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01 Sonywar-2

Congrats to SONY – Now 50% of the DMCAs on GitHub, a milestone to be proud of for sure. But wait, there’s more!

Alexander Egorenkov, known as ‘Graf_Chokolo’ on the internet, was targeting by Sony after hacking the PS3 last year in an attempt to restore OtherOS to the system.

Egorenkov was subsequently sued by Sony and forced to take all material relating to the hack down from his site, which has since been replaced by a donations page to help pay for a court battle with the platform holder.

It seems though that funds have run out for Graf_Chokolo and he is expecting to be sentenced to prison. He told his supporters on his own site this week:

“Hi guys, no money left anymore. Going to jail soon probably because i cannot pay court costs.

Read more. And see our previous article for round up.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Kevin Bates says:

    And we wonder why sony gets hacked… 

  2. Kevin Bates says:

    And we wonder why sony gets hacked… 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sony is permanently blackballed from my tech purchasing decision process.  Frankly they’re generally overpriced anyway, so not a big loss for me.  Their heyday is long since passed on the engineering front, so keeping it out of my house isn’t going to be too hard. 

  4. Eric Cherry says:

    Can we hook him up with refugee status?

  5. kenneth says:

    Alternative title: Congrats to Hackers – Now 50% of the Breaches of Intellectual Property Rights Declared on GitHub AND A Guy Who Clearly Signed Something Then Broke the Rules for His Own Amusement After Repeated Warnings Going to Prison (Subtitle: In Other News, Your Personal Information is Being Thrown Around Like Chess Pieces in the Name of Someone Else’s Agendas)

    1. Anonymous says:

      @openid-89803:disqus the person mentioned here wanted to install linux on a device that was advertised as supporting linux. i don’t think he should go to prison for that.

      1. kenneth says:

        He installed an update that had new terms, and agreed to those terms. Linux was removed as an option because of hackers abusing the original privilege of having it in the first place. It’s chicken-and-egg, and Sony is the sole Bad Guy?

        1. Anonymous says:

          @openid-89803:disqus how were “hackers abusing the original privilege of having it in the first place”? and why should customers who purchased something suffer because of what someone else does?

          sony does not need to pursue this kid, they should spend their resources on security, fixing their problems and not going after makers.

          so yes, sony is the bad guy.

          1. Kevin says:

            Not only that, but the kid didn’t have the opportunity to return his purchase if he didn’t agree to the new terms. This is called bait-and-switch.

          2. Anonymous says:

            @yahoo-2TBCNYY7QYA6AWPP2JRECRLEOE:disqus correct and a good point that no one seems to bring up enough!

          3. riley porter says:

            Upgrade or nothing will work.  Netfilx, New games, PSN network.. Yah thats not really a choice.

  6. Drew Harwell says:

    That picture should instead read: “Phillip Torrone’s War on Sony”.

    1. Kevin Bates says:

      Obvious fanboy is obvious

    2. Kevin Bates says:

      Obvious fanboy is obvious

    3. Anonymous says:

      @facebook-505386939:disqus what specifically have i done to sony?

      1. Anonymous says:

        While I may not totally agree with the OP (I don’t think you have declared any kind of war), but I think it would be fair to say that you’ve been quite outspoken on Sony as of late. Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that. :-D

      2. Anonymous says:

        While I may not totally agree with the OP (I don’t think you have declared any kind of war), but I think it would be fair to say that you’ve been quite outspoken on Sony as of late. Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that. :-D

        1. Anonymous says:

          @wifigod:disqus thanks, i think it’s part of MAKE’s charter to keep tabs and write about things like this. i think sony is completely out of control and they’re specifically targeting makers, hackers and innovators.

          1. Anonymous says:

            I definitely agree and always appreciate the information you guys share. :-)

            In a semi-related note, this post makes me want to pick Makers back up and finish it!

    4. riley porter says:

      Reporters report… They dont declare war on “stories”.  Phil is reporting.. ***insert something disarming about our apparent total difference of opinion here***  :)

  7. Gregg says:

    Outside of that gentleman, what about the others? Can Sony actually prove it? Or are they just using Github as a victim of the rubber chicken stunt?

    1. Anonymous says:

      @yahoo-TYJUFVXRH2DWLTHSLBO2ENEEHQ:disqus good question, i think SONY is going for a shock-and-awe, scorched earth strategy – so they picked on two kids for the most part.

  8. Gregg says:

    Outside of that gentleman, what about the others? Can Sony actually prove it? Or are they just using Github as a victim of the rubber chicken stunt?

  9. TotalMonkey says:

    Why not just not buy their overpriced products in the first place, particularly when you don’t own the right to use what you’ve purchased in a way that you want? It’s like buying a food processor and getting threatened with jail time if you chop ice.

  10. 海浪 says:

    sony is very good, but his stuff is expensive, can not afford.
    http://www.jawcrushercn.com

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sony died as an innovation-friendly company when they started buying movies and other content. The pre-movie-studio Sony fought FOR consumers and fair use, and won (Betamax). Today’s Sony values licensing and DRM over all else. It’s as clear a case of going over to the Dark Side as you can imagine. I bet there are still lots of engineers at Sony that would love to encourage innovation and hacking, but they’ve been beat down by Howard Stringer’s legal army. Akio Morita must be crying in his grave. Also, If US antitrust cops were doing their jobs, hardware companies would not be allowed to own content, and content companies would not be allowed to own internet pipes. There is no faster way to screw consumers.

  12. They’re not specifically targeting makers, hackers and innovators.  Where’s your evidence for this?    Sony are protecting what they see as their IP, same as every other business in the world.  It’s not clear what graf_choloko “made” per se – he cracked their system but didn’t do anything with that.  Then he went and posted their code all over the internet, which is (it turns out) a crime.  Now Sony are issuing DMCA takedown notices, which is their legal and moral right.

    This is an attack on Sony on principle, not on any sound logical basis.  And yeah I think some Make readers are getting kinda bored with reading about every minor development in the graf_choloko saga, seeing as it has absolutely nothing to do with making stuff, but is more about an assumed “maker’s politics” which we don’t in fact all share.

    1. migpics says:

      I agree with you Eddie on your first paragraph and I’ve mentioned this before, that Sony is within the law protecting their rights to their IP. 
      As we have seen though, with Kinect etc., there seems to be a significant advantage to a company to open themselves up to the world and ride this wave of what some people see as a maker movement and harness maker creativity while still profiting from it.
      Again, maybe a better approach than bashing Sony is to appeal to them on some large forum and sit and have a diologue with them.  Has this ever been formally attempted?  Make could lead the way.
       

      1. Anonymous says:

        @twitter-26693473:disqus i contacted sony directly via email, phone and letter – they have not replied. i invited them to maker faire to give a talk, i emailed and called the sony japan office.

        no one is “bashing” them here at MAKE, i am however pointing out what they are doing.

        i completely agree, they need to be more like microsoft and kinect.

        1. migpics says:

          Fantastic!  I just saw this post and the new one about Geohot.  Sorry for making the reference to Sony Bashing. 
          Did you mean to make a pun on your post?
          ‘They need to be more like Microsoft and kinect (connect?)’.  That can be the new mantra for corporations. 
          Be like Microsoft and Kinect with Makers.  :)

    2. Anonymous says:

      @facebook-573947768:disqus please review my previous article where i detail and provide specific evidence on sony’s history of targeting makers. from DIY ipod cases to aibo hackers, sony goes after them.

      this is the first and likely the only time MAKE has covered graf_choloko – i think it’s an important story to mention at least once, but that’s about it for now. you’re welcome to search the archives.

      that said, it 100% has to do with making stuff, as makers buy hardware to *do what they* want with it, some companies chose to sue and harass them, sony in my opinion is one of the worst.

  13. Francesco Greco says:

    the only reason people try to root ps3 is pirating games, end of the story.
    Want to innovate, create, and so on? Don’t buy a PS3. It’s full of powerfull hardware for making everything you want, stop saying it’s for “creators, innovators”, it’s just about playing free games and cheating.

    1. Edward Steel says:

      Tell that to the USAF.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @google-a910eb95ed1052b8f2651e670400de57:disqus that is not correct the air force (as well as other scientific groups) made clusters of ps3s using the linux feature, now they can’t. research like this ranges from aerospace to medical research. SONY sold the ps3 with this feature.

      1. 影月 says:

        According to what I’ve read Sony gives out special firmware that continues to allow the Linux boot feature to organizations that need it and can prove valid use. The USAF and other scientific groups should still be able to run it if that information is true.

        1. Anonymous says:

          can you provide more information about that, links, etc? thanks!

    3. Anonymous says:

      @google-a910eb95ed1052b8f2651e670400de57:disqus that is not correct the air force (as well as other scientific groups) made clusters of ps3s using the linux feature, now they can’t. research like this ranges from aerospace to medical research. SONY sold the ps3 with this feature.

    4. Anonymous says:

      @google-a910eb95ed1052b8f2651e670400de57:disqus that is not correct the air force (as well as other scientific groups) made clusters of ps3s using the linux feature, now they can’t. research like this ranges from aerospace to medical research. SONY sold the ps3 with this feature.

    5. Anonymous says:

      @google-a910eb95ed1052b8f2651e670400de57:disqus that is not correct the air force (as well as other scientific groups) made clusters of ps3s using the linux feature, now they can’t. research like this ranges from aerospace to medical research. SONY sold the ps3 with this feature.

  14. 影月 says:

    Phillip, as much as I’ve given you flack for blasting Sony (and on many of your points I still think you’re not seeing Sony’s side) I totally agree with you on this one. Getting the guy to stop is one thing, sending him to jail is another.

    Sony America needs a new legal department, and they need to realize they could be harnessing some of these hackers to actually improve things. The Linux loader feature was misused and in the end allowed for copied games to be played. Locking out that feature was the responsible and correct response, as a business, for Sony to protect their content developers. If hackers are stepping up who want to add that feature back -for the express legitimate purpose of running Linux and not boot-jacking to play pirated games- then Sony should give them the chance to make a more secure boot loader.That would be a mutually-beneficial situation, would be good PR, and though it would be a bit of a pain for Sony working with the free-radicals I doubt it would be very costly.

    And again may I just point out Sony Japan doesn’t do things like this. They are not a company I like by any means – I avoid Sony products in favor of Sharp, Toshiba, Panasonic, Fujitsu, and even Casio. Still, the fact remains Sony of Japan is not driven by an overbearing legal department.

    1. Anonymous says:

      thanks, i appreciate that. and i’ve also agreed before (and will again) sony japan is not sony america.

    2. Anonymous says:

      thanks, i appreciate that. and i’ve also agreed before (and will again) sony japan is not sony america.

  15. Gardy says:

    Phillip,

    I think you are taking a rather one sided look at this situation.

    I am not saying that I agree with Sony, and the way they have handled these situations, but I think that the maker/hacker community has to take their share of lumps in this quagmire.

    While it may be wonderful to run other OSes on the PS3 (as lots of clustering user have done), Sony had to remove it when people started to use the other OS option to hack the game/blu-ray security on the system. Sony has to try to protect their shareholders, the software/game developers and also the music/video groups that depend on the system security. The hacker/maker community is suffering because of this, but if Sony loses the confidence of those 3 groups they will not have a valid product to produce.

    Are the majority being punished because of the acts of a few? Yes, absolutely. But the hacker community does a poor job at best to regulate their own, so what recourse does a company have?

    GT

    P.S.
    As a side note, is a 19 year old a “kid”, not too much of a kid to smoke, vote and be asked to give their life in a war.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @twitter-155631437:disqus why does the maker community need to “take lumps” – that’s like saying the paying customers of PSN need to take their lumps for buying a sony product that got hacked, it doesn’t make any sense.

      you bought it, you own it, you can install whatever you want on it – more so when sony sells you a device that says “please install linux on this”.

      that’s one issue.

      the next one, i think the person here was 17 or 18 when this started, i think with people living to over 100 that’s a “kid” but i’ll say young adult if that makes more sense.

      1. Gardy says:

        Phillip,

        Essentially my point was that the hacker/maker community was intertwined for good and bad. If some bad seeds in the hacker community released code that allows the security of the system to be compromised, I am not sure a way exists to only punish those individuals.

        I am not saying that is right. I am saying that Sony as a company did not have many options. I would love to hear your solution to combating game&movie piracy on the PS3 while allowing everyone full control of the system. (“Never point out a problem without providing a few alternative solutions” – from Sunday’s “Tips My Dad Says” on Make at: http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/06/tips-my-dad-says-downloadable-card.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+makezineonline+%28Make%3A+Online%29&utm_content=Google+Reader)

        Finally, if the “kid” was 17, 18 or 19, I think it sucks, but that same individual would be held as an adult in the US courts regardless of how old people live to. Sometimes you don’t fully understand the ramifications of what you did until it is too late.

        1. Anonymous says:

          @twitter-155631437:disqus sony could have easily made it so you could install linux and there would not be security issues, this is not science fiction fantasy, it’s very possible. sony didn’t give up the PSN business when it was hacked.

          you say “I am not saying that is right. I am saying that Sony as a company did not have many options.” great, take a stand, say it was wrong. and they *do* have options here, george hotz is not going to prison, should this “kid” need to go?

          keep in mind i’ve contacted sony dozens of time regarding this, inviting them to maker faire, asking them send a post for our site her, coming up with solutions, all ignored.

          sony is out of control, we’re calling them on it – you should too.

          1. Gardy says:

            I am taking a stand and saying you are trying to paint things black and white when it is just not that simple.

            This is the first I have ever heard that “Sony could have easily made it so you could install linux and there would not be security issues”. Unless I am vastly mistaken, the decryption chip is part of the hardware of the PS3 and the OS of the system can address any connected hardware (in fact that is what what George Hotz did), so that would inherently make the system open to security issues.

            George Hotz could have gone to prison, but avoided it by settling with Sony. Since the information in this case is a little ‘light’, Alexander may have been offered a settlement, or may still be but we dont know.

            There is a fine line between a civil discussion and name calling. I and a number of other people (at least from the comments on this and your other recent posts) are saying that you may have crossed that line.

          2. Anonymous says:

            @twitter-155631437:disqus what line did i cross, please be specific. and where is the name calling? again, be specific.

            pointing out that sony is 50% of the DCMAs on github and that a german kid going to prision because he wanted to install linux on his ps3 is not crossing any line. in fact, i’m linking to stories about these things – MAKE (and myself) are not doing original reporting on this, it’s newsworthy and others are covering it.

            have you spent as much time telling sony what they did was wrong as posting here if you agree it’s wrong?

          3. Gardy says:

            I can if you wish to go down that path to point out specifics, like when you started your Sony’s War on Makers posts and commented “creeps like SONY”. Link Here:http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/04/breaking-news-sonys-war-on-hackers-tinkerers-and-innovators-settlement-in-george-hotz-case.htmlBut I would rather not. I did not start this comment thread to attack you, I started it to say that you may need to look at this from a fresh perspective. I have read your posts for quite some time and I was hoping that you would be able to take a look at this in a different way and be able to understand why people may be off-put by your tone.As far as how I have spent my time. No, I have not been spending tons of time telling Sony that they were wrong, mostly because they are within their rights legally. Instead, I have actually spent a fair amount of time and money trying to support causes that take on what I see as the root of this problem, the DMCA. I believe that as long as businesses have a legal course of action against makers, that this kind of thing will happen again and again. Companies like Sony will continue to take hard-line stances, because they are legally in the right (regardless of how the maker community feels), until the DMCA is changed/removed.

          4. Anonymous says:

            @twitter-155631437:disqus i specifically said “When you win against creepy large companies like SONY, this is what it
            looks like – it’s gross and unsatisfying, but it is winning.” calling SONY creeps is pretty accurate, you even said you didn’t like what they’re doing – creeps is pretty tame and appropriate i think?

            i’ll try to avoid calling them creeps, but even removing that one instance from my post still doesn’t change anything really.

            i’m glad you’re getting involved with changing the DMCA – but you really should also tell sony they’re wrong, just pop off an email – it takes less time then being miffed at me for calling sony creeps.

            lastly, i don’t mind looking at this with a fresh perspective, i’ve even asked/begged sony to drop the case against this kid and consider a SDK, or dropping the case and working out something else – prison for this, completely over the top. they’ve ignored every email and phone call.

            drop me an email pt@makezine.com with a specific post on how sony can change for the better for makers and i’ll post it.

          5. Anonymous says:

            @twitter-155631437:disqus i specifically said “When you win against creepy large companies like SONY, this is what it
            looks like – it’s gross and unsatisfying, but it is winning.” calling SONY creeps is pretty accurate, you even said you didn’t like what they’re doing – creeps is pretty tame and appropriate i think?

            i’ll try to avoid calling them creeps, but even removing that one instance from my post still doesn’t change anything really.

            i’m glad you’re getting involved with changing the DMCA – but you really should also tell sony they’re wrong, just pop off an email – it takes less time then being miffed at me for calling sony creeps.

            lastly, i don’t mind looking at this with a fresh perspective, i’ve even asked/begged sony to drop the case against this kid and consider a SDK, or dropping the case and working out something else – prison for this, completely over the top. they’ve ignored every email and phone call.

            drop me an email pt@makezine.com with a specific post on how sony can change for the better for makers and i’ll post it.

  16. Ninety Nein says:

    To agree with Sony’s philosophy means that you accept that they have the right to dictate what you can do with hardware you’ve purchased.  To all the folks saying they have a right to protect their IP, how far does that right extend?  What if tomorrow, Sony decided that due to IP issues, they will remove the ability to play games on the PS3, and it will now only function as a media device?  Would you all be singing the same tune?  Do all your arguments still apply?  I think it’s easy to justify in your mind, the removal of functionality that you don’t use.  Personally, the ability to run Linux was the deciding factor for me to purchase this device, just as I’m sure many of you purchased it for gaming.  

    1. Anonymous says:

      @yahoo-AGASAOOWOITARSNBRC3AKTPNNQ:disqus thanks, another voice of reason :)