infringement doesn't justify laws which suppress technical tinkering and expressions of knowledge gained from this, e.g. in the form of silicon chips.

    For a story making this issue more accessible see:

  14. Highlander

    Um....The problem that all the defenders of this thing are forgetting is simple

    It's illegal. No, it's not illegal to make a mod chip. This device is illegal, and will be banned simply because it is a cloned Sony service key. Those things are protected by patent(s) and/or copyrights and/or strict licensing. Not only that but the backup application that is distributed to work with this thing uses unlicensed code from an unlicensed Sony SDK. Sony has plenty of grounds to block this device and not because it breaks their security - which isn't a sound defense in some places, but because of the nature of the device and it's software.

    As for the arguments about backing up game discs. well, yes if BluRay discs were not nearly scratch proof that might be a legitimate argument. However since they are virtually scratch proof, and at very least extremely scratch resistant, that backup argument doesn't hold much water. the truth of the matter is that this is a piracy (aka theft) enablement device. Nothing more, nothing less.

    As for the whole car/iPod analogy. That's not in any way applicable. the iPod doesn't have the ability to disable the alarms, locks and engine management system. A more accurate comparison would be if someone started selling a device that was a clone of a Ford service device used by Ford and Ford dealers to interrogate the car's computers and reprogram the alarm and locks. I'm pretty sure that in that case not only would Ford act like Sony has here, but they'd win.

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Err, no

      I think you'll find that in some jurisdictions that reverse engineering is legal. So the unlicensed SDK stuff is just tough shit. A sale is a sale, take it and move on.

      "As for the arguments about backing up game discs. well, yes if BluRay discs were not nearly scratch proof that might be a legitimate argument. However since they are virtually scratch proof, and at very least extremely scratch resistant, that backup argument doesn't hold much water."

      Do you really believe that? Optical media is shithouse when it comes to scratches. Just leave them anywhere within reach of an inquisitive child and prepare to be educated.

    2. Mark 65 Silver badge

      @Highlander, car analogy

      A suitable car analogy would be modifying the engine management system. It's legal and there's plenty of after market suppliers.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    PAL TV's.

    "Interestingly, in addition to Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is also registered as a plaintiff."

    Not suprise if you understand how Sony do things, Sony Computer Entertainment Australia really is run by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Sounds strange but it is that is the fact of the matter. It all down to fact "down under" they used Phase Alternate Line (PAL) TV's. All regions that use PAL is managed by SCEE.

  16. David Webb

    Horse, Door, Bolted

    The exploit is out there, people are making clones, stopping the companies will not change that fact it just buys Sony a little time to figure out how to patch it without breaking their own methods to boot a console to dev.

    I don't buy the argument for "home brew" in the slightest. No one has purchased a PS3 with the intention of running homebrew on it because the PS3 was unable to do so, I'm pretty sure very few people have any working knowledge of programming for the Cell processor either.

    The device is built for piracy and piracy alone, going on the veiled impression that it'll only be used for legitimate means when we all know that people are salivating about being able to save £50 a time and download a game rather than pay for it.

    PC piracy, endemic, but a few pirates will torrent a game and if they like it, go out and purchase the full retail copy, how many Xbox owners after flashing their DVD and burning an ISO like the game so much they then buy the retail copy, in effect having 2 DVD's of the same game? How many PS3 pirates will download a 26Gb image over a week or however long it takes, will go out and purchase the full retail copy of games they enjoy?

    Maybe all future games will come with an update that *must* be installed that will block the device meaning pirates will be limited to only games currently available, and never having the ability to go online, giving them a nice, expensive, brick.

  17. Vinney

    I think everyone is missing the point here......

    Banning this mod-chip ... will not prevent it coming to market. Yes it will more difficult to purchase - but at the end of the day there will be ways and means of getting one.

    Sony are wasting their time / money - they forget where there is a will there will be away which is evident in the efforts that have gone into this modchip over the past 3/4 years since the Ps3 was released

    The game's over - Sony will have to go back to the drawing board and improve it's protection.

  18. Davin S. George
    Thumb Down

    Good Bye Sony

    And this is another reason I'm glad I've ditched the PS3 as a gaming platform and am looking for a new television which also WON'T be a Sony.

    When the company you have purchased an item from then updates it to remove a feature you're using how can they expect you to be happy? I brought the PS3 for the Linux component as well as the gaming and blueray. But when they took that away they no longer distinguish themselves from the competition. So like many others I know I'm voting with my feet and I'll no longer buy Sony as a platform.

    What has this cost them? Maybe no much but then my new television, media centre and stereo won't be a Sony at all. And a lot of my friends and colleagues actively take an interest in technology and what I have myself and I can tell you I will no longer consider Sony a suitable and appropriate brand for home entertainment.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Cut off your nose to spite your face?

      But then some things Sony make are best of what is available - such as Video Cameras, TVs and Games Consoles. I even remember when the best VCRs were Sony.

      If you block a company like this you lose the opportunity to buy some of the best kit, and it is generally you who miss out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Not true.

        Sony USED to make the best of breed products in several areas.

        They certainly don't anymore.

        And for all those ex customers Sony have p*****d off, there are plenty of other choices these days.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    I thought Modchips are legal in Australia and Hong Kong? How come Sony isn't getting slapped for trying to stop people from playing their imported PS1/PS2 games as well as watching imported DVDs and Blu-Rays? on their PS3?

  20. Tigra 07

    Banning hardware mods in Australias near future?

    Once again Sony try to play the good guy, while common sense is absent.

    They claimed to be the good guys with the DRM debaccle aswell, now they want to ban hardware mods

  21. Graham Jordan

    I'd like to get my hands on one of these...

    I'm probably one of the minority that would like one of these to run the game from disc and not blu-ray. That really would be my only use for one, I care not for pirating games, I like my original shiny disc on a bookcase too much to even consider pirating.

    If this tool stops momentary glitches in games then count me in. Those few iffy moments during ffxiii were an upset, this was the most beautiful game in the world ruined by loading times.

    If this dongle lets me play from hdd then I want. If its merely a backup tool then count me out.

    Alas I feel I really would be one of the few that'd use it for this purpose, for every user with a legitimate reason there'd be several thousands just wanting to play pirated games.

    Having said that, regardless of which way it goes, this won't be the end of piracy on the PS3. This is just the beginning.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sony vs their tech savvy and cheesed off customers?

    Foregone conclusion - just as successful as the record industry vs their customers.

    Still it keeps the lawyers in jobs...

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021