Adelaidian Michael Trebilcock, like a true Australian hero, took Sony to court to try to get $800 back after they crippled his PlayStation 3 by removing the OtherOS feature. Unfortunately he recently announced
that he lost the case:
OK, so in the end, it was ruled that I was bound to the EULAs, and not mislead (having read the EULA).
It is of course in my opinion that if an EULA says "We can remove any feature in a future update" (which it doesn't in those words, but just as an example) and a representative says "We won't remove X feature", then the latter statement overrules the EULA in that particular instance relating to that feature.
Basically, the judgment seems to imply that the EULA you agree to when you open your PlayStation 3 is the ultimate decider, and even trumps your rights as a consumer to not have advertised functionality remotely removed or disabled from your product, after you have paid for it and been using it.
We spoke briefly to the very busy Colin Jacobs from Electronic Frontiers Australia
AusGamers on the subject:
There's an increasing trend for manufacturers to limit what their users can do with their own hardware, and companies won't hesitate to use the law to prevent people playing with their own property when they can. Consumers should have a right to enjoy their own devices as they see fit including hacking them - many of the current generation of engineers cut their teeth this way. If the move to locked-down devices continues, it will represent a significant erosion in the rights of consumers and will stifle creativity to boot.
We also chatted briefly to Michael via email; you can read our quick Q&A session
with him for his take.