The other lot: George Hotz
The big news story the past week or so is definitely that of George Hotz. For all three of you who don’t have a clue about this story here’s the background. Hotz is a renowned hacker famous for iPhone hacks among others but in January of this year he managed to “jailbreak” the PS3. Sony were not best pleased on this and issued a temporary restraining order which was granted by a court in California. This “forbids him from distributing the jailbreak, helping or encouraging others to jailbreak, and distributing information they’ve learned during the creation of the jailbreak. It also orders him to turn over computers and storage media used in the creation of the jailbreak to Sony’s lawyers.” (as taken from wiki) So who’s right in all of this?
Hotz claims that the system and hack was used so that people can install their own software and not to be used for hacking. Sony are obviously not stupid and have pointed out that it will be used for Piracy. Now the question is where do you stand in all of this?
I for one as a gamer am pretty much against piracy, I do use ROMs for games that we never got in the UK or are not safe to buy on eBay (ie any GBA game I don’t have) but as a whole that’s about it. I can see why people want to pirate (free games) but I’m not going to take the moral high ground here on this, it’s just my personal choice nor am I bothered when other people do it. For me it makes you appreciate a game more if you’ve taken the time to get money for it. Sony claim this has led to a decrease in games sales, I haven’t seen any figures on this but I do know the industry as a whole was down a bit with software sales over the past year.
Since day one the Playstation 3 was built as a multimedia device, we have the likes of a blu ray player, Netflix for the US, music channels, PSN etc. Why should the gamer then not be allowed to install their own software? Imagine Microsoft said “yeah you can’t pout your own software on a PC” there would be uproar like no tomorrow. I think this is a good thing to be able to do on your own device as long as it doesn’t break any laws. One such example is the hack on the Wii to allow it to play DVD’s, this adds to the machine and is not illegal to play DVDs now is it? Exactly.