PlayStation 3 Other OS class action suit dismissed

Gamasutra reports that the class action lawsuit brought against Sony last year over the removal of the "Other OS" feature in PlayStation 3 systems has been dismissed on all counts by a federal judge.

The Other OS feature was designed to allow users to install versions of the Linux operating system onto the console for the purpose of using homebrew applications, gaining access to more customization options and other legal uses. Sony removed the feature in April of 2010 as part of a major firmware upgrade in an attempt to counter exploits that were being used to "jailbreak" the system, allowing users to run unauthorized and pirated software.

Anthony Ventura, a California resident, filed the class action lawsuit against Sony Computer Entertainment America a few weeks later, claiming an "intentional disablement of the valuable functionalities originally advertised as available" on SCEA's part. Eight claims were included in Ventura's suit, alleging breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, unjust enrichment, violation of the Unfair Competition Law, conversion, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

SCEA denied the claims and moved to dismiss the case in September of 2010, stating that the PlayStation 3 System Software License agreement and PlayStation Network Terms of Service allowed the company to update and modify the firmware however it wanted.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed all counts but the violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and allowed the plaintiffs to amend their claims. However, the judge said last week that the amendments failed to address "the previously identified deficiencies" of the original suit and granted SCEA's motion to dismiss. He did not allow the plaintiffs to amend their claims again.

Seeborg argued that Other OS will still work in PlayStation 3 systems unless the user chooses to disable it by upgrading the firmware. His statement read:

The dismay and frustration at least some PS3 owners likely experienced when Sony made the decision to limit access to the PSN service to those who were willing to disable the Other OS feature on their machines was no doubt genuine and understandable.

As a matter of providing customer satisfaction and building loyalty, it may have been questionable. As a legal matter, however, plaintiffs have failed to allege facts or to articulate a theory on which Sony may be held liable.

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