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Sony Censorship Hardware Hacking Build Games Your Rights Online

Sony Sends DMCA Takedown Notice To GitHub 266

Posted by timothy
from the oh-you-own-what-we-say-you-own dept.
Plombo writes "Sony's war against PS3 hacking continues. On January 27, Sony Computer Entertainment America sent a DMCA takedown notice to GitHub demanding the removal of 6 repositories under the 'circumvention device' clause of the DMCA. All of the repositories in question were related to jailbreaking or homebrew development for the PS3."
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Sony Sends DMCA Takedown Notice To GitHub

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  • by wmbetts (1306001) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:07PM (#35046712)

    I wonder if all exploits could fall under the DCMA.

    • Re:All Exploits (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hedwards (940851) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:29PM (#35046814)
      Doesn't matter whether it does or not, precedence indicates that this is protected speech. Or at least that's what the courts said about DeCSS, and this even less ambiguously speech. Not to mention that Sony doesn't get to file a DMCA take down notice on this as the code they're requesting be taken down doesn't belong to them. The key itself isn't subject to copyright.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The notice they filed isn't about copyright infringement, so it doesn't matter, that the code is not theirs, nor would it make sense for the code to be theirs. The claim they're making is that those repositories contain circumvention devices. I'd imagine the takedown isn't a big deal at all, as whoever put the code on GitHub has a complete copy of the history on their own machines.
        • Re:All Exploits (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hedwards (940851) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:16AM (#35047010)

          Yes, but they don't have a leg to stand on otherwise. It's been settled since all that DeCSS stuff that code is protected by the 1st amendment. So the only way that they could file a takedown notice here would be if they owned the copyright to it.

          Sony can't legally file the takedown as they have to state under penalty of perjury that there is no legal use for the software that they want taken down.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Not that there's "no legal use"... just that its primary purpose is illegal. The Other-OS-to-piracy link is pretty straightforward to lawyers.
            • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Insightful)

              by anomaly256 (1243020) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:03AM (#35047684)
              Which is most unfortunate as it is complete hogwash in practice. Pirates are using psjailbreak devices, not OtherOS. OtherOS doesn't facilitate piracy of any kind. Nor does Asbestos. Nor do the 'Open' SDKs. The clear and obvious fact that everyone seems to be missing is that piracy continues completely unabated by the legal actions of Sony or the censorship it's trying to enforce. People really need to stop confusing these 2 issues as being the same thing.
          • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Informative)

            by shentino (1139071) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @05:22AM (#35047892)

            First of all, Universal WON that DeCSS case, so it's actually unfavorable.

            Second, Sony can file any takedown notice they darn please. All they have to worry about is how much trouble they'll get in if they're caught.

          • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Informative)

            by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr@ticam.ut[ ]s.edu ['exa' in gap]> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @06:49AM (#35048170) Homepage

            It's been settled since all that DeCSS stuff that code is protected by the 1st amendment.

            The DeCSS case specifically was "settled" exactly the opposite way [wikipedia.org]. Freedom of speech didn't do jack to help the glider or bnetd authors either.

        • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Informative)

          by Nursie (632944) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @03:21AM (#35047582)

          It's all gone back up at gitorious anyway, which is based in Norway and harder to fuck with.

        • by mysidia (191772)

          Nowhere in the text of the DMCA is there any "take down letter" procedure whatsoever for "circumvention devices".

      • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Informative)

        by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me&hotmail,com> on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:52PM (#35046934) Homepage Journal

        Would this be the same courts that reamed 2600 magazine for LINKING to deCSS code?

      • Re:All Exploits (Score:5, Insightful)

        by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:05AM (#35046972)

        All right --- Sony appears to be guilty of perjury after filing a takedown notice for someone else's work.

        Who is going to do something about it? Selective enforcement is wonderful, isn't it? If Sony succeeds in this, it'll embolden others to file takedown notices against anything they dislike for any reason whatsoever.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          The developers would, or more likely they'd get the EFF involved. It's not selective enforcement the law leaves it up to the party that's been wronged to enforce it.

        • Nobody is going to do anything. Look at the crap that went on taking down domains for the benefit of "rights holders". Money talks, bullshit walks.

          • by DrVxD (184537)

            Money talks, bullshit walks.

            That doesn't really apply in this case - the bullshitters have the money (so, nothing new there then - or had you not noticed the amount of crap that the monied mega-corps get away with?)
            More like "Money talks, everything else bends over and reaches for the vaseline."

        • Re:All Exploits (Score:5, Informative)

          by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:58AM (#35047158)

          It's not a real takedown. It's a normal cease-and-desist letter, and even if it were a real takedown notice, it's only perjury if the person submitting it isn't authorized to act on behalf of the person claiming ownership of a work being infringed. Neither the copyright holder or his lawyer are guilty of perjury if the copyright holder lies to his lawyer (or is mistaken) and thus causes a frivolous takedown notice to be sent.

          • by QuoteMstr (55051)

            Dammit, stop modding my comment up and mod this one up instead.

          • BULL SHIT. You file a legal document, in which you attest that all the facts set forth are true and correct to the best of your knowledge, then you have committed PERJURY. You lied to your lawyer, to induce him to file the legal document? That's PERJURY. Are you Bill Clinton, trying again to parse words to meaningless noise? In short, don't lie to the court, don't lie to your lawyer, don't lie anytime anywhere that any type of legal "facts" are being discussed. Asshole.
            • Re:All Exploits (Score:4, Informative)

              by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @06:37AM (#35048148)

              According to the law at issue, the only portion of a DMCA takedown notice that is under penalty of perjury is that the person filing it is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner alleging infringement.

              For a DMCA takedown counter-notice, the poster needs to assert under penalty of perjury that they have a good faith belief that the takedown was a mistake or misidentification. The lack of a requirement that the party issuing the takedown make a similar statement of belief under penalty of perjury is the real bullshit here, as it violated the principle of equal protection under law.

          • by business_kid (973043) <business.kidNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:18AM (#35047708)
            When faced with the threat of continuing legal bills for asserting your rights, the pragmatic thing to do is comply. The Net is not the anonymous place we all thought it was. It seems America is not the land of the free unless you can afford to pay for it! Note to self: Make sure to have multiple legislatures for any controversial site I put up. E.G. service registered in country A, selling into country B and located in country C :-D.
            • by Urkki (668283)

              It seems America is not the land of the free unless you can afford to pay for it!

              Freedom is never free. You have to pay for either with money or with blood. And like always, you have to be careful that you buy the real stuff and don't fall for some sort of scam, wasting your blood or your money and getting nothing for it.

          • by jopsen (885607)

            Neither the copyright holder or his lawyer are guilty of perjury if the copyright holder lies to his lawyer (or is mistaken) and thus causes a frivolous takedown notice to be sent.

            I'm sure there're limits as to how stupid you can pretend to be... But as you said this is not a take down notice, just cease-and-desist, which might constitute harassment...

      • yeah we'll see who wins.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by buzzsawddog (1980902)
      No... Not all exploits deal with copyright material. The DMCA can only be used in cases involving copyright material. "the DMCA focuses largely on the facilitation of infringement through circumvention tools and services primarily designed or produced to circumvent an access or copy control. In other words, the DMCA represents a shift in focus from infringement to the tools of infringers." 17 U.S.C. 1201-1205 V.A.3. It is stated the purpose is "to prevent large-scale piracy of digital content over the
      • by mug funky (910186)

        interesting about the "primarily designed to..."

        that does not include homebrew. jailbreaking isn't just about piracy. it's about owning the machine you bought.

        • I'm glad to see that some people have their heads on straight. When you purchase a physical item, it is in fact YOURS. Sony has no right to determine how you may or may not use the item you have purchased. Jailbreaking is an honorable pastime, avocation, or even profession. Fuck Sony, and fuck anyone who thinks like Sony.
    • not cell phones ones as the law says you have the right to hack them.

  • arent they. the real hacker underground is intertwined with open source. targeting the places where these crowds regular, is not something wise.

    but morons which are dubbed as lawyers in some countries naturally would have no idea about that. they got too much used to bullying defenseless citizens through law.

    i wonder what will they do to sony's online assets.
    • All that kind of radical reaction will do is put Sony in a better light. One hacker apparently already tried a blatant 'stop or else' blackmail threat. All that does it give Sony ammo saying 'hey this lot is a bunch of anarchists and criminals'.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:23PM (#35046786)

      arent they. the real hacker underground is intertwined with open source. targeting the places where these crowds regular, is not something wise.

      but morons which are dubbed as lawyers in some countries naturally would have no idea about that. they got too much used to bullying defenseless citizens through law.

      i wonder what will they do to sony's online assets.

      Nothing. Stop dramatizing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:15PM (#35046752)

    They should file a counter-notice, citing the interoperability clauses :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They should file a counter notice, citing the fact that they wrote the code themselves and it even compiles with PSl1ght SDK, not the sony SDK, su they are completely in the clear and Sony is just harrassing them. What Sony is doing is completely illegal.

  • That was fast (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:17PM (#35046756)

    Perhaps the real news should be how quickly github caved and removed all of the projects in question.

    • Re:That was fast (Score:5, Informative)

      by Plombo (1914028) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:30PM (#35046818)
      On the other hand, as a response to Sony's takedown notice, they started posting all of their DMCA takedown notices publicly [github.com]. That's what enabled me to find this information in the first place.
      • Re:That was fast (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hedwards (940851) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:43PM (#35046890)

        Basically what's going on is that Sony had their attorneys file a fraudulent take down request. Github will look at it and probably put the materials back online in the near future. Right now they're pretty clearly commiting perjury
        Question: What are the notice and takedown procedures for web sites? [chillingeffects.org]

        Question: What are the notice and takedown procedures for web sites?

        Answer: In order to have an allegedly infringing web site removed from a service provider's network, or to have access to an allegedly infringing website disabled, the copyright owner must provide notice to the service provider with the following information:

                The name, address, and electronic signature of the complaining party [512(c)(3)(A)(i)]
                The infringing materials and their Internet location [512(c)(3)(A)(ii-iii)], or if the service provider is an "information location tool" such as a search engine, the reference or link to the infringing materials [512(d)(3)].
                Sufficient information to identify the copyrighted works [512(c)(3)(A)(iv)].
                A statement by the owner that it has a good faith belief that there is no legal basis for the use of the materials complained of [512(c)(3)(A)(v)].
                A statement of the accuracy of the notice and, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on the behalf of the owner [512(c)(3)(A)(vi)].

        Once notice is given to the service provider, or in circumstances where the service provider discovers the infringing material itself, it is required to expeditiously remove, or disable access to, the material. The safe harbor provisions do not require the service provider to notify the individual responsible for the allegedly infringing material before it has been removed, but they do require notification after the material is removed.

        • by Otis_INF (130595) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:10AM (#35047696) Homepage

          Do you really think Github can afford a lengthy trial with mammoth Sony? Not in a million years. The legal team of Sony will bury Github's with so many documents they either have to give up or will lose.

          Big corporations have big law departments. The only purpose of these law departments, which cost a lot of money each year, is to make life as easy as possible for the employer, Sony in this case. This means: they'll do everything they can to make the life of the opponent as miserable as possible: lawsuits, burying with massive amounts of documents etc. Github doesn't have a chance.

          • by smallfries (601545) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @10:11AM (#35048874) Homepage

            Actually GitHub can have every chance. What they needed to do in this case was simple enough. Contact the owner of the repository and hand over the responsibility to them. If the owner decides that Sony has acted badly and made an incorrect claim then GitHub is cleared of any legal responsibility and can put the work back online.

            The procedure is explained at Chilling Effects [chillingeffects.org]. Although the DMCA is widely detested, one of the (only?) things that it does get right is that the legal battle is not between Sony and Github. If Github comply then they get to step to one side with any liability.

    • by Kalriath (849904)

      Failing to do so would lose their immunity under the DMCA to prosecution. Once they've done so though, a counter notice is sufficient to restore access to the content though - without losing their immunity.

      • They don't have any immunity in the first place, as this notice is not about infringement (it's about circumvention devices), so it isn't covered by the DMCA's safe harbor provision.

    • Thanks to the DMCA, GitHub has no meaningful choice other than to comply with the take-down request, unfortunately. It's now down to the repository owners to ask GitHub to reinstate them, at which point it becomes a legal matter between them and Sony, with GitHub being free of any legal liability to Sony (at least with respect to the DMCA). It's not particularly newsworthy that they caved - it would have been far more newsworthy if they hadn't.
      • by shentino (1139071)

        Unfortunately, to send a counter notice you have to allege under penalty of perjury that the violations are untrue, and you also have to consent to be sued.

        Seeing as how Sony already sued Geohot without legal provocation on their *own* initiative, I do not think anyone is going to instigate a lawsuit by slapping back a counter-notice.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      It's hardly caving to comply with a federal law that allows the affected party to file a counter notice.

    • by jopsen (885607) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @06:41AM (#35048158) Homepage

      Perhaps the real news should be how quickly github caved and removed all of the projects in question.

      Agree... The fact that github can be bullied around like this is pretty upsetting...
      By the way, may I suggest that someone prints these numbers in a newspaper... Either through a letter to the editor, or in an ad, how hard can that be...

  • repositories in the US may work, but It'll just get some dudes to host them from a country with more loose ip laws

    • by DurendalMac (736637) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:33PM (#35046840)
      THIS. Anyone hosting DMCA-questionable content should damned well get a server offshore in a country that doesn't care about IP laws and then be sure to take every step to keep their real identity separate from it. I hear Russia is a good place...
      • by hedwards (940851)

        Doesn't work that way, they'd still be liable for not removing it, and if they've got a legal presence in the US, they could still be held responsible no matter where it is that they keep their servers.

        • Which is why I said take every step possible to keep it separate from your real identity. If they don't know who the guy is with this site, then they can only send a notice to the hosting company, but if said hosting company is in a country that doesn't give a damn about IP laws and doesn't have a legal presence in the US (and I wouldn't be surprised if there were hosting companies in Russia and other countries that specialize in this sort of thing), then what can be done?
        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Did you miss the part about keeping their real identity separate? Obviously, it's pointless to keep your DMCA-forbidden stuff on a foreign website if you proudly proclaim "This code is copyright John Smith, 123 Anytown Ln, USA".

          If you put your code on a Russian server, and say, "this code written by D3m0n|C" or something like that, then there's nothing they can do about it.

      • by angus77 (1520151)
        There are plenty of countries out there that have strong IP laws but don't truck with the bullshit that is the DMCA.
      • by cronius (813431)

        THIS. Anyone hosting DMCA-questionable content should damned well get a server offshore in a country that doesn't care about IP laws and then be sure to take every step to keep their real identity separate from it. I hear Russia is a good place...

        No need to go that far east, just try out this Norwegian competitor to GitHub instead: http://gitorious.org/ [gitorious.org] . It might not be completely "outlaw" but without the DMCA the laws are at least a lot saner.

        In fact, as others have mentioned further down, a mirror of some of the repos on gitorious is already available @ http://gitorious.org/ps3free [gitorious.org].

    • Egypt perhaps.

    • by Nursie (632944)

      You mean like gitorious in Norway - http://gitorious.org/ps3free [gitorious.org]

  • Screw their "online assets." The link to the contact list of offices for the law firm responsible is right here. [kilpatricktownsend.com] Sony's corporate contact numbers are here. [sony.com] I suggest that each of their offices should receive a good few calls Monday, letting them know what we think about free speech and about restraining it.

    It takes a lot fewer calls to pull off a denial of service than it takes packets.

  • I don't want to own any device that some external entity controls. What if cars stopped running if they didn't like the roads you wanted to take? I know, it's possible now but no has had the balls to try to use it.
  • Dirty Tricks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by index0 (1868500) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:46PM (#35046904)

    If you google "sony geohot $1" http://www.google.ca/search?q=sony+geohot+%241 [google.ca] you will get some info along the lines that Sony tried to paypal George Hotz $1 dollar ("Attached hereto as Exhibit DD is true and correct copy of a redacted PayPal receipt from George Hotz, using an account registered to..." from http://psx-scene.com/forums/attachments/f6/23998d1294899764-scea-vs-geohot-day-2-more-files-day-3-now-over-more-files-added-04-pdf [psx-scene.com] ). You can imagine why Sony did this ...

  • DMCA? FOAD. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sarusa (104047) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:14AM (#35047000)

    Hay Sony. I think I'm gonna circumvent you now. Seriously regretting buying that PS3.

  • by Just Brew It! (636086) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:19AM (#35047028)

    Back in the day, Sony was a pretty cool company. They made affordable audio equipment with decent performance for the price; through high school and college, my turntable (vinyl LPs... remember them?) was a Sony. I also remember my first Sony Walkman cassette portable (early 1980s) and CD DiscMan with great fondness; Sony pretty much single-handedly invented the portable audio industry. My first camcorder was a Sony too, and I enjoyed the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 immensely.

    Somewhere along the line, they lost their way. Maybe it had something to do with their transformation into a combination of consumer electronics giant and content provider; I'm not sure. But the CD rootkit fiasco was an indication of where they were heading. My opinion of them also took a nosedive when my second Sony camcorder (purchased around 6 years ago) turned out to be a piece of crap.

    These days, they are solidly on my "avoid" list. I used to consider a Sony nameplate to be a badge of quality; now it is more of a warning label.

    • "It's a Sony" used to be something we'd say proudly. Now it carries a stigma of "We produced this as cheaply as possible to make a quick buck." This can be seen in everything they do like suddenly buying the entire camera division from Konica Minolta, churning out a few of the most uncomfortable and hard to use cameras I've ever had the displeasure of holding, and expecting to be taken seriously in the photography world.

      The only product of theirs I still have any respect for is the Bravia TV. They are st
      • Here's an interesting factoid for you: design and manufacture of most of the Sony video hardware is outsourced...

        Sony VCRs: usually made by Samsung. There's a lovely design cockup in the FX-series -- a capacitor was installed the wrong way round, which screwed with the controller and ended up wiping the EEPROM. Only way out of this is a VHS alignment tape (custom to Sony/Samsung and only available to their service centres) and a full reset. Oh, and a new capacitor.

        Sony DVD players: Samsung or Philips. Usual

    • Yup, I have only had bad experiences with Sony equipment (TV, DVD player, MP3 player), so now I avoid their devices like the plague.
    • by Blue_Wombat (737891) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @04:40AM (#35047768)
      Absolutely. I used to own a lot of their gear - including a walkman, a beta VCR (that dates me!) and a very expensive trinitron screen. I was quite a Sony fanboi in my day. Now I loathe and detest them - CD rootkit, mania for proprietary connectors, lying about Minidisc "playing" MP3s, what they did to LikSang, the rootkit, DRM mania, retroactive removal of freatures people had paid for (OtherOS), being behind the RIAA, being behind the MPAA...... the list goes on and on. They actively hate and screw over their own customers, their product is overpriced, and their legendary quality is a didtant memory. Now just I regard Sony as the vermin of the consumer electronics industry, with products that are defective by design, and I avoid them like the plague. I successfully warn numerous other people off their overpriced DRMed rubbish as well. NB: to /. mods - can we have the old interface back please? The new one is *horrible*
  • by surfdaddy (930829) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @12:34AM (#35047090)
    Sony entertainment had no problems a few years ago fubaring up my XP system by installing a rootkit after I inserted one of their music CD's. Seems they can care less about us, but don't reveal their precious encryption keys.

    Between all that and their proprietary memory in digital cameras, I avoid ALL thinks Sony. They aren't worth the time. So sad a former leader of technology has descended so low.
  • start mirroring. (Score:5, Informative)

    by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:01AM (#35047170) Homepage

    all but GaiaManager can be found here:
    http://gitorious.org/ps3free [gitorious.org]

    there's also a story:
    http://www.ps3-hacks.com/2011/01/29/dmcaed-ps3-git-repositories-cloned/ [ps3-hacks.com]

    but the site is a bit... busy right now.

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Probably best to torrent it. Taking down P2P files is always more of a hassle than cease-and-desisting hosting companies.

  • by swordgeek (112599) on Sunday January 30, 2011 @01:07AM (#35047204) Journal

    For the first time in 2011, let me offer you a hearty "Fuck You."

    Gotta get that in every year, it seems--this year it either came early, or will come often.

  • Piracy . . . Hack . . . PS3 . . . Jailbreak . . . etc.

    Every website should have these words. That's free speech, isn't it?

  • We need a mass mailing where 1000's of people mail in their Sony labelled products to Sony. I got plenty of cd and dvd from Sony entertainment plus a few old PS1 laying around that I'm gonna mail in.

  • Following Sony's rise and fall is rather interesting, I think.

    They started off by making tape recorders and became famous by producing small, transistorised radio receivers that were affordable but rather poor quality. I remember my first one that after a few months developed the most scratchy volume control (metal wiper on a carbon path -- I took it apart in the end).

    After WWII (not, I'm not that old :-) the Americans introduced the quality movement in Japan and in 1968, Kaoru Ishikawa outlined the ten
  • The awesome thing about Git is that everybody who checked out those repositories has a complete copy with all the revisions, and can exchange commits with the others.

    So it should be really easy for somebody to recreate a public repository somewhere else. Anybody got a link?

  • by rawler (1005089) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nossleakim.kirlu.> on Monday January 31, 2011 @02:22PM (#35059370)

    If only git was a de-centralized VCS, these repositories would already have been cloned in the dozens around the world, and this take-down would be completely futile!

    Oh, wait.

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