Monday, 30 August 2010

Australia Sets Injunction On PS Jailbreak Sales, Gives Sony Control Of Inventory

Sony has won what Ars Technica calls a "small victory" against companies selling PS Jailbreak, the USB-based device that promises to allow full control of PlayStation 3 systems, including the ability to copy and play games without a disc, essentially allowing full piracy of the system. The injunction, which expires on August 31st, prevents doing just about anything with the device, including using or giving them to someone. The injunction also states that resellers of the device are forced to sell Sony the device so that Sony can investigate the modchip and presumably patch around it.

The last part of the ruling essentially gives Sony full control of PS Jailbreak in Australia.

It should be noted that Australian law is a bit different than American law when it comes to devices such as this. In Australia, the mere act of modding a system is not seen as illegal; it's only illegal if that modification is then used to play unauthorized games. To use a bit of a classical example, downloading a Nintendo Entertainment System emulator is legal, but then downloading Super Mario Bros. is not. In America, the law is a bit murkier. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) forbids breaking the encryption of a protected document or system to copy or modify something without permission, though the recent ruling against Apple that makes jailbreaking could act as the precedent to make PS Jailbreak legal in the U.S. (the decision only applies to mobile phones), as it technically allows legitimate use. Furthermore, legal challenges to the R4 have been unsuccessful, though Nintendo continues to file suits in civil court.

In the UK, the law is cut and dried: devices such as this are banned, as decided by the High Court when they banned the R4.

If precedent means anything in Australia, then PS Jailbreak resellers are likely in trouble, if the judgment against RSJ. IT Solutions back in February is any indication.

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