Every time you install or update any of your software, you are expected to agree to or digitally sign an End User Licence Agreement before proceeding. Most of us just skip past it, not wanting to read the confusing legalese anyway.
As we read the volumes of outrage poured in forums and comment-boxes across the net, it now becomes pretty obvious that NO-ONE reads the EULA, because if anyone did, they would have realised that the latest PS3 EULA that seemed draconian to many is in fact very similar to the very first PS3 EULA, which was released way back in December 2006. They both contain the same offending words: “some services may be provided automatically without notice when you are online” and “some services may change your current settings, cause a loss of data or content, or cause some loss of functionality.”
So, while we cannot tell you how well the EULAs will hold up in a court of law, Sony has ‘owned’ your PS3 console since the day you first digitally signed a PS3 EULA and gave your tacit agreement. By owned we mean having the right to modify your console without your permission.
So, PS3 gamers don’t be outraged! Just wonder in slack-jawed amazement why Sony EVER asked for your ‘explicit’ permission to update your firmware, since December 2006. Was it just being nice? Or does it know the EULA doesn’t hold up in court?
Some interesting thoughts on the legality of the matter:
However, PS3 gamers all over the web still feel cheated by Sony’s actions. By removing functionalities from their console, Sony is treading on many toes. For example, if a consumer bought the console specifically to use the once-marketed “Install Other OS”, by taking the functionality away Sony is taking away the reason for buying the device, which can also be treated as property ‘damages’, as the EULA/contract causes ‘damage’ to the system by ‘impairing’ functions. There is precedent to such a court action. Sony has removed many hardware and software functionalities since the console was introduced, by using firmware updates.
Users have also come up in arms to defend the principle of Meeting of the Minds, where a party cannot be legally asked to agree to anything/everything the writer of a contract may say in the future.
In addition, it has been observed that by buying the console, the consumer only ‘owns’ the hardware, and not the software/firmware on the system. While this does not specifically give Sony the right to modify the software, it also limits you from modifying/editing it.