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Comment This has broader implications (Score 2) 217

Judge Ilston is rightfully concerned about Sony's argument here. If she were to accept their argument, it would be possible for someone to sue you in California if you use PayPal, or have a Twitter account, or a YouTube account, or any other kind of computer account in California. It would effectively create a kind of universal jurisdiction based solely on the fact that you use one of those Internet services. The Federal courts in California are already back-logged enough with just the personal jurisdiction already allowed.

Comment Re:A Real World Analogy (Score 1) 508

It's even worse than that. Continuing the analogy, imagine if Sony kept a property interest in the car, so that if you did open up the hood to look around, they would sue you for trespassing in the property that they believed they owned? I doubt anyone would buy a car that the manufacturer still claimed to own.

Comment Re:Even Sony's lawyers are "epic fail" (Score 1) 508

Well, if your roommate hacks it, they could still ban your console even though your roommate hacked it, since they don't actually know who hacked it. They'll just assume it was you. When you buy something that someone else has already used, their agreement to the EULA could still transfer to you through privity of contract (which is when the previous contract transfers on to the next purchaser, or there is some relationship that transfer rights held by the original signer to the next purchaser.) Of course, Sony's EULA specifically forbids resale of any part of "the Product" (which might include the console itself), but that flies in the face of the first sale doctrine to such an extent as to be effectively unenforceable.

Comment Even Sony's lawyers are "epic fail" (Score 5, Informative) 508

I am not a lawyer (yet... hopefully next week, though,) so this isn't legal advice as much as a deconstruction of their complaint. In terms of mistakes, their first mistake was to sue the members of fail0verflow. It's true that one of them lives in the US, but three of them live in Europe, where the courts are extremely protective of their own citizens. They're gonna have problems with the fact they are trying to sue them under the DMCA (not applicable in Europe), service of process (to serve process on them will literally take months, and if they mess it up, the foreign court could ignore the judgment), proper forum (they say that the EU members have signed a TOS with SCEA, when logic would dictate, seeing as they live in Europe, that they signed one with SCEE, and so they should technically be sued in London or somewhere like that), and personal jurisdiction. They also have to contend with the DMCA exceptions.

The first claim for relief involves the DMCA, which I never studied in law school, and so I'll defer to people who actually know that to explain why that claim wouldn't work. The second claim is where things start to slide into the realm of insanity. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act was a law designed to make it illegal to break into systems that the person DOESN'T OWN. Breaking into your own system (just like breaking into own house), is not supposed to be illegal. So, the only way that this claim would work is if Sony had an ownership interest in the PS3 that they sold you. The fourth claim is rather similar, just based on California state law. The seventh claim for relief is where they go into some strange parallel universe. There, they claim trespass. Trespass is when you invade someone else's property. But how could it be their "property" when they sold you the system? After all, the UCC's implied warranty of title gives any good-faith purchaser for value a clean title to the goods they have purchased. They did access the system, but they bought the system. This means that once you buy the system, you own what's in the system. Well, not everything, mind you, seeing as Sony still owns the actual copyright to the software on the system, but you get the point. What they are essentially claiming here is that the EULA that they require to sign before using your PS3 gives them back an ownership interest in the system sufficient for them to be able to raise trespass claims.

Normally, this kind of thing is dealt with through an EULA (meaning, hacking is a breach of contract), but here they seems to be claiming that the EULA grants them an actual ownership interest in what they sold you. If they were to get relief on those claims, what's to stop others from including contracts included with what they sell you from saying that to use what they have sold you, that you must acknowledge them as the owner of what they just sold you? I dunno, this just seems like another chink in the very concept of private property. Oh well, discuss.

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