As many of you are aware Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) is taking legal action against a hero of the people. There is a lot of love for geohotz in the community and Sony hopes that by attacking him, the community will loose heart and the efforts to circumvent their access control system on the Playstation 3 (PS3) will cease.
The fact in these matters is that man can never completely outsmart man. The only advantage one has in mind games like these is the number of minds at your disposal. SCEA knows full well that the consumer base has at their disposal far greater numbers in terms of coders and thinkers than they have in their development team. It is for precisely this reason that they have chosen to attack a figure head of the opposition. Only if they can get us to stop trying will they ever truly regain control over the PS3. If we stay the course, it is not a matter of if the PS3 will be hacked again and we see new custom firmware for our machines, it is a question of when.
Now, the fact of the matter is that in order to attack geohot they have claimed jurisdiction under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA "criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works." And it would seem at first that this monster of a bill would indeed give them the power to convict geohot. It is through the DMCA that SCEA issued takedown notices to every site hosting the work of geohot that they could legally reach. Yet it is the very document they cling to so tightly that condemns them to failure.
In another scene, the battle against corporate control has been fought on a much larger scale, and today news of jailbroken iPhones seem not like news at all. It is true that today removing the access control from a smart phone is an extremely common procedure. This practice has brought the legality of such practices to light and recently the Library of Congress, the ruling body over the DMCA, has made a decision.
Today I have designated six classes of works. Persons who circumvent access controls in order to engage in noninfringing uses of works in these six classes will not be subject to the statutory prohibition against circumvention.Remember that SCEA is in the business of producing "Personal Computer Entertainment Systems". These exceptions DO apply to geohot's work. He in no way endorses the use of his discoveries for any purpose other than good faith activities with lawfully obtained works. In fact to do so would require the use of additional software which he does not provide. Even backup managers are not illegal if they are not able to distribute copies of the data.The six classes of works are:
(1) Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:
(i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
(ii) Documentary filmmaking;
(iii) Noncommercial videos
(2) Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.
(3) Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.
(4) Video games accessible on personal computers and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully obtained works, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing for, investigating, or correcting security flaws or vulnerabilities, if:
(i) The information derived from the security testing is used primarily to promote the security of the owner or operator of a computer, computer system, or computer network; and
(ii) The information derived from the security testing is used or maintained in a manner that does not facilitate copyright infringement or a violation of applicable law.
(5) Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace; and
(6) Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.
Item number 2 above though currently worded only to cover wireless telephone handsets, sets the precedence for an exception the DMCA for homebrew application.
Today Apple has to accept that consumers are free to do whatever they want with the phones they buy, SCEA is not special or different, they too have to accept that their practice of bullying people is not legal in any way.