backtop


Print 116 comment(s) - last by KOOLTIME.. on Jun 23 at 2:21 PM


Telling users how to remove restraints on consoles they legally own may cost a German man his freedom. But faced with a damning Sony lawsuit, he says the company should "just kill" him as he won't give up his quest to free users.  (Source: Icon Productions/Paramount Pictures)

Those who oppose Sony's tactics are encouraged to support a boycott and/or to donate to Mr. Egorenkov. Anonymous and other groups have also called for ongoing attacks on Sony's online properties in retaliation.  (Source: Google Images)
Sony harassment of the modding/hacking community continues even as it faces a record number of intrusions

People often ask what exactly Sony Corp. (6758) did to convince hackers groups like LulzSec and Anonymous to hack the company 19 times so far [1][2][3][4][5][6][7].  An answer may lie in cases like that of Alexander Egorenkov.

Mr. Egorenkov, a young German and associate of the team of German hardware hackers fail0verflow helped people jailbreak the PlayStation 3 by authoring the "Hypervisor Bible" [torrent] a guide to Sony's PS3 software protection layer.  Mr. Egorenkov, who goes by "graf_chokolo" online, says his goal was simply to allow people to make full use of the hardware they legally bought.

Sony initially encouraged Linux (OtherOS) installs on PS3s, but with the launch of the PS3 Slim killed the support and issued patches that blocked existing machines from utilizing the newly disallowed Linux.

When famed U.S. iPhone hacker George "GeoHot" Hotz and the folks at fail0verflow hacked the PS3 and reallowed Linux via jailbreak, an outraged Sony lashed out.  Harassing Mr. Hotz with court-aided intrusions into his private online accounts, Sony similarly worked to punish Mr. Egorenkov for trying to free users from Sony's restraints.

They convinced German authorities to raid Mr. Egorenkov's home and seize his personal computers and electronics.  They also filed suit against him in Hamburg District Court (Docket no. 310 O 24/11) for 1M € (appr. $1.43M USD) in damages.  The court ordered him to take down any copies of the "Hypervisor Bible".  

Mr. Egorenkov refused to comply.  He uploaded a backup copy of "coolstuff.rar", which Sony's lawyer Peter Ruess says includes "copies, decrypted copies and reverse-engineered information of files belonging to the confidential core firmware used in the PlayStation3 which is distributed by our client."  

Backups were given to friends to prevent Sony's efforts to permanently remove the guide.

Sony motioned for Mr. Egorenkov to be found in violation of court order, which a Hamburg judge affirmed.  A defiant Mr. Egorenkov writes that Sony would have to kill him to keep him silent.  He writes:
The SONY's lawyer asked me why I'm doing what I'm doing, because of my hatred for SONY? He cannot understand why I'm doing it, because he is paid for what he does. I'm not. I don't hold a grudge against SONY even now Hatred clouds your mind, keeps you from more important things. I have a better use for my mind and knowledge.

So, SONY you failed again, you took my equipment but my mind is still free and you canot control it. You failed again. They are just tools, I can get new ones and will continue my HV reversing and bringing back PS3 Linux which you took from us. If you want me to stop then you should just kill me because I cannot live without programming, HV and Linux kernel hacking You know who am I and where I live, so come and get me !!!
(Capitalization edited for readability.)

Well, unlike GeoHot who was fortunate enough to earn a reportedly favorable settlement with Sony, Mr. Egorenkov was not so fortunate.  He's reportedly bankrupt and has been ordered to go to prison in Germany if he can't find a way to pay up for his court costs and damages to Sony.

He writes on his blog:
Hi guys, no money left anymore. Going to jail soon probably because I cannot pay court costs.

But I'm ready to stand up for everything I said and go to jail for that too. It’s not important to win, more important is to show them that we are ready to fight, that they cannot scare me off easily. Yeah, I'm ready to go to jail for my believes and my principles.

Most of people probably think that all computer and kernel hackers are weak kids, hiding in a cellar, eating pizza whole day, writing software and looking for attention Maybe, but that’s NOT me. And I will get out eventually and continue my work. My work means very much to me.
(Capitalization edited for readability.)

People interested in supporting Mr. Egorenkov's efforts to retain his freedom are encouraged to donate here.

It's sad the inconvenience to gamers that the recent attacks on Sony have caused.  But one has to wonder if Sony isn't partially to blame for it, given its belligerent stance towards its most tech-savvy users.

This behavior stands in sharp contrast with rivals Nintendo (TYO:7974) who has long cast a blind eye on jailbreaking and pirated software and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) who at worst banned modders from using its online service, but more recently has taken a gentler stance working with top Windows Phone 7 jailbreakers to offer a (legal) jailbreak at "a small fee".


Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By superstition on 6/19/2011 1:28:15 PM , Rating: 3
"If the government was small and stayed out of people's business"

I know the small government fallacy is popular, but I suggest looking at it carefully. What it generally is is a bit of cognitive dissonance inducing rhetorical trickery designed to hand the keys of the economy to plutocrats.

Government needs to be able to meet the needs of its citizens. How large it is depends upon that. A government that is too "small" (inefficiently inadequate) will fail just as much as a government that's too "large" (inefficiently bloated).

This large vs. small stuff is a distraction. What really matters are the details. Example: "Is the government, via the judiciary, able to keep up with the fast pace of technological development by moving cases through at an adequate pace, with adequate results?"The answer to that seems to be no. Tech cases often drag on for too long and members of the judiciary often struggle to deal with highly technical issues. Well, the judiciary tends to be the least corrupt branch of our government, so if it's failing, good luck with the rest of it. Congress is primarily filled with plutocratic carnival barkers, and the White House is invariably occupied by people with dictatorial (and plutocratic, of course) aspirations.

The American health care system is extremely mediocre, largely because government is not involved enough. A large majority of citizens wanted a public option, but our government, being in bed with corporations, decided that what the public wanted didn't matter. America is falling behind the rest of the world in many areas, and it's not because our government is "too large". It's because it's not doing enough to keep us competitive. Instead, corporations/banks/Wall Street are bleeding us dry and have been for many years. An ignorant public that shops at Wal-Mart, thus enriching the Chinese -- is only partially to blame. Our government is supposed to be made up of people who are educated and distinguished enough to represent the common folk well, better than they represent themselves. They're supposed to safeguard the people against corporate outsourcing and other corruptions.

Instead, though, they do the opposite because they're inextricably tied to the corporations/Wall Street/banks. And their loyalties, far from lying with the public, lie elsewhere -- and not only in America. Multinational/globalized business is making nations increasingly little more than mirages used to fool the public, while the money continues to flow away from the US or gets trapped with super wealth hoarders.


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki