Programming, Open Source, Hacking and Greedy Corporations

I’m a programmer, a developer, a hacker. I’m mostly involved with the Open Source community and I try to promote open source development as much as I can. Unfortunately, most of the time when I tell someone that I’m a “developer”, they don’t understand the concept, and when I start talking about open source, they understand me even less.

The world is full of people with different backgrounds, with different references and we don’t always understand each other. As most of you who read my blog would probably know, I’m involved in the PS3 hacking scene, and I see a lot of misinformed people, and I read a lot of things that don’t make any sense to me. This is because most people don’t understand the world that we (developers/hackers) come from and things tend to be misinterpreted.

This message is for everybody, it’s intent is to open a window into our world so people can understand us better. I don’t have the audacity to explain everything about programming in this text, but I will try to formulate in terms easy to understand the general idea behind it. While most of this post will be generic and intended to anyone, there will be a paragraph that will address some of the recent issues surrounding the PS3 and Sony. This post will probably be very long and I’m sorry, I don’t think I have a shorter version for those who get bored easily.

1 – Programming

If you’re familiar with or understand programming, you may skip this section, as it might be a bit boring, otherwise, read on, it should explain what you need to know to understand the rest of this blog post.

What is a “program”? Let’s put it simply : “It’s a set of instructions that produce a result”. A program is what you run on your computer, phone, gaming console, or even your alarm clock. It tells the computer to do something, for example “if the user pressed the ‘up’ button, advance the minutes by one. If the time reaches this specific value, sound the alarm” (alarm clock programming) or “Draw a red circle. If the user clicks inside the circle, change the color to blue”. With many simple instructions, you end up with a complex program that can achieve a multitude of tasks, like for example Microsoft Office, or Skype. But the basic definition is that a program is “a set of instruction that produce a result”.

Now what is a “source code”? This mystical thing you keep hearing about is nothing more than “a set of instructions that produce a result”.. sounds familiar? Basically, a “source code” is the text that the programmer writes in order to tell the computer the instructions it wants the program to achieve. The source code is in itself, the program, but it’s in a readable and understandable format : a text file using a language that the programmer understands. The computer however doesn’t understand the source code, it only understand mathematics, numbers. A program’s instructions are written with “numbers” that the computer understands, for example 1 might mean “copy this” and 2 might mean “write that” and 3 might mean “show this”, etc.. (very simplistic view, but you get the idea). So the difference between a program that you run and a source code is that they are both the exact same thing, but the program you run is made up of numbers representing instructions to the computer (this is what we call the “Assembly” language or “machine code”) while the source code is the same instructions written in a more readable format, text, using a language that is easy to understand.. so instead of “1 4 185 353 532” (machine code) you would see “if the user clicks on the circle, change the color to blue” (source code).

What is a “programming language”? The source code can be written in different languages, just like spoken language, we have english, french, italian, russian, etc.. in the programming world, there are multiple different languages to define the instructions for the computer. These programming languages differ in the vocabulary (commands/functions) and in grammar (syntax). Explanation more than that is not relevant to the current topic so I’ll leave it at that.

How do you get an application (a program) from source code? It’s simple, there is a program called a “compiler” which reads this source code (the text), understands it, and rewrites it into machine code (the numbers). When you download an application, you only get these ‘numbers’ that the computer understands because that’s all you need to run your application.

2 – Open Source

So.. what is this “open source” everyone keeps talking about? Well now that you know the basics about programming, let me put it simply : a program (all those numbers) is open source, when the source code used to generate the program is publicly available.

And here is the juicy part of this blog post. Remember when I said that a program is “a set of instructions that produce a result”? Well, here’s an absolutely superb analogy: A program is like a recipe. What is a recipe? Well, isn’t it a set of instructions that you must follow in order to produce something? This analogy comes from Richard Stallman in the documentary The code (this one, not the 2011 movie) and I think it’s absolutely brilliant.

You can listen to it in his own words here :


I’d like to remind people to not make the confusion, thinking that the source code is the recipe and the program is the final meal, you have to think of the programs themselves as being recipes, the ingredient is the electricity used and the result is whatever appears on your screen. The language of the recipe is what changes (from the various programming languages or to the ‘machine language’).

So now, with this analogy in mind (which I’ll keep referring to throughout this blog post), back to the question at hand. A closed source (or “proprietary”) program is like going to a restaurant where they serve this dish that you like, but when you ask the waiter/waitress what’s in it, they refuse to tell you the recipe for it. And open source is when you go to your friend’s house, you eat something that you like, and when you ask what’s in it, your friend tells you “oh, let me give you the recipe”.

Now imagine a world where no one could ever get a recipe for anything, you want to cook something, you have to relearn from scratch, experiment yourself with everything and see if the result is satisfactory, without having any references. Unfortunately, you’ll end up mixing two things together that you never should have done, and you’d be thinking how sad it is that every person in the world has to reinvent something that should be ‘common knowledge’. Thankfully, this isn’t the world we live in, and in the same way as you might enjoy cooking and exchanging recipes with your friends and family, we, programmers, enjoy sharing source code with each other, making our ‘recipes’ publicly available to everyone.

If you eat a delicious cheesecake at your friend’s house, and he/she gives you the recipe, then you try it, but then you realize it’s too sweet and you decide to decrease the amount of sugar, you have just “modified the code”, then you realize that adding a bit of lemon juice will make it better, and it does. You tell your friend about your changes, and he/she likes it and says “I’ve always wondered what it was missing”. You have just “contributed” to the program and now all your friends and family can enjoy this improved cheesecake (I love cheesecake by the way).

This is what Open Source is all about, it’s about sharing your recipes, anyone being able to improve on them and contribute his changes and slowly, thanks to the original recipe, new recipes will be born and people will enjoy more great products. It’s all thanks to this simple idea of sharing. This applies to the programming world in the same way, we write programs, we share the source code, others can improve them (add features, fix bugs, add translations, make a better/easier user interface, etc..) and everyone benefits from it.

My journey into this wonderful world started more than 10 years ago, I was using a program that I liked but I wanted something that it didn’t do. Thankfully, it was open source, so I added the feature that I wanted, gave my changes back to the project, the other users loved it which made the program more popular and some new users decided to do the same thing and improve the program, and in the end (I’ll say it again) everyone benefits from it.

3 – Hacking

What is “hacking”? Again, let’s put it simply: hacking basically means “working around a problem”. In a broader definition, it could also be viewed as “modifying something to make it do a task it wasn’t intended to do”. I have headphones and one of the wires got cut.. so I taped it and it worked.. in my definition, that counts as “hacking” because I worked around the problem. The term “hacking” has been publicized as being ‘evil’ or a bad thing, but people confuse it too much with what it really means. I hack everyday and you probably do without knowing it. Back to the food/recipe analogy. Did you ever go to someone’s home and were served a meal, then you took the salt from the table and added some to your plate? You have just “worked around a problem” (not salty enough) and you just modified something (the meal) from its intended purpose (the ‘view/taste’ of the one who cooked it). In my definition, you “hacked” the meal to make it fit more to your taste.

This is the reality of things, when you modify something that you own to make it more to your taste (everyone has different tastes after all), you are “hacking” it. When you decide that 200g of sugar is better than 250g of sugar in your cupcake recipe, you are “hacking” the recipe. But in the terms of the computer world, the term has been used widely to describe pretty much anything we do, but mostly things we do in a hurry. My friend programmed his computer to play a sound (an alarm) when his girlfriend connects on MSN so it wakes him up, but he would say “I hacked it” because he did it in 5 minutes and didn’t spend months setting up a whole infrastructure behind this “wake me up when my girlfriend is online” system. Nowadays, the simple fact of “programming” is called “hacking”, it’s nothing illegal, it’s nothing harmful, but most of the time we say “I’m hacking” rather than “I’m programming” simply because the act of programming is all about finding solutions and working around problems. You should read the definition of the term as explained in wikipedia.

The problem is that there are those who use their talent for criminal behavior and when it’s related to anything “computer-y”, people decide to call it “hacking”. It’s like saying that “cooking” is evil and anyone who “cooks” is a criminal because someone, somewhere put a drop of poison in someone else’s food. Isn’t that ridiculous? I very often see people saying “death to the hackers” or “those hackers are criminals and should rot in jail forever” without knowing what they are talking about. It’s funny how people get emotional and suddenly they become judge, jury and executioner. To all these people, let me tell you something : The next time that you add some salt to your meal, watch your back because the FBI just might lock you up for your crime!

Now here’s another thing that we, programmers and hackers, often do, it’s called “reverse engineering”, it’s basically about understanding how something works without being told by the original maker. Whenever you try to understand how something works, you are ‘reverse engineering’ it. In the recipes analogy, this would mean that when you taste something and you start wondering if there’s garlic in it, or say “is that cinnamon?”, you are basically reverse engineering the meal by trying to recreate the recipe (or part of it) by looking at the final product.

Yes, that is what reverse engineering is, you receive a finished product and you try to understand how it was made. This is equivalent to going to a restaurant and trying to make the same dish that they served without them giving you the recipe. If you ever did that, then you definitely know what a reverse engineer is.


4 Β – The Greedy Corporations

Now, Β this is the interesting part, the ‘greedy corporations’. I’m saying it like this because I didn’t want to say “Sony” because they are clearly not the only ones playing this game. Why are they greedy? because they want to have total control over you and your freedom, thus allowing them to generate more profit. I’ll go back to the recipe analogy: What Sony/Microsoft/Apple/etc.. are doing is basically the equivalent of LG selling you a kitchen appliance and saying you can only use it with their products! Imagine buying a kitchen stove that only allowed you to cook using ‘LG and Tefal” pans… or imagine a pan or a pot that only allowed you to cook food from some specific brands. No, you can’t buy the cheap, equivalent (and sometimes better) “no name” brand or buy your fresh vegetables at the market.. no, those vegetables have to have been processed by those giant corporations that put some sort of label on it allowing the pan to cook them. This is my analogy, it may sound stupid, but I believe this is what it is.

Did you ever wonder what “DRM” (Digital Rights Management) is? Β well to put it simply, it’s like having a microchip inside your Tefal pan, and it continuously detects what’s in it.. if you ever dare to put in the pan an ingredient (a tomato!) that wasn’t pre-selected and pre-accepted by Tefal, then the pan would automatically and instantly cool down and stop absording heat. Hell, it could even send a signal to the stove which will simply shut it down. That’s what DRM is.. and why is it there? Well, they would tell you that it’s “For your own good”, it’s because they want to deter people from stealing food from the supermarket or using products that aren’t “fresh” or up to their standards. But what it really does is that it prevents you from using your fresh vegetables that you proudly grew yourself in your backyard, so that you have to buy their product. Even worse, DRM means that you can only use ‘pre made’ cookie dough in your oven.. if you get a better cookie recipe from your friend and try to make those cookies yourself, the oven will not turn on. And for those “super awesome, elite, we are the nice guys” oven brands that tell you “wow, you can bake your own cookies! Here is the recipe!”, you have to read the fine print, the recipe says 250g of flour, and it’s unfortunate, but the oven will not turn on if you made the mistake of puttin 255g of flour in your dough. And I’m not even talking about the LG microwave that will only heat meals that were cooked on an LG appliance, or the fridge that will not cool anything without the “Kraft” label on it…

The irony is that when you buy your pan, you’re buying it for 100$, because do you think that these greedy corporations will pay the fee for the DRM? no, YOU are! The pan should cost 20$, but they are charging you 100$ because you have to pay for that microchip in your pan, you don’t want it, but you are paying for it.. you have no choice! And if someone comes along and creates a new, DRM-free pan and wants to sell it, they’ll label him a “pirate” (ouh, that’s a scary word) and pay millions in propaganda and in advertisement (that conveniently appear at the bottom of your pan and on the front glass of your oven) to tell you how this DRM-free oven/pan is ‘evil’, will eat your babies at night and will kill your dog. The funny thing is, the first time you hear it, you’re thinking “wtf?”, then after hearing it 1000 times a day, you believe in it as being the absolute truth. You will eventually get used to verifying the “compatibility list” of your new oven before you buy it.. make sure that you can borrow plates from your neighbor because they are “authorized/licensed accessories” to the oven. You will get used to checking the label on your vegetables when you go to the supermarket to make sure that they are compatible with your pan, and you will get used to not buying a specific brand because your fridge’s manufacturer never made a deal with that brand so you can’t put it in your fridge…

I know what you’re thinking : “what the hell?”. Yes, what I just said sounds absolutely absurd, it sounds crazy and it doesn’t make any sense. After all, who would accept that? Who would even think of doing some crazy things like that? Well here’s the thing, the reason I love this analogy between programming and recipes is simply because not only is it quite accurate, but it’s also something that everyone can relate to. I think pretty much everyone knows how to cook, if even just an omelette. And if you don’t, you probably saw or know someone who can. If not, then at least cooking isn’t a concept that is so “obscure” that you can’t comprehend it. If the kitchen appliances tried to force all those restrictions, or if people tried to outlaw exchanging recipes, then pretty much 99.99% of the population will say “this is bullshit, we refuse!”. But in the computer world, this is exactly what is happening, only nobody cares because nobody can understand it… all this “computer-y” stuff is not something that interests most people, so they don’t try to understand it and they don’t care about it, and for those who do, well, unfortunately, they prefer to program rather than go on trial against all the corporations.

Here’s a real life example, here is a ‘hack’ that I’ve done a couple of days ago :

This is indeed a ‘hack’, I used two tools that weren’t made to be used together in order to work around a problem that I had at that time. There’s nothing wrong with it!Β Both the whisk and the drill are mine, they are my property and I should be able to do what I want with them. However, if a similar situation was happening in the computer world, then I’d already be getting a lawsuit, because for some reason I don’t own the drill, I only paid to be “authorized to use it the way they allow it”. They would call me a “pirate” because I’m “killing the industry”, because by doing that hack, Black&Decker are losing money. They would be right, because since I did that hack, I didn’t have to spend another 100$ to buy an electric mixer. The funny thing is that I’d probably lose in court because there are no real laws to protect me as a consumer into using my tools any way I want, at least not in the programming world.

I read this last paragraph again and I’m thinking “I’m a lunatic” and I perfectly understand if you’re thinking the same thing. At least now we have something in common, we both think that the current situation in the programming world is completely crazy, and I’m glad you are able to see it.

5 – My angry rant

Yes, I’m angry! I am angry because I see the world evolving at an alarming rate but the laws (and people’s common sense) isn’t. I will dedicate this paragraph to rant about all the things that I recently saw and that got me angry. If you don’t want to see some angry dude raging, then skip it πŸ™‚

First of all, there are many people who are associating us, the jailbreakers, the programmers, the hackers, with what recently happened to the PSN data leak. Because they couldn’t play their games online for a few weeks, they decide to throw their anger at us, put us all in the same boat, and label us criminals. Every time we speak, I see comments saying “ah, these criminals are now trying to justify their crime”. But.. what crime? What crime did we do that you should label us criminals? Don’t throw words like that without understanding their meaning! Or at least, use your common sense before thinking that anything deemed ‘illegal’ is a ‘crime’! Do you know that in France, a woman must wear a dress, and that, by law, she’s a criminal if she wears pants/jeans? It’s an old law when only men wore pants and a women who did was considered a ‘transvestite’… this is a stupid example, but I’m using it to show you that common sense should overcome stupid laws.
If you think we’re criminals for jailbreaking the PS3, then how is it a crime to want to use your backyard-grown tomatoes to cook your meals? If it’s because of the PSN hack, then here’s another analogy for you: when you go to a restaurant and someone orders food, eats it and runs without paying the bill, how would you feel if the restaurant’s owner puts all the blame on you, you, who were sitting all the way to the other side of the restaurant, who didn’t even see or notice the thief, but you had the audacity of adding a bit of ketchup to your burger. As you know.. you “modified the vision of the chef” and that is a huge criminal offense and you should rot in jail you filthy criminal. No need to answer me, but just think about it.. how would you feel? (and yes, I believe that this analogy is very representative of the situation).

Now here’s another thing that makes us criminals: reverse engineering. We are ‘criminals’ because we reverse engineer products? Back to the recipe analogy: the next time you taste a meal and say or even think “humm, I think they put garlic in it”, then consider yourself a criminal and you should rot in jail.

If one million PS3 users (I’m being generous) told Sony that they don’t agree with them, that would still only be 1% or 2% of their user base, so they keep doing what they’re doing because 1 million people is an “insignificant number”. Β What happened last year when Sony removed OtherOS support from the PS3 is the equivalent of Frigidaire selling you a fridge then a couple of months later, tell you that “On the 1st of april, your freezer will stop working, we suggest you remove any food from the freezer and stop using it. You have a choice though, if you don’t want your freezer to automatically stop working, then empty the top 2 shelves of your fridge because those sections in the fridge will be at room temperature now. If you ever put something back into the top shelves of your fridge, then the freezer will be disabled permanently”… sure we have a choice, thank you for your generosity!!! The worst thing, the most heartbreaking thing is that going to Frigidaire’s website to complain about their unlawful practice, you find those thousands of people cheering and saying “who cares? it’s A FRIDGE, it’s not a freezer!! who uses the freezer anyway? just buy a dedicated freezer instead!” or “I wasn’t using the freezer, after all it does say “refrigirator” on the machine, so that freezer was a BONUS, be happy you got to use it for free all this time”, etc.. Let me ask you a question… if you accept that Sony removes OtherOS from your PS3, then you will have absolutely no problem in Frigidaire disabling your freezer right? even if you don’t use it, I might but who cares right? you’re not egotistical after all, if you don’t use it then no one in the world is? And again “DEATH TO THOSE DAMN HACKERS”.. how dare they put a cheesecake in the fridge when Frigidaire specifically said “no pastries”!! After all, they clearly wrote it in page 258 of their user manual!!!! After all, it’s Frigidaire’s fridge (no you didn’t buy it, you only ‘rented’ it for 2000$, it’s clearly written on page 531 of the manual!) and they have all the rights to it, they have all the rights to defend their interests… I mean, they never made any sort of deal with the bakeries!!! You know what this “deal” means? it means that the bakeries had to accept paying Frigidaire to allow their pastries in the freezer, so every time you buy something from them, you are paying 50% to the bakery and 50% to Frigidaire, and this allows you to put your cheesecake in the fridge and you’ve always been wondering why the prices doubled recently..

Anyways, you get the idea… but what pisses me off the most is how all these people think that their mission on earth is to defend Sony… like they say where I come from “is it your father’s company?”… seriously, why do you feel the need to go all over the internet, in every forum that you find and yell hate messages against ‘us’? why do you feel like you need to repeat Sony’s propaganda everywhere and why do you hope that we die and/or spend our life in jail? What do YOU gain from that? Why do you think that this multi-billion dollar company needs you to defend it? It’s like walking in the street at night and seeing a mob of 10+ huge guys beating an innocent child in an alley and you’re rooting for the mob… where is your common sense?

6 – Conclusion

I wrote this post because I wanted to make people understand our world a bit better. I know that some people might disagree with some of the things I said, but remember, this Β is not meant to be an exhaustive explanation of how computers work but rather simply a glimpse into it, in terms that non-initiated people can, hopefully, understand.

I hope that I have achieved my goal: make a few people understand us and most importantly, make a few more people think about these issues. I know that I will continue to see misinformed posts everywhere, and nothing can change that, but to those who are willing to listen to others and accept differing views, then I’m glad I could help you with that (if I did). If you have questions or want to start a debate on something I said, feel free to comment.

And for your information, I am not saying that closed source is evil, I believe in freedom, and if you want to keep your code closed, then you are free to do so. I also do understand the need for closed source sometimes, in order to stay competitive for example, but I think that if everything was open source, then competition would become different. I simply believe that the world would be a better place if everything was always shared. Knowledge is for everyone, and I just can’t imagine where the world would be today if people shared all their ideas/code/recipes/etc.. with each other. It would certainly be a wonderful world. I find it truly pathetic to know that every company is recreating the same thing that others did before them.

Finally, I’d like to point people to the EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It’s a group that protects us and defends our digital rights every day. Β Right now, we are still under the mercy of the giant greedy corporations, but thanks to the EFF’s efforts, I hope that some day soon, we will be free to code the way we want, just like we are free to cook the way we want.

Thank you for reading!



Update: After reading a few comments about this post, I thought I should clarify a few things.

First of all, this post isn’t about Sony or the PS3, which is why my title and fourth paragraph says “Greedy corporations”. While I do address the PS3 subject in my rant, it is only because it’s a subject that is dear to me and for which I have a lot to say. But what I outline is and should be considered generic and the main purpose remains to “open a window into our world” for those who are not computer savvy and who may not understand the issues at hand. I want people to understand that, from our point of view, the world is a crazy place, and you can draw parallels with many things, not just with the recent issues with Sony.

Also, like I’ve found myself saying a few times in the comments, there’s a saying that should govern us all : “One’s freedom stops where someone else’s freedom starts”. I believe that you are free to do whatever you want. As a consumer, you should be free to use your legally bought devices any way you wish (as long as you don’t infringe on other’s freedom, whether it is other’s freedom to gain money from their work or freedom of a fellow customer to enjoy their product (online cheating as an example)), but also, as a product manufacturer or a company, you are free to put the restrictions you want and you are entitled to use anything you feel is needed to protect your investment, but again, as long as it doesn’t infringe on other’s freedom.

I’ve had a few comments about DRM, but I never said that DRM is bad and this post isn’t at all about DRM. I have personally no issues with DRM as long as it’s reasonable but when you think that your own needs are more important than the needs of others, that’s where I see a problem. If I ever got an idea for something that could potentially make me rich, I would pursue it and I probably would try to protect my investment and intellectual property as much as I can, but there is a moral barrier that remains and I will never allow myself to be controlled by greed in such a way that I would sacrifice other’s freedom to further my goals.

In the same way, you are free to do whatever you want with your work, I have absolutely no problem with closed source applications, I simply prefer open source and I believe that the world would be a much better place and our civilization would be much more advanced if everything was open source.

One example of the above is the fact that advertisement exist as a sort of ‘payment’ for things you watch. When I watch a movie on public TV, I see ads and that’s what’s paying for the movies I’m watching “for free”, but then, why is it that when I buy a DVD, I am forced to watch ads before accessing its content? Didn’t I already pay for the DVD so why are you forcing me to watch ads? And even if you put ads in there, and it’s ok, then why can’t I skip them? If I watched the movie 10 times, do I still need to see the same ads? And why would I be forced to watch a trailer for a movie that I might have already bought (or which I already saw and hated)? Why is it that if a friend comes over and I want to show him a 30 second scene from a movie, do I need to wait 10 minutes until all your trailers finish just to show him that? This “you cannot skip the trailers in a DVD” is something unrelated to DRM but is still something caused by companies’ greed (get more money from each sale) which is infringing on my freedom of using the DVD I legally bought the way I want (in this case, watch it without having to suffer through all those trailers).

Finally, this post contains information, it contains knowledge, and my belief is that knowledge should be free and available to all. I am not trying to generate any page views (my poor server would hate me) and I don’t have any ads on my blog, so if anyone wants to publish this whole article somewhere else, where others could benefit from its content, then you are permitted and encouraged to do so. I’d be quite happy to see this published in its entirety on sites such as Arstechnica, Kotaku, Joystiq, the New York Times, or whatever other media that would reach more people than this humble blog.

Don’t forget, share, and everyone benefits from it πŸ™‚

Thank you (and congratulations :p) for reading!


85 thoughts on “Programming, Open Source, Hacking and Greedy Corporations

  1. I greatly appreciate this read. I’m nowhere near done yet. But I have too say you’ve basically articulated a lot of things I try to talk about with my buddies, and you did a far better job. I’ve got ADD/ADHD (mild but enough to be troublesome) so “dumbing” things down like this is extremely difficult for me.

    Now that’s not even talking about the actual material. So far I’m enjoying it.

  2. This is by far so understanding. The part about the drill hack was titties! lmfao! It is a shame sony has PWND everyones living rooms…

  3. 1 more point I would like to make is; Why dont Sony go for the big time and sue evryone that has sold their playstation or gave it away because remember it is not our machine to do what we want with!

    • Because there’s actually an old law that’s called “First sale law” that prevents them from doing so.. read some of the recent EFF blog posts, many companies are trying to override that right by putting stuff like “not for sale”, etc.. on items they sell, but judges have never allowed companies to override the first sale law.

      • That’s why companies hate the used videogame industries like gamestop. It is also the reason Sony is pushing purely electronic copies and copies that give you exclusive content first time you use it. Hell if you buy and computer game with steam its practically yours forever. I lost my original login and password for my old copy of halflife 2 and asked to transfer the serial to a new steam login and they wouldn’t and helped me reset my old login.

  4. I agree very good article, if people could see it in your eyes the outlook on greedy companies like Sony and others would be very different. Be proud you got my Support and hopefully many more to come! πŸ™‚

  5. Right first off, that was a damn good read! I couldn’t shut the computer down and go to sleep it was that good. (I’m not joking.)

    On too something I want to say about the rant :
    While I agree with what you are saying, I find that it seems you are being a tad hypocritical. Or rather in respects to the PS3 scene all of the top devs are hypocritical. You all believe in open source software, and everyone should share releases,information,source and what have you. BUT and this is a big BUT, why are you limiting this philosophy to certain things? For instance, your homebrew collection, PL3, etc etc. I know the “secret circle” you guys are familiar with and exist in are limiting this freedom and with this blog post, contradicting your views. Specifically with new exploits.

    I know that you may get a bit frustrated with me equating this to the PS3 scene as of late, but I just had to point out a small bit of hypocrisy. Plus I consider you primarily a PS3 developer because that’s where I know you from.

    Now I will say that I understand the thing about Sony. But can’t you guys “leak” this information privately? Now I’m no expert in Proxies/VPN/etc but there’s got to be a way that you guys can enjoy doing reverse engineering, and stuff like exploits, while allowing people to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Hell even releasing documentation on how to do it without actually releasing the packaged goods is highly acceptable.

    I also understand where you guys are coming from with people just wanting everything and not doing anything for themselves. For the people that do try and do things, they are met with opposition almost at every turn. Not you specifically but other “devs” are so cryptic in their help that it might as well be largely nonexistent.

    Finally I know that there are a lot of people in this scene that are self entitled jerks(to be polite), but why let some bad apples ruin the bunch?

    But again good read and I more or less agree with your entire standpoint besides what I said above. I’m sorry if you didn’t want this kind of comment on this particular blog post. But I equate you too being a PS3 dev as that is where I’ve known you from, so that’s where I can debate some points on the whole thing.

    • Also in that post I meant no disrespect what so ever. (Wanna make sure I cover that as I’m tired as hell and I may come off a bit cranky.)

      But again good read, and I hope more people understand things from your eyes. It would definitely help the cause.

      • no worries, as you know, I always accept polite and constructive criticism and I’m already ready for debates.
        I understand your point, but I don’t agree. Like I said in the conclusion: I believe in freedom and everyone is free to do as they wish. While I love open source, I also accept that others prefer not releasing their code as open source, or not releasing it at all.
        I’ve always released everything I’ve got and I’ve always made it open source.

        With regards to ‘new exploits’, you should know that it’s not as easy as it sounds, I have a few potential solutions for 3.66+ jailbreak but it requires a LOT of time. You’re a developer now, and you know that it takes more than a few hours to develop something that works, and especially in this case, trying to overcome challenges, it takes a lot of time.. for reverse engineering a function, it might take a day or a week depending on complexity, and what I need to have a ‘usable exploit’ requires reversing a few hundred functions… if I just say “this is my plan”, by the time I’m done and it’s ready to be used, Sony would have released 2 firmwares with a fix against what I’m working on. The few people I trust, I will tell them how I plan on achieving it, but when it’s someone I don’t trust who could just go ahead and ‘leak’ it as his own, then I won’t say anything, otherwise it will undermine my work.
        Anyways, as I’m saying this, I’m not saying that I’m currently working on a jailbreak solution (I’m far too busy with life right now), but just saying that this is one of the reasons why not everything is public from day one.

        • Fair points and I completely understand. I know what ya mean with developing taking time. I’m figuring that out very quickly.

  6. Dear KaKaRoTo,

    Im trying to understand you, since I dont share your perspective. I think there are two basic points missing in this grocery analogy. First comes the problem that you are buying a juicemaker (the ps3) thats specifically made so you can enjoy “orangemasters fresh oranges” (the games). The main reason of my purchase should* be the oranges, not the juicemaker.

    Now, lets say you discover these juicemaker its great to make banana milkshakes. That would be great, but, now there is the sharing problem. This awesome banana milkshakes wont be your little secret, you are sharing it with the whole world.

    It still does not seem like a bad thing, but orangemasters fresh oranges will stop trusting the juicemaker, since there is no point for them to keep making exclusive oranges for this juicemaker.

    The other issue, hacking consoles almost inevitable leads to modding and cheating. Which, spoils the experience for a lot of people that also payed for their console, just to have fun playing on-line. I know, this seems petty compared to your right (and I do believe you have the right ) to do with your console whatever you want, but anyways in a personal level it affects my gaming experience, which is kind of unfair.

    Anyway, I think this is a complicated topic, you have rights as a Playstation 3 owner and I have the right to enjoy the online experience I payed for, and sadly those rights are opposed to each other in more than one way.

    One last thing, please, dont assume that anyone that does not share your point of view have zero knowledge of how a computer works or hacking is devil worshipping, thats like doing exactly what you are complaining about: not listening your counterpartΒ΄s opinion.

    Sorry if my english is faulty, itΒ΄s not my native language.


    Eduardo R.

    • Hi,
      First, your english was perfect, and you’re raising some very good points, thank you.
      There’s a quote that we say : “One’s freedom stops where the freedom of someone else’s starts”. In your example about cheating, you are free to mod your console any way you want, because it’s yours, but you are not free to ruin someone’s else freedom at enjoying their games, because their gaming experience is not yours, so you don’t have a right to modify it.

      With regards to the juicemaker and the “orangemasters fresh oranges”, I believe the problem here is on their business model, they simply shouldn’t be using this kind of tactic to sell their oranges, they should sell their oranges because they are better than the other oranges, not because you are forced to buy them because they are the only ones to work with your juicemaker. Also, if I’m free to modify the juicemaker to use it with bananas, I’m also free to simply stop using the juicemaker or to buy another one that doesn’t restrict me, so how is it any different between “I’ll stop using it” and “I’ll use something else with it”?

      I do understand that people have different views and I respect everyone’s opinion. So don’t worry about it, you are free to disagree with me, just as I’m free to disagree with you πŸ™‚

      Thanks for commenting.

    • I see your argument but let me draw a parallel (which was the whole point of this article ) : Cars can & will kill ppl (might be second behind cigarettes but let’s not go there) => cars are evil => cars should be outlawed. (see the pattern ??).
      As some ppl pointed on different forums : Guns don’t kill ppl it ppl who do that. Same goes for quiet a lot of other things. These are merely tools any tool can be misused. And one should loath the Freaks that misuse not the tools used.

      One last thing … I didn’t see any mention of “anyone not sharing my point of views don’t know shit about computers” or an implicit assumption of that (it would be plain stupid to assume it, b/c you just proven –assuming that you are a pro — it is FALSE).
      “There exist ppl not sharing my point of view who knows shit about computer b/c they don;t know shit about computers” is not only a fair assumption but a TRUE statement –I think that was again the point of this post —

  7. A well written post, which makes for very interesting and thought provoking reading.

    Personally I think some the the problems you’ve noted stem from a core change in our collective lifestyles. A lifestyle which is in fact snow-balling and acceleration that very change. PS. My view may at first seem off topic, but I’ll try and hopefully clarify it as quickly as possible with minimal rhetoric.

    We all lead such “busy” lifestyles, in which we are constantly trying to fill every moment of the day satisfying a higher and higher levels of personal need than before. In that pursuit, we find it acceptable or even necessary to outsource as much as possible, which in turn frees us to pursue our preferred desires/needs.

    Now in this new age we are more consumers of services and produce that we require to for fill our needs, rather than producers of them. Corporations have realized our dependency on them in fact gives them power, power which they can easily translate to value. Together with the progresses in technology, these corporations are finding it easier and easier to manage their processes to in turn our dependency power in to monetary value for them.

    I think that the speed and the extent which our dependencies are be monetized, does possibly leave us feeling exploited by this rapid shift. While some of us feel powerless to resist this ‘exploitation’ because of the different levels of our dependency. And much as some of us hate the ‘exploitation’ we perceive, we are unable or unwilling to free our self of the dependency. This leaves us with three major grouping of people; a. the ones that successfully break the dependency, the ones that try and manipulate the terms of the dependency to gain/regain a position/terms that they are happy with (hackers?), c. and those that just choose to live with the change or even justify it because they don’t perceive the change to be an exploitation or or able to accept it.

    In my opinion we have long enjoyed the benefits of this shift in lifestyle (and there are may benefits to it), while we have also slowly allowed our views to change (which is inevitability).
    The question in my mind, and one I still do not have a answer to… is how do we strike a balance in this new lifestyle. Where should I break the dependency (and not buy the gaming console), where should I try and change the terms to suit me (and hack the console to do what I need/want), or should I just accept what is being offered because it satisfies or almost satisfies my needs.

    • Interesting point. I think that our lifestyles do influence all that, mainly also the fact that people don’t have time to be fighting for their rights anymore, or “it’s ok” or “the system is like that”.. we’ve been taught that we always need to consume and consume fast and we can’t complain and we can never rest.

      The issue I believe is that companies try to exploit our need of consumption, as long as we get something ‘fun’ that we want, then we’re blinded by everything else that comes with it.. An example, everyone wants cheap stuff, we’re happy to buy cheap shoes, and we ignore the fact that children are working like slaves in third world countries for us to get these cheap material things.
      By the way, there’s a fourth group of people: d. those who don’t like the dependency and want to rebel against it, break free, but they still like what they get from it so they consume it without being too proud of themselves.

      I’m not sure I understood everything you meant to say though, so excuse me if I was a bit off topic.


  8. Hi.

    Good written article and i appreciate that you took the time to write it πŸ™‚ But i just feel the need to comment on one paragraph, about greedy corporations and DRM.

    I do understand that you dont like DRM, i dont think that anyone actually likes it (although many probably dont care because they dont feel that their experience is affected by the DRM). But i feel that it is important to understand exactly why DRM is used. It is not because “they want full control over you and your freedom”. While there might be some slight truth to this in certain cases, this is not the full story.

    DRM is mostly used for one reason, and that is piracy. If there were no piracy issues, DRM would not be needed. It is kind of like: if there is no crime, do we need locks on our doors? πŸ™‚

    I remember back in the days when i played Jones In The Fast Lane for PC (have you played it?). The “copy protection” in this game was just a message when the game start which basically said “please do not copy this game”. In today’s games, one need deep understanding of how the copy protection/DRM works to get around them. I think that it is interesting to see how DRM has evolved over the last 20 years or so, and what the reason is for why such evovling was done.

    But the big question is, is it wrong of the people who spend millions, if not billions, of dollars on developing the products to incorporate some kind of protection against piracy in their products? Both when it comes to hardware and software products.

    I know that you want to get rid of DRM because so that you can do whatever you want with the product, not because you want to do piracy. But the situation is kind of a two edged sword, if someone removes the DRM, this usually allows for piracy to be done as well.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    • But the fact is m8 DRM is destroyed within a month tops of it’s release. So why even bother using it? Take Ubisoft for instance. They spent a shit ton of money just to make their games require 24/7 internet access which allowed them to put certain portions of the game on their servers to be downloaded through the course of the game. So without that connection your game is missing critical map triggers, script triggers, spawn placements, etc etc. So what did those “evil” people do? They simply cracked everything but the server portion so people could still connect to get the missing parts of the game. They basically emulated the server checks on the crack.

      So in all actuality while the companies are trying to use DRM to protect themselves, they end up driving more people to piracy as the pirates end up getting a better experience once the DRM is stripped. So either way it’s completely unnecessary. DRM only pisses off the legitimate customer, and thwarts the evil doers for an extremely finite amount of time. Which is usually less than 2 days after the release but can take as long as a month.

      So either way it’s a mute point in my opinion. It only serves to piss off the consumer and drive them into the piracy sector for a better version.

      But even if you sidetrack DRM you open up a whole slew of issues especially in the PC sector of gaming. PC gamers are treated as criminals first, and consumers second. While all the console’s have just as much piracy if not more.

      Infact last night I saw a leaked developer build of Gears of war 3 for Jtag units. That’s what, 3 months from release? Unless there’s a huge leak nothing ever happens like that with PC titles.

      Plus companies in general treat PC gamers as the redheaded step child of the gaming industry. We spend the most money to not only fund these companies, fund the hardware these companies use in their new consoles, but actually made these companies into what they are today. Only too receive utter disrespect at every turn.

      • Oh, sure, there are several different forms of DRM are very strict indeed. The example you mention with Ubisoft is a good example of that. So i can see why people want to get rid of such kind of DRM, no doubt about that.

        It is also a good question as you ask, why companies uses DRM when they usually are cracked (at least on PC) very quickly. Maybe they keep trying and hope that they finally will find a good enough protection. Maybe the DRM also helps for people who try to make a copy for a friend from the original disc and dont have knowledge enough on how to use Torrents etc. or maybe they dont have fast enough internet connection to download several of GigaBytes.


        But i understood KaKaRoTo’s statement regarding DRM as DRM in general, not just about the very strict ones. My post was more about DRM in general, if companies should have the right to implement copy protections against piracy if they want to. Even if the DRM gets cracked really fast, should the companies still have the right to do it if they want?

        There is talk about freedom on the consumers side, but shouldnt the freedom also apply to companies as well? After all, they are just as much human as anyone else. Now i must underline that i talk about DRM in general, i’m not talking about any form of DRM. I’m mostly thinking about DRM in stuff like consoles, which doesnt allow you to run everything you want mostly due to piracy issues. This form of DRM does not really affect the average consumer in the way that i.e the Ubisoft DRM does. You dont have to use the consoles online to be able to play the games etc.

        Now we can use the arguement that the consumers are more valueable because they pay for the products and therefor they should have more rights. I think that is a fair arguement, but this whole situation is a bit like “chicken and the egg”. I mean, without the consumers, then the companies wouldnt survive. However, without the companies, the consumers wouldnt have anything to buy. So both parts need eachother to excist. So does that makes the companies less valuable regarding the rights that they have when designing their own products?


        Personally i feel that it is a bit difficult to discuss this situation because there can be a lot of “if” and “but”. For example, we can say that DRM is needed to stop piracy, but then maybe this goes affect the user experience (like having to be online all the time to play a single player game).

        I think that the best solution is to find a a middle ground somewhere. Exactly what this middle ground is, that is a very good question, i’m not really sure myself what the answer could be. But i do feel that companies should have the right the protect themselfs against piracy to some extend.

        • Well, like I said, everyone is free to do what they want, whether it’s the user or the company, whether you want to do open source or closed source, everyone is entitled to their opinion and their choices are theirs.
          However, as I said in another comment here, “one’s freedom stop where someone else’s freedom starts”.
          I don’t like DRM, but I don’t really have a problem with it. If you have a check that prevents me from running an application if I didn’t buy it, I’m fine with that, if your DRM is to prevent me from running an application in more than one computer (I have 5 or 6 pcs at home), then I got a problem with that because then you are infringing on my own freedom.
          The whole thing is about finding a good balance, and such balance does not currently exist.
          If you want to sue someone who steals your product, do so, but don’t piss off all those who actually bought the product.
          If I buy an mp3 player, I bought an mp3 player, not a “remotely listen to songs bought on this specific store”. that’s the kind of DRM I don’t like.
          I hope that answers your question (I’m quite busy and reading/answering in a hurry, so let me know if I missed something).

          • @Hello, I see what you saying and while I agree that companies should be able to protect themselves. They shouldn’t do it at the customers expense. Like you said there needs to be a middle ground but here lately there just doesn’t seem to be one that the companies want to follow. Either their all in, or nothing at all.

            Likewise if their all in, they may slack on the DRM but actually employ another form of DRM. Which is in the form of lawsuits. This type of DRM vastly out powers the software type because of their almost “infinite” amount of money they have. But in all honesty I agree DRM is a huge subject, and one that requires a huge amount of research, and debate on all sides to really come to a conclusion.

            @Kakaroto, I agree m8. Like I said there needs to be a fine balance with DRM but so far companies usually go for broke and the consumer usually gets shafted.

          • @KaKaRoTo: I first thought that you were referring to any DRM and that it is wrong of console companies to include security in their consoles. But if you’re only referring to stronger DRM systems like where you can only install something on 1 PC as you mention, then i understand and that answers my question indeed. And i agree to that stronger DRM stuff is not good πŸ™‚

            @xPreatorianx: I agree πŸ™‚

  9. gr8 read m8.
    love the drill hack and after some quick ‘reverse engineering’, i’m the proud owner of a ‘slightly used’ PowerWhisk

    i tip my hat to u sir

  10. hi kakaroto.

    I’ve been following your blog for some time now, since i was monitoring the progress of aMSN! This post is IMO one of the best posts i’ve read. I’m studying computer programming and engineering and i’m really interested in OSS. This post is something that even my parents understood and helped them see why OSS is so interesting for me.. i’ve tried explaining it to them before but my words where not as good as yours!

    I agree with your ideas in this post, and also with your responses in the comments. hopefully in the near future more people will come to understand how crazy things are in the software/hardware world and there will be something done about it!

    Again, great post. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

  11. Hi Youness,
    I agree with your principles and points here, I also installed linux on my system when I got it. So I am in no way defending Sony disabling the feature.

    That said I think this is a case where the right core principles ends up being a negative. I mean most people, including yourself I assume, bought their PS3 to play games. And no matter how we look at this the ability to play games have been negatively affected by this. The PSN down period might be unrelated (although I guess some of the information used to break into PSN could have been learned through ‘unlocked’ PS3 systems). But even removing the PSN downtime from the equation there are problems such as cheating and piracy. And while it is a bad design to assume the client is secure like it seems many PS3 games did, that doesn’t help the people whose game enjoyment gets decreased by cheaters. And judging from the PC world it doesn’t seem like creating a model which truly stops cheating on an open client is doable.

    So I know that enabling cheaters and pirates is not your goal or wish, but there is a hard question if being able to install linux on the PS3 is so worthwhile that it justifies the cost of enabling cheaters and pirates.

    Since analogies seems to be the rage here, to me this is partly about inventing a universal door key, which is not illegal and it has many good uses (you can always get a key to unlock your own door), however one could argue that the cost in terms of burglary and loss of privacy makes the invention overall something which probably is better done without.

    • See but the problem is, in the end there will always be someone who will use the tools provided to do malicious harm. That’s human nature. If humans made it, humans will destroy it. So it’s as inevitable as the sun rising everyday.

      The only way to prevent someone, somewhere, from using any tool given to them for malicious intent, is too simply wipe the human race from this earth. (hate too say that but it’s the truth.)

      • You’re absolutely right that pretty much anything can be abused in some way. But i think that the question is more about how much responsibility each person should have and take for doing certain actions.

        To take another example. Take for example a gun store. Here people can buy guns, and they can use these guns to kill people. But the solution that someone came up with was not to ban the sales of every gun, but rather to put restrictions and security checks into place instead. It is not possible for anyone to just go into a store and buy any gun. The gun stores must do background checks etc. on the person first. This way, the gun stores have the responsibility to make sure that these security checks/procedures are being done properly. It is not the gun stores responsibility what people uses the guns for, but the gun stores do have the responsibility to make sure that proper background checks etc. are done before selling the guns.

        If we should translate this example into console hacking, it would be a question about responsibility. When hacking a console/system completely open, the people who does this knows that piracy can be a fairly large issue. Should therefor the people who does this type of hacking have some kind of responsibility to make sure that piracy doesnt become possible, or at least try to prevent it? Maybe make sure (or at least try) that only legal homebrew is possible? Geohot kinda tried it with his PS3 custom firmware, but when he released the metldr keys, maybe he could just have patched LV2 himself since i’m pretty sure that he knew that someone else would do it, in my opinion.

        And just to underline, i’m not comparing guns and killing to hacking. Killing is of cours A LOT more serious than some console hacking. All that i compare between these two examples is the responsibility part.

        • Yes, everyone should be responsible for their actions, and any tool can be used to do harm, let’s not even talk about guns, you can just talk about a knife, or a razor.. it’s not because someone can slit your throat with a razor that they should ban razors worldwide!
          Most of the devs tried to avoid piracy, but others enabled it, I don’t personally care because playing your legally backed up games is correct, but I just decided not to personally work on enabling it.
          Those who worked on it, I know that they did it because of legal backups and I know a lot of people who use it for legal backups and not piracy.
          In the end, I think the responsability should be for every single person to use their tools correctly and not to do harm.

          • Personally i don’t really care that much either. But i’m just curious on how people view it when hacking a security system. When this is done on consoles, there is not much doubt that piracy will be the biggest usage compared to legit homebrew. I think that most console hackers knows this as well. So i wonder if the console hackers feel that they have a responisbility for trying to avoid piracy (unless that is their goal of course).

            You’re right about knifes and razors etc., but i belive that guns are a bigger problem than these things. Afterall, there is probably a reason why there isnt any background checks when buying knifes (maybe on some types) or razors. That is why i used the gun example to piracy because many sees piracy as a serious issue.

          • @Hello:
            Well, I used the knives/razors example for a reason, because guns have one purpose: to kill (whether for self defense or not, it’s still to kill), whereas knives have other more common purposes and pretty much everyone owns one.

            About the hacker’s responsability, I don’t know, I can’t really speak for the others, but for me, it’s about the fun and the knowledge you gain by hacking, the entertainment of the challenge.
            As to piracy, it’s true, it’s one of the biggest uses of console hacking, but I don’t believe that piracy affects the industry *at all*. Anyone could download the movie Avatar, but people paid to see it because it’s a good movie, for games it’s the same thing, do something good and people will pay for it even if there are free alternatives. Those who do pirate are 99% of the times children or students with zero income or people who can’t afford more than one game per year for christmas, so whether or not piracy is available to them, they wouldn’t be buying those games anyways, so the loss in sales is really minimal.

            I think it’s rather the responsability of the game developers to make games that are good enough that people will not want to pirate them, as simple as that.
            *however*, while people talk to piracy, there is a real need for playing legal backups. And I’m not referring to the excuse of “backups” for saying “piracy”. I’ve met over the past months many many people who have a broken bluray player, or scratched discs (especially for people with children or pets), or simply because it’s more convenient to have all your game collection on a drive rather than on 100 different discs.

            It’s not because people can kill using knives that you must ban knives, it’s rather each individual’s responsability to use the knife responsibly. This is the same case, there are legal and legitimate uses for backups, and it’s not because some people might pirate through that method that everyone should suffer from it, it is rather each individual’s responsability to not misuse the feature.

            You may disagree and I’d understand if you do. It is, after all, a tricky subject.

          • That is true, knifes and razors are more categorized as tools while guns are categorized as weapons. It is however possible to use guns for legit purposes as well, like shooting at i.e paper targets for fun. I belive this is one of the reasons why guns are not completely banned for sale to the public, because there are also legit use to it.

            Yeah, there are definitely possible to use legit backups as well as you mention. I guess that for the gun situation to be very accurate to the piracy example, it would be that there was some kind of check that made sure that original backups are possible to run, but not pirated copies. Not sure if such solution excist though.


            “In the end, I think the responsability should be for every single person to use their tools correctly and not to do harm.”

            I agree with this. But if something is done and they know that there can be a bigger side effect of that action, i think that there also should be somewhat of a responsibility to make sure that there is a less chance for that this problems can happen.

            I’m not saying that people who hack a console should be held responsible for the piracy directly (unless they download stuff themself of course). They shouldnt be have responsibility for what other people decide to download. But i’m just asking if they should have some responisibility for enabling the possibility for piracy when they know that it will happen in a larger scale (most likely).

    • Hi Christian πŸ™‚

      Actually, I bought the PS3 (instead of the 360 which was 100$ cheaper) because it supported Linux.. I never used it on the ps3, I didn’t care, I did it to support the company who was embracing Linux, so it was a really huge slap in the face when they did what they did.
      Actually, I don’t think the PSN downtime was done using any of the jailbroken ps3s, I actually believe the PSN hack was done as a result of what Sony did, as a punishment or something like that.
      With regards to piracy and cheating, it’s an issue yes, but it shouldn’t be ‘worked around’ (hacked:p) by sacrificing the freedom of countless other people. Like I said in other comments, “One’s freedom stops where someone else’s freedom starts”, so while we should have an open system for our freedom, people should not abuse it to cheat because they’re sacrificing other gamer’s freedom (of a clean game). But the draconian measures that Sony are adopting are not the solution in my opinion.

      About your analogy, there are universal keys, and you can probably get one, but for your own use, if you use it on someone else’s door, then you can get in trouble. The proper analogy would actually be that you buy a house and the seller forces his own door locks everywhere and gives you keys to only some rooms and you can’t change your own house’s keys even if you wanted to.

      Anyways, this whole post, while tainted a bit by the situation with Sony/PS3 should still be considered generic and talks about the various issues withe closed source, DRM, license agreements, etc…

  12. I do agree, freedom is the way to go. IF we buy something we should be able to do anything with it as long we dont break the “street” rules. For example, i can equip my car with machine guns as long i dont take them to the street, and still i can share my car to the neighbours and anyone who would like to see. A lot of ppl will love to see, will love to touch, will find it cool and will want to do the same as i did, and thats why we hackers share the stuff online.

    Yeah, i get pissed when I just bought a game and after few hours of play I scratch the Disc and I am not able to play the game anymore. It is unfair for me to buy something i already bought and I think there should be a solution for us to backup our games in the way we want… afterall it is just something i already Own! They should take piracy in a different way, and fight it in a different way, not locking everything but showing to people and teaching them how to do… locking the system is no solution, ok they can strict the PSN or LIVE special stuff or extras, coz its their “street”,their “road”… but not the console, not even ban (just kick from online). They are just greedy and we need to eat all the crap… I think games should follow the same philosophy as TVs, afterawhile they could be free and released for a lot of ppl to experience… why just make a work for 10000 if 1000000 could enjoy? They would hve more gaming fans, more ppl would understand the game universe and more people would buy original games for collection or get extra content online…

    “Open” is how it should be… and I wish LAN would come back to the game universe…

  13. Thank you for that great read!
    I’m gonna spread this message to as many people as I can.

    One analogy I have for this is, my 2000 trans am has a computer in it that makes you shift from 1st gear into 4th gear when starting from a stop and keeping the rpm’s under 2,000.
    It’s pretty annoying and I plan on buying a plug in that bypasses the computer on the car.
    My car is the ps3.
    So the cars “skip shift” computer is a flaw in my car, like how my ps3 doesn’t have home brew support. Me putting that plugin in to my car would be like me using 3.55 cfw on my ps3 to play pokemon on my 55″ tv.

    Now should I go to jail because I disagree with the computer the manufacturer put in my car?

    Now let’s say I bought my car new off the show room floor, and few months later I get a message saying that I have to go back to the dealership so they can drop a v6 into my car, which originally had a v8, just because some kid decided to have a little drag race from light to light. The company would say the v8 is way to fast for anyone. And if I don’t go I lose the ability to use the radio and a/c cause they decide to install a “drm” into the ecu.
    This would be Sony removing otherOS.
    And when I go through the trouble to make my radio and a/c work correctly, I would get sued for making changes that the company says are dangerous.
    Just as Graf is being sued for returning Linux support.

    I plan on pursuing my education as a programmer/developer/hacker.
    Just have to finish high school;)
    I am learning some c/c++ tho, it’s very tricky on my own.

    Keep up the good work KaKaRoTo

  14. Enjoyed reading your article. Great analogies that will help ppl who are not into computer stuff to understand world of programmers/hackers a bit better. Hopefully ppl will stop blaming hackers for things when they don’t even understand what they are talking about. Again, great article. Thank you

  15. Just a smaller comment to what i said earlier. I do respect that people want more products to be fully open, and personally i wouldnt mind this either. And i also dont think that piracy is that bad as someone makes it out to be. But the only thing that i wanted to question is why a company is being called evil and greedy (not just aimed to what you said KaKaRoTo, since i know that other people have said similar things) if they include some protection against piracy. Personally i dont really resonate with that opinion, so i just had to ask.


    • Hi again Hello,
      I actually never said a company is evil and greedy if they include some protection against piracy. I say that they are evil and greedy when they use the excuse of ‘piracy’ in order to do much more than protect their investment.
      Do protect yourself, you have a right to it, BUT do not sacrifice other people’s freedom for it. It’s like saying that the president/king/whatever is scared of cars because he doesn’t want to be hit by a car so he suddenly creates a law that bans cars in the whole country! Yes, banning cars will reduce death by car accidents, but you are also restricting and oppressing your citizens, that’s kind of my idea.
      About piracy, read this :
      I really like that article from Wolfire (the game dev studio behind the Humble Indie Bundle) because it is honest, and it’s not just some stupid manager trying to explain to his boss why his product didn’t sell and using the ‘piracy’ excuse rather than saying “well, our game sucked”.
      They don’t have DRM in their games, and that’s great, and they’ve made millions in sales with the humble indie bundle.
      Actually, when you think about it, the real lost sales from piracy (not from those who never would have bought the game anyways) are pretty much evened out with all those who are *forced* to buy the same thing more than once because of stupid DRM. I bought God Of War 1 and 2 for PS2, a week later, my PS3 had the YLOD issue and I had it repaired.. they gave me a new one without backward compatibility, so I had to rebuy the same games in the GOW Collection. Many people will buy a game/dvd/music and the disc gets scratched or breaks so they are forced to buy it a second time. I’m pretty sure the number of people in that situation is the same or higher than the number of people who pirate and who would have bought the game/movie/music if piracy wasn’t available.
      And also, I’m pretty sure that a lot more people would buy things rather than pirate if there was no DRM and other crap that is being forced on you.. If I have a slow connection or a connection that drops every 5 minutes, why would I pay for a game that will kick me out of the single player campaign as soon as my internet drops? I might as well pirate it and get a version without that crappy DRM..
      Also, see this image, I think it speaks for itself :

      So again, DRM in itself is not ‘bad’, it’s *how* it’s being used that I see as a problem, the moment the DRM violates your basic rights, then that particular DRM becomes evil.

      Finally, about the ‘greedy’ part, it’s like I explained in my post (which really wasn’t that much about DRM), it’s about the restrictions they add to control you, just like a fridge disabling itself if it detects bread or pastries because the manufacturers didn’t make a deal with the bakeries.. that kind of crap is only so the manufacturer gets more money and the bakeries are forced to pay so people buy their product (who would buy them if it can’t go into the fridge).. it kind of reminds me of the whole mafia/crime gangs where you have to pay the godfather for ‘protection’… The very fact that this kind of system exists right now is why I say the companies are greedy.

      That’s enough for now, if you have something more to argue and would like me to comment some more on something, let me know, I’m always happy to debate πŸ™‚


      • So very true… reminds me the time I bought resistance day 1 and day after to know my smalest cousin just played around with the game box (inclusive disc) and scratched all …. also the time i bought kinect and came with kinect adventures and my xbox just falls to side and my disc gets all scracthed from inside… also reminds me the time I just got Bayonetta and after one month it was having issues in reading the disc…. IT SUCKS to buy the same game all over again… Zz

        I am with you Kakaroto πŸ˜‰

      • I got my response to my question regarding DRM in a post above here, so i dont think that i need to comment too much on that now πŸ™‚ I first thought that you were refering to all DRM, but i see from your earlier reply that you only ment the much stricter forms of DRM, and i dont disagree with that πŸ™‚

        I think that the biggest reason for piracy is because people simply want things for free. Or for people who buy piracy, they do it because it is much cheaper compared to the original. Maybe DRM can be an issue in some cases regardin if people do piracy though, but it is usually possible to just download a cracked .exe and use it with the original game to avoid the DRM. I did this one time πŸ™‚ (it wasnt really much of DRM though, it was more of a NO-CD patch, so that i didnt have to use the CD everytime i played the game).

        But yeah, i dont think that piracy necessarily is THAT bad as many say. And sometimes something sell poorly mainly because the product isnt good enough as you mentioned, indeed.

        Hehe, yeah, i think i have seen that picture of the movie example before πŸ™‚ That is a quite extreme example though, it isnt common for movies after my experience. But it is nice to be able to skip all that stuff anyway though.


        Regarding the greed part, do you have example of such type of DRM? That a product stops working if some “unauthorized” stuff is being used on it.

        • By the way, if you didn’t notice, I added an update at the end of the blog post.
          I just replied to your previous reply and now you have 3 threads in the comments and it’s all mixed subjects, lol.. as I was explaining about the legitimacy of backups, you’ve just made a good example, the NO-CD patch, using backups is basically the same.

          Yes, some people pirate only because they want things for free, but those probably wouldn’t be paying anywhere because they are cheap. As for ‘cheaper than original’, like they said in the wolfire blog post I linked in the above comment, it depends on the per-capita GDP.. when a single game costs more than 3 month’s salary, then do you have a choice? So even if those people pirate, the companies aren’t losing any sales (and since it would be a download, they’re not losing any physical media either), so really, piracy is just an excuse. Yes, there are lost sales, but it’s insignificant compared to the amount of money they are throwing into developing DRM technologies and paying lawyers to sue everyone and do DMCA takedowns, etc…

          As for DVDs, that picture is spot on, I haven’t seen any DVD that wasn’t like that, they all have unskippable 10 second FBI warnings and trailers.. since a few years ago, they made the trailers ‘fast-forwardable’ but still non-skippable. I even started doing a DVD to .iso conversion stripping the trailers before I’d even watch a DVD that I’d rent. And it pissed me off so much the first time that I swore to never buy a DVD, which I never did.

          Regarding the greedy part, I was referring to the PS3, you can’t run a homebrew game or an application you developed yourself, a company like Ubisoft has to pay royalties to Sony for each game it wants ‘licensed’ to run on the PS3, that was my analogy with the fridge and the bakery.. you buy a computer (the PS3) which you own but you can’t use it any way you want and you can’t run on it applications if their developers didn’t pay Sony for authorization to run it on the machine.. that’s absurd… it makes sense in their business model, but do the analogy with the fridge and bakery and you’ll realize that it really is absurd and their business model should change and adapt and not sacrifice our freedom on the devices we own.

          • Nice update, i read it now πŸ™‚

            About buying piracy, there is a choice not to buy it πŸ™‚ It is afterall about entertainment products, it is not something that people are entitled to get for free. But that said, i do understand that people dont want to pay 3 months salary for a game, so i do understand why they buy pirated stuff instead.

            I understand why companies want to stop piracy because it probably has some effect on the sales, even if it is small. But i agree that piracy is probably not as bad as someone say it is. Some people wouldnt buy the stuff anyway if they couldnt get it for free, so then it isnt a losed sale as you mentioned, indeed.


            About the DVDs, i must admit that i really dont watch many movies, but is it really that bad as the picture showed on movies in general? I watched a few Bluray movies over the past few years and i cant remember that it was that bad. I live in Europe though, so maybe it is a bit different here regarding movies.


            As for the greedy part, i see what you mean. But i belive that the closed part is mostly because to stop piracy. Every console is like this. I dont think that free homebrew games and apps are a serious threat to the game sales.

            Personally i dont think that it is absurd if a console is closed like that. When buying a console we know that it is a closed system and we know what it’s functionalities are. If we dont like this, we have other alternatives on the market, the PC. And in these days, PCs are very affordable πŸ™‚

            But i belive that this issue is more about software rather than hardware. When you buy a PC, you can install any OS on it. No one owns “PC”, it is just different manufacturers that assemble them and sell them. If someone had found a way to install another OS on a console without touching the console OS (or completely wipe it first), then i wonder how the situation had been regarding legal issues.

            I also think that this is more about principal than actual usage. Both the PS2 and the PS3 did support Linux officially (on PS2 you had to buy a seperate kit), but still the homebrew scene was incredible small, at least after my knowledge. But when Linux support was removed, then it suddently become a big problem. Dont get me wrong, i understand the principle, no doubt, i just think that it is a bit pity that it seems to be more about the principle rather than actual usage. And if the PS3 homebrew scene will bloom, i think that most of the homebrew will be for the PS3 OS, not for Linux on PS3. I think that makes sense though, but it make me wonder why Linux support is so important besides the principle. Generally speaking of course, i’m sure that there are individuals who actually use Linux on PS3 actively πŸ™‚

            But all that said, i do understand that you want all hardware to open like PC is. That would be nice indeed.

          • By the way, i hope that “individuals” didnt sound rude? I just ment that i’m sure that there are people who actively use Linux on PS3, so it is not just more about the principle than the actual usage for everyone πŸ™‚

          • And just one more clarification, i dont mean that principles is a bad thing. I’m sure that every human on earth have/follows some type of principles now and then. I just ment that i would have liked to have seen more actual usage of homebrew developement on Linux for PS3 compared to it being a principle πŸ™‚ And if it was generally more used, maybe it would be more supported by Sony as well? Who knows. Well, at least if no one used if for hacking attempts.

          • @Hello
            Yes there is a choice to buy it, and I’m not saying that it’s ok to pirate if you don’t have the money, what I’m saying is that it’s not hurting sales because that person wouldn’t have bought it anyways (and actually piracy does help sales, many games are bought thanks to “word of mouth” which is done thanks to some people pirating, or if you pirate a game today, then when the second version comes out and you’re not a student anymore, you will buy it… maybe you bought GTA4, but you probably pirated GTA1, 2 and 3.. and you never would have bought any of them if you didn’t pirate the first version),

            About DVDs, yes it is like that, you just got used to it I suppose, you don’t even realize it, that’s why it’s “ok”.

            The closed part is about licensing, money and control, not about piracy. Look at how Sony sued the Aibo hacks website (see because he wrote his own code to teach the robot dog to dance.. is that about piracy? or just control ?

            When I say it’s absurd, I’m saying the whole idea, the example of the fridge and authorized food, or the microwave or pan/pot that only work with authorized products.. that is absurd.. and the console world is the exact same thing, but you think “it’s fine for a console to be closed” *only* because you are used to it, and because they thought you to believe it’s fine.
            And no, we may know it’s a closed system, but we don’t always have to agree.. a PC is not the same thing, sitting in a chair with a keyboard and mouse on a small screen is not the same as lying on the couch with a controller in one hand and on a big screen TV. Also, a PS3 is 300$, a PC that is as powerful as the PS3 (and would play the same PC-version of games at the same quality) would cost 2000 or 3000$ at least.

            About the software, yes. I own the PS3 hardware, if I don’t want their software, I should be able to completely remove it so I don’t have to accept their license agreement, but I can’t, we used to be able to do it (Linux), but now we can’t, and that’s a problem.

            And yes, it’s a question of principle, I bought the more expensive PS3 because it supported Linux, even if I never used linux on the ps3, I did it to support the company who was embracing Linux, and I converted at least 10 of my friends to the PS3 because of that. To support a company that was open and nice to their customers.. then they removed linux.. and now I regret being such a fanboy and promoter or the PS3.

          • I agree what you say about piracy there πŸ™‚

            About DVDs, i just checked a movie (Valkyrie) and it did indeed have 2 trailers before the movie. I could fast forward as you mentioned earlier, so it only took me about 30 seconds to get to the menu. I tried 2 Bluray movies (300 and The Dark Knight), and surprisingly the movies started right away, i didnt even get any menu first. The only thing that was in the begining was the Warner Bros clip (could fast forward that too). Not sure if it has anything to do with my settings on the the Bluray player, but the movie started right away, which surprised me. All movies are european copies.


            You’re right that it is about licensing as well. But the control part is mostly about piracy in my opinion. And also control that unauthorized programs like cheating online isnt possible. I dont think that perfectly legit homebrew apps and games are a threat to other software sales. I would at least be surprised if the console companies also thinks that.

            I see what you mean with your example regarding food, and in principle it is kinda the same, i agree to that. But i think that it is important not to forget that we are talking about luxury entertainment products here (consoles) and not life essensial things like food. Although the same principle, i agree to that, the perspectives are quite different beteween the two things.

            About AIBO, wasnt the lawsuit about software there as well? That you could buy different versions of AIBO where each version could do different things? And someone hacked it to do more things? But from the little that i have read about AIBO, i agree that the lawsuit seems a bit silly. I think that Sony also though so in afterthought, seeing that they released some free stuff later on (at least that is what Wikipedia says).


            About consoles, it is actually not because i am used to it that i say it is fine. I think that it is fine because we do have choice to buy the product, and i think that if the producer of the product doesnt want to make it fully open, that this is a freedom/choice the producer shall have. As you say, we dont have to agree with it or like it, that is true, but if we consumer dont like it, we can simply chose not to buy it and buy something else instead. If there were no other alternatives on the market, then maybe i would have a bit different opinion on it. But we do have alternatives, mainly the PC πŸ™‚

            You’re right about that PC can be more expencive, although today you will probably be able to find a PC for around $1000 or maybe even less that is just as powerful (if not more powerful) than the PS3. Today’s gfx cards usually also have HDMI out, so they can connect to the TV fine. Even my old Pentium3 with 500MHz has s-video out πŸ™‚ PCs also supports most handheld controllers (both PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii controllers) as well, so PCs can usually “emulate” the console experience quite good in these days πŸ™‚


            It is an interesting question about what you say about removing the software from the consoles. I belive that the reason for why we cant do this is because they usually price the console lower in hope to make more money on the software sales. I saw in an earlier comment that you didnt like this business model, but if this business model wasnt possibl

          • I agree what you say about piracy there πŸ™‚

            About DVDs, i just checked a movie (Valkyrie) and it did indeed have 2 trailers before the movie. I could fast forward as you mentioned earlier, so it only took me about 30 seconds to get to the menu. I tried 2 Bluray movies (300 and The Dark Knight), and surprisingly the movies started right away, i didnt even get any menu first. The only thing that was in the begining was the Warner Bros clip (could fast forward that too). Not sure if it has anything to do with my settings on the the Bluray player, but the movie started right away, which surprised me. All movies are european copies.


            You’re right that it is about licensing as well. But i think that the control part is mostly about piracy in my opinion. And also control that unauthorized programs like cheating online isnt possible. I dont think that perfectly legit homebrew apps and games are a threat to other software sales. I would at least be surprised if the console companies also thinks that.

            I see what you mean with your example regarding kitchen items and food, and in principle it is kinda the same, i agree to that. But i think that it is important not to forget that we are talking about luxury entertainment products here (consoles) and not life essensial things like food. Although the same principle, i agree to that, the perspectives are quite different beteween the two things.

            About AIBO, wasnt the lawsuit about software there as well? That you could buy different versions of AIBO where each version could do different things? And someone hacked it to do more things? But from the little that i have read about AIBO, i agree that the lawsuit seems a bit silly. I think that Sony also though so in afterthought, seeing that they released some free stuff later on (at least that is what Wikipedia says).


            About consoles, it is actually not because i am used to it that i say it is fine. I think that it is fine because we do have choice to buy the product, and i think that if the producer of the product doesnt want to make it fully open, that this is a freedom/choice the producer shall have. As you say, we dont have to agree with it or like it, that is true, but if we consumer dont like it, we can simply chose not to buy it and buy something else instead. If there were no other alternatives on the market, then maybe i would have a bit different opinion on it. But we do have alternatives, mainly the PC πŸ™‚

            You’re right about that PC can be more expencive, although today you will probably be able to find a PC for around $1000 or maybe even less that is just as powerful (if not more powerful) than the PS3. Today’s gfx cards usually also have HDMI out, so they can connect to the TV fine. Even my old Pentium3 with 500MHz has s-video out πŸ™‚ PCs also supports most handheld controllers (both PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii controllers) as well, so PCs can usually “emulate” the console experience quite good in these days πŸ™‚


            It is an interesting question about what you say about removing the software from the consoles. I belive that the reason for why we cant do this is because they usually price the console lower in hope to make more money on the software sales. I saw in an earlier comment that you didnt like this business model, but if this business model didnt excist, then i think maybe consoles would be priced a lot higher. I think that the PS3 cost about 1 billion dollar in R&D costs, so then they had to sell the console with a much bigger profit to be able to make the money in if they didnt want to focus mostly on the software sales.


            I see what you mean regarding Linux. It is a pity that it was removed indeed, i agree with that. I also think that if Geohot hadnt showed that OtherOS could be used for hacking attempts, then the PS3 Phat models would still have OtherOS.

  16. This article was very well put together. I feel your pain bro. I am sick of governments and corporations basically using words and phrases in the wrong context just to badly publicize certain events. This in turn makes them look good or at least proactive in solving their problems. Hacking is normal, without hacking most of what we see today would not be here. Governments did the same with other words; anarchy being one. Most people would assume that anarchy is bad/evil and generally consists of causing trouble and violence. Please go away and look up the definition of anarchy if you don’t believe me. It essentially means that we are not controlled/led by royaly or governments. In fact the community governs and polices itself. Anyway, excellent article. Good work!!

  17. Hello, I’m from Brazil and I also work as a programmer, I want to congratulate the first post by Kakarot and say that I’m your fan, was excellent and I totally agree, we must be free to program whatever we want. I can say on behalf of the comon Kakarato gamers that changed the history of the PS3 in Brazil and I’m sure in many other countries was also mudaddo. The post was great, I think that anyone can understand what is programming, open source hacker. Thanks and see you next. Sorry for writing, I am using a translator.

  18. I would just like to say thanx for the work on the PS3 and the scene! But how do you have time to code when you write your own blogs and answer to people on here? Is there anything besides numbers and letters in your daily view?

  19. Hacking:
    In my view Hacker was like a totally techie guy and will be able to crack any things which comes in his way. But you put the Hacker in the simplest form possible. I admit that am too a Hacker now because I have many such kind of small experiments done at my home. The best part of this paragraph for me is Comparing it with the recipe. As a programming guy I knew about Hackers but many people still have a mis-conception about hackers. Hope this help to clear their minds.
    Before reading this article I had a bad opinion on reverse engineering, But now I understood what exactly it is.

    The Greedy Comparison:
    You really dumped in a lot of information and Knowledge and common sense into my brain. And again nice way of comparing against the Kitchen items. I really liked it and would even help a laymen to understand easily.

    Let’s hope that this kind of articles will impart some knowledge and common sense to all the people and make the “Open source” win the war one day.


    • Maybe i’m misunderstand what you mean with “win the war”, but in my opinion there should’nt be a war between closed-source and open-source software. People should have the freedom to choose if they want to make closed or open source software.

      And just a quick comment about the kitchen items πŸ™‚ While i do understand KaKaRoTo’s point with these examples, i think that it is important to note that kitchen items are more about hardware than software. When someone get sued of hacking, this is very often due to software hacking of closed-source software, not about pure hardware modifications/hacking. Come to think of it, is there any examples of where someone has been sued due to hardware modifications (besides patent violations)? I know about lawsuits against modchips, but i’d argue that modchips are more about software since those chips got software on them.

      • Hi Eric,
        Yes, as stated above (in comments I think), you are definitely free to chose how you want to release your own software. As long as you don’t force something on others which infringes on their freedom (like Sony’s BGM rootkit scandal). But there is a sort of ‘war of thought’.. we’re already winning, 10 years ago, Microsoft almost convinced the world that open source is “evil” and Linux kills the economy, etc…

        About the hardware vs. software, yes, you are right, they say it’s because you modify the software which you are only “licensed” to use… but what if I don’t agree with the license agreement? or what if I used to agree but I don’t anymore (it’s not an agreement for life) then what? I already bought and I own the hardware, so what can I do if I can’t or don’t want to use the software that comes with it anymore? I should be able to install a custom firmware on it (OtherOS?), but they don’t allow it.
        If the hardware cannot run without the software, then I consider the software to be an integral part of the hardware because it’s a critical component for it to work.. just like a coffee machine can’t run without the software on it, but you can modify the hardware any way you want and you won’t get sued for it.
        I believe there were lawsuits because of hardware mods, I just can’t think of any right now (I’m no law expert).


        • I’d like to point out as well… one doesn’t actually sign any sort of (legally witnessed) agreement when they walk into “BigStoreHere” and lay down their money for a hardware product that has – essentially, until you have been parted from your money, purchase, open it (thus devalued it as well) and _then_ maybe read the booklets – undisclosed license agreements.

          I have yet to hear of a valid, blanket (every store everywhere) return policy on opened merchandise for “I don’t agree to the enclosed licenses.” In the case of software, it’s more often than not “if you opened it the best you can get is in store credit.”

          Great article KaKaRoTo! Punishing enthusiastically loyal paying customers that give free advertisement and further incentives to make that line on the sales spreadsheets jump up for the sky should not be in any prospering companies playbook. Yeah, I’m looking at how Apple and Sony both brag their sales figures AFTER the jailbreaks on the one hand, while seeking litigation against customers (specifically the hacker sort) at the same time.

          • @Cory: That’s true, but concidering that many of these EULAs are available online and concidering how common internet access are in these days, i don’t know how far you would get complaining about it after buying the product. Although i must admit that i’m curious how such a complain would be handled. If you don’t have internet access, i’m sure that it is possible to ask in the store first about the EULA if there is any doubt.

            If the EULA does not excist online somewhere and that you have to start the software first to be able to see it, and if you then disagree with the EULA, then i think that you should be entitled to get a full refund.

            I’d say that it is the companies responsibility to make sure that the EULAs are easily available and that it is the consumers responsibility to check up on these things before buying something.

          • @Eric.. not everyone has internet, and most importantly, not everyone checks it before buying.. how many moms/dads bought the console without knowing even what it does?
            I myself never planned to buy a PS3, all I knew was that it had linux support, I went to Future Shop for a new screen for my PC, and I saw an xbox, and it was an impulsive buy, I decided right there to buy a console.. but I went for PS3 because I knew it had linux. If I went home to google a bit and read the 200 page legalese, I wouldn’t have bought it, because :
            1 – I wouldn’t agree to the EULA
            2 – The “impulse buy” would have been gone.
            So while they try to make it look like the EULA is available for everyone to read, they don’t want you to read it.. because they’d lose a sale.. and that’s why it’s written in such words that you can’t get past the second line without snoring.

        • Yeah, i was’nt sure if he ment war in the sense of “only Open Source should be allowed, ban all Closed Source” or “lets fight to get Open Source more popular”. You’re right that open source is much more popular and accepted in these days, which i think is a good example that both closed source and open source can excist hand in hand without any problem πŸ™‚

          As for the EULA, i’m not entierly sure, but i belive that you’re bound to it as long as you want to use the product (granted that what’s written in the EULA is legal). Kinda like if you get a car and a drivers license, you’re not allowed to drive if you later on decide that you no longer like the traffic rules.

          You’re right that consoles needs an OS to function, but then you probably have to find a way to get around it without touching (or perhaps wiping) the original OS first. But this is something that you know when you buy it, same goes with coffee machines. Why buy something and complain later on? Don’t get me wrong, you’re of course entitled to say what you feel after you’ve bought something, but why buy it in the first place when you know how things are? Isn’t it better to try to make a change before buying something?

          • The main difference I see there with EULA and a driving license, is nothing is implied in the agreement… you have the opportunity to clearly see, discuss and in fact are tested on knowing the rules (which were imposed, discussed and ratified by hopefully non-self-serving courts or legislators with the public interest and safety in mind rather than self serving litigation lawyers) before actually having the opportunity to sign something legally binding, witnessed by someone of the age of majority and empowered to witness such documentation, that says you agree to abide by those rules. Breaking that contract is in fact breaking the law that you implicitly agreed to abide by when seeking a public driving privilege.

            I am able to drive my legally purchased car on my private acreage to my hearts content, and even show pictures of me doing so (drunk even), discuss what is inside of it, how it works and (gasp) modify it however I want… without ever setting foot in a DMV, getting chased by a police officer or being mandated a court appearance. It is after all, my private property on my private property once I purchased it (and had it towed there πŸ˜€ )

            Any rate, I didn’t make the post to be an ass… I agree wholeheartedly that everyone should be allowed to do what they will with their own creations – but I also believe that once money changes hands for any product (note, product and _everything_ that makes it that product at the time of purchase) ownership is more than implied; perhaps no ability to gain from warranty or future updates if certain conditions of said update aren’t met, but most certainly contents at the time of purchase.

          • @Cory: well said, agreed on everything you said and you thought of things I didn’t think of, thanks πŸ™‚

            @Eric: Like Cory said, you can’t own a car before knowing the rules (the driver’s license) and while I can at any time refuse the rules and throw my license, I can still use my car in my backyard.. I can even sit in it in the garage and listen to the radio.. The driver’s license is in order to protect the other consumers when you are using the city’s streets (not your streets).

            Your analogy actually fits the PSN license agreement, if you try to cheat, hack the network, or disrupt other players, they can (and are 100% in their rights to do so) kick you or ban you from *their* network. I’ve said it a few times before, I definitely agree that anyone disrupting PSN should be banned, while we own our PS3s, we don’t own PSN, it is still a service owned by Sony and provided to us by them, if we don’t respect their rules on their service, then they have a right to kick us out, and we have no right trying to access it without their consent.

          • @Cory & Kakaroto:

            I agree that my car analogy was not a 1:1 example to how EULA works, because as you mention, there are indeed big differences between them. But my main point with that analogy was that i belive that you have to agree to the EULA if you want to contunie using the product, kinda like you have to agree to the driving rules if you want to contunie driving (at least on public roads). If you first agree to the EULA and then later on disagree, i’m not sure how this will affect any legal stuff.

            Now, there is a question about if EULAs hold much legal weight. I know that a private company can’t just write anything in an EULA and then it is legal, they have to stick to what is legal (i.e they can’t write that they are allowed to remotely terminate the product if they see the need for it). And you don’t sign an EULA, although you do click “i agree”. But i’m not legal expert on this, so i can’t say for sure. Maybe it variates from country to country how much legal weight an EULA has.


            You’re right that not everyone has internet, but it is not hard to get access to it if needed. And personally i don’t know about anyone who actually checks the EULAs before buying something. I have never done it myself at least. But my question/wondering was more about how far one would get with demanding a refund if they buy a product if they don’t agree to the EULA, seeing that many of these EULAs are available before buying the product. Is it mainly the consumer’s responisibility to check up on this or is it mainly the store’s responsibility to inform about this?

  20. LoL
    After reading the blog-post/article I can say I love the way everything is explained and stated. And after reading all the comments a bubble just floated out from the depths of my mind (following… the sound of the bubble ^_^ ):

    Beatles – Imagine

    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today…

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world…

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

    Peace KaKaRoTo! \\//

    /The next lines won’t be that pleasant/

    I don’t have a PS3 myself (only two PSP’s), but I’m followind the scene for some time now. I really like the thrill of hacking, just for making other people lives/experiences better, probably the personal fulfillment + as most of us think, some unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions, the corps put on us can be sometimes irritating.

    All the things going on the PS3 scene remind me of the Star Wars series. Even though with a lot of drama I can’t stop wondering why keep playing the old scenarios. I do understand the problems with the OtherOS+, but lately it’s more like begging for newer exploits / versions of cfw. I know the scene is wider than few IRC channels, and some sites I’m reading. But I’m asking if after poking so much in the PS3 and not only. other consoles too. iPhones. iPads and many more embedded devices, why don’t people, so called hackers (I don’t mean to offend anybody), unite themselves around a project/s creating new cheaper and more powerful console/device/whatever that will run whatever one wants it to run – form open source to retail games, even command spece shuttle launches if one wants to =) Yeah, I know hacking is about making things perform unexpected things, but most of it is about learning, understanding, and after that expressing. How was it: “There is no spoon!”

    Why not expressing by creative ways. Just asking – if you make a better device, cheaper and open source based, wouldn’t that cut the Greedy Corporations’ profits. With many enough great inovative devices that can even lead to the so called Greedy Corps bankrupt. The scenes instead of cracking existing devices, can develop new devices. Or maybe the scenes are not matured enough yet… well new members can always be set to learn from old consoles like the PS3, and even be tasked do develop for it, after understanding it ;D
    And just a reminder – don’t became a Greedy Corporation, ever! ^)^

    Nice to leave my scratch here and I tried my best in this language, hope it’s understandable πŸ™‚

    • To create a new device, it takes A LOT of money, and also a lot of time, most of us do this as a hobby, in the few free hours we have between work/school, and family.. and most of us don’t have any money to spare..
      There were a few open projects, look at OpenMoko ( ) and the greenphone ( ) for open mobile phones and for consoles, look at Pandora ( ) and Gizmondo ( ) but without support from third party developers and a lot of money for a marketing campaign, it will stay niche and won’t work.
      There are open devices, there are non greedy corporations, but it’s also about freedom of choice, I don’t want a pandora, I want a ps3. I don’t want Mario, I want Uncharted.. etc…

      • I understand the process and fighting/acting against the odds is not an easy task, but people had done it for centuries, some of them succeeding, while others failing. One of the downsides of the open projects is the lack of popularity. I know a lot of people think like me, but the medias are flooded with the corporations’ solutions. Another thing is the scattering of the open-minded ^_^ Like a lot of tiny islands isolated in the vast ocean of information πŸ˜€

        I don’t want to continue with philosophical discutions. I know most of the work that has to be done and I’ll continue doing it. While I’m in the phase when I’ve to learn a lot of things, I’m almost where I need to teach others how to do some of the things I already know how to do. And after I train my “army” we’ll talk again. It may take me some 5-10 more years, but hey it’s just time. I know that freedom is already here, and most of the people are blind for their own capabilities. I’m not sure if they can be freed from their own preconceptions. Reminds me of the movie “Revolver” with Jason Statham:

        “You know what’s so elegant about this little game, Jake?
        Nobody knows where the enemy is.
        They don’t even know he exists.
        He’s in every one of their heads.
        And they trust him…
        …because they think they are him.
        If you try to destroy him to save them,
        they’ll destroy you to save him.
        It’s beautiful, man.
        You have to admire the opponent’s elegance.

        And I’m pretty sure you don’t want to play even Uncharted… as most of us, probably you just want to live your life ^_^ Games are fun, but they’re also entrapment of the mind, it sounds funny for my mouth ot say it (fingers to write it), a gamer with more than 20 years of practice. Lately I’m investigating the Augmented Reallity gaming. It’s a bit closer to real life activities, and I think it’s a way for the gamers to get out of their homes and do some real life activities, while playing their favourite game. Like best of the both worlds.

        Most of the people feel so great when they achieve some big scores, win tournamets in the games. And in the same time some of them feel so deppressed when in real life activities they don’t achieve a fraction of what they can in games. And eagerly want to go home and start the game, where they are the best, instead of putting the same amount of efforts in real life activities.

        Anyway I feel nice that I connected with you, I wanted to connect with the scene for a long time, but the IRC didn’t seem the best way to do it. When I come up with real solutions to any of the problems I’ll connect with you again.

        γ˜γ‚ƒγ‚γ­[Jaa ne] KaKaRoTo san! ^_^

  21. Just some food for though. It is often said that companies are evil and greedy, but what happens if we flip this around? If a customer kind of demands that a product should be equipped with features, and if the product doesn’t offer this and then the consumer starts to call the company evil and greedy. What would this make the consumer? Could we define this consumer as being “evil” and/or greedy because he/she seems to only care about what that is best for him/her? (i just want to mention that this is not aimed towards what the author of this blog post has written, i’m only thinking about this in general terms).

    If a product doesn’t do everything that a consumer wants, mainly thinking about eletronic/entertainment products, what will happen to us? Is it just mildly comfort issues or is there anything more serious?

    Who’s freedom should be concidered as the most important one in this matter? Should it be for the consumer that perhaps that are not affected more than some slight comfort issues, or should it be for the companies that rely a lot on that they product succeed so that they can pay their employees and keep having them employed? Shall private companies have the freedom to chose their business stragies, just like we have the freedom to chose what we want to buy or not buy? Also the freedom to chose if we want to buy a open platform or a closed platform, seeing that alternatives does excist on the market. Or should the freedom be equally devided between the consumers and the companies, kind of finding a middle road/ground? What is the best solution?

    And also just a quick comment regarding piracy. It is actually impossible to prove how much (or how little) effect piracy has on sales. The only way to prove this would be to release in example a game and make sure that it get pirated, then take a time machine and go back in time and release the same game, but this time make sure that it won’t get pirated and then compare the sales between the two. So, in my opinion, no one is neither more right or wrong than the other when it comes to much piracy affects the sales since it simply can’t be proven. What do know however is that one download does not always equal one lost sale. And we also know that the entertainment industry is doing it really really strong. Here is one example of that:

    As i mentioned in the begining here, this is just some food for thought. I’m neither agreeing or disagreeing to what this blog post says. I do find this subject interesting. I also mean it as a general take on these subjects, i don’t mean it only towards what this particular blog post says. I also respect the opinions that are given.

    Thank you. πŸ™‚

    • I see that an icon was added next to my username here which make me suspect that someone else is using the same username or email adress. If my typed in username or email adress is used by someone else on this blog, then i’m not that person. I just wanted to mention this so that there are no mixups of me trying to be an impostor.

        • And i apologize for using someone’s else e-mail adress (if it is a real email adress). I just wrote a random e-mail adress, so it was purely a coincidence.

          • no worries, I think it takes the avatar from gravatar or something like that, there are no users in this blog (registration is disabled), so it’s fine.

    • Hmmm, I don’t care about the companies/customers problem as which of them is more evil than the other ^_^ And piracy will always exist, since always will be poor people, who can’t afford to buy at this prices (I know there are people, who have the money, but still preffer to download it), and it’s kind of giving the right to those people to have access to modern technologies/programs/tools/enternainment and it’s a simple way to get access to great processing power and blackhat marketing by viruses/rootkits/spyware/etc. =) Especially in the PC sphere most of the so called cracks/keygens are full with nasty addons ^_^

      What really I wanted to do with this replay is to bring things back to the point of this article: And it’s all the myths around the hackers communities and the urban legends – Hackers are evil! Corporations Protect our rights and our safety against hackers! Corporations try to protect our rights and our personal data! Hackers attack corporations, which are good and generous to us!

      And guess what – it’s not exactly like that =) What the Corporations do is maximize earnings and minimize costs. The payments for their employees is really a small amount of all the money, while making the shareholders richer is the primery target, by any means possible. Most of the corporations don’t give a s**t about their custommers, what they really care about is their money ^_^ They can tell you how valuable you’re as their custommer, but what they really are telling you is we need more of your money =)

      And what most hackers do starts as pure curiosity: How does this works? A simple question that even all of the scientists ask themselves. And if they (the corporations) don’t want to tell me how it works, I’ll figure it out by myself. After understandning how does the thing works comes the next question: What else it can do, except the things it was designed to do? And here comes the pandora box – it becames a tool and a weapon, some of the hackers find fancy ways to use the tool, while others seek more money/power and use it as a weapon, but it’s like that with all the things and in the human nature. And why the thing was designed as closed system by the corporations. The answer is so simple – fear. Fear that someone can do something better or the same thing cheaper based on the knowledge one gains. This is really a great stick in the weel of progress and I don’t like it (but it’s my personal opinion). I believe we need free knowledge, free energy, free food and in time it will come, maybe I’m a bit too optimistic, but hey it’s just me – a mere human =)

      Even in the corporations game hackers beated Sony, and Sony is trying to destroy them. They removed OtherOS+ from the console and it was a violation. There are two reasons that was speculated with about why they did it, not sure which of them is true. One reason is that the system can be reverse engineered with the help of OtherOS+, the other is that IBM don’t want Linux to be run on their cell CPU. But whatever the reason, they did not have the right to do so. Forcing their custommers to update their systems in order to play newer games and use PSN and the update removes some of the functionalities the console had before. After the simple question of the curious – why do you do that, the answer was, because it’s our console system, and we can do whatever we want with it. That was too much, this means that when you buy it, you don’t own it, you’ve no right to disassemble it, you’ve no right to fix it by your own, you’ve no right to try to understand how it works, you have to pay Sony to buy those rights. But hey, you already paid to have the damned thing, and they tell you even you have it you don’t own it. A nice British word – bollocks.

      Simple greed, nurtured trough power over the custommers. Yeah I know it’s custommers right to buy it or not, that’s why in my previous comment I asked a simple question, after gathering all the knowledge hackers gathered trough the years, why don’t they create a new device/console/whatever – better and cheaper. But here is aonother problem with the game industry – most of the big names create games only for perticular devices – so called business partners ^_^ Well it’s not exactly like that with the mobile applications market =)

      And in the end, I believe everybody has the right to be curious, and to learn. How one uses his/hers knowledge is up to him/her. And why suing a person that did no harm. Find the real responcible for the crime and sue them =)
      Well the PSN data extraction team covered their tracks well, guess what, next time do a better job in protecting the custommers data. And don’t call everybody suspecious a criminal. In my understanding if a hacker reverse engineer something and (s)he makes it to do something else it’s not even a breaking the rights of the creator. But if the hacker produces something with the very same parts of the hardware/software, did not pay licence/patent and sells it, then I see a violation πŸ˜€ The simple distribution of tools, what most of the hardware/software shared by hackers is, has nothing to do with the hardware/software the Corporation put in their product, It could modify it in some way, but it’s not a new product on the market. Some of the hardware tools are new products, but hey it was supposed to be a free market.

      According to those business models if I have the knowledge of how something works and I share it – I’m a criminal, because the corporation created the something doesn’t want to shere the knowledge and I’ve no right to achieve it by my own – again bollocks.

      Unless we put efforts in creating new open devices, we can’t remove this bad influence and the hold the corporations are putting on us. And the greed is in human nature too. It’s really easy to be a hipocrit and saying you’re concerned about the hungry people in the world, after which you throw food in the garbidge. You’re concerned about the poor people in the world and you seek to controll information/knowledge even the economy of those countries. And don’t forget the bollocks.

      Sorry KaKaRoTo for the harshess of my tone sometimes. But I wonder when humans will understand it’s not their job to destroy or oppress other humans. We have enough deseases and natural disasters to do that for us, so doing it is actually a waste of time =) Acting like some kids playing with dangerous toys. When humanity will mature? I hope I’ll be alive to see it. Probably I’ll be alive, and maybe all the struggle and drama is really needed for the process. ^_^

      • Hi,
        Thanks for this post, I pretty much agree totally with it, I don’t know what more I can add to it!
        Well said πŸ™‚

    • A customer can ask for what he wants, doesn’t mean he’ll get it. What I’m saying is that he should be able to ask for his rights and his freedom. Don’t request having air conditioning for free in your car, but you can request that you can add one later when you want to (model of your choice). That’s where the difference is.
      Yes, some customers are idiots and think they are kings and can request anything.. just ignore those in my opinion, they won’t get what they want and they’ll go on annoying someone else.
      When you compare ‘evil’ customers to evil companies, the difference is that a customer is the one that needs protecting.. someone who barely makes enough to buy food, versus a company that gives 15 million $ “bonus” to their CEO.
      I think the best solution is to keep the freedom equally divided.. basically, you are free to do whatever you want, as long as you don’t infringe on other’s freedom… I’m free to listen to music, but I’m not free to listen to music so loud that it wakes all my neighbors at 3AM.. that’s the kind of middle ground that must be found.. right not the balance is totally in favor of the companies and the customer is being sucked dry.

      What I don’t agree with you though, is about having alternatives, I don’t see any alternative.. I see the Wii (beurk), the xbox (I’m against it) and the PS3 (just as bad (or worse) than microsoft).

      With regards to piracy, I agree, we can never measure that effect, but one thing for sure, one download isn’t one lost sale. Most pirates would never pay for the game anyways.. If you read this ( you’ll see that they estimate 1000 downloads for one sale, or “90% of my users are pirates” meaning “I lost 1% of sales”..
      It also doesn’t take into account the revenue generated through piracy.. A LOT of sales are done through word of mouth.. you hear someone praising a game or you try it at his home then you buy it.. and a lot of this ‘marketing’ is helped by piracy.. also, if you pirated GTA1, GTA2 and GTA3, then maybe you bought GTA4.. if you never pirated the earlier games, you probably never would have bought GTA4.. those are also statistics that are pretty much impossible to get.

  22. Hi KaKaRoTo, while I agree with you on nearly everything, I think you are not legitimated at all to talk about openess or control, because you are doing about the same as those “evil” companies you talk about (and what’s worse IMO, brag about it). Yes, I’m talking about PS3, and while everyone knows you contributed A LOT to the scene, it’s also know you keep a lot knowledge to yourself, and well, you can do whatever you want with your knowledge, but its contradictory to all that sharing speech, you know…

    In regards to all the responses talking about cheaters, just keep in mind that you can’t cheat online in any decent PC game, so that’s not an argument against “jailbreaking”, it’s just an EXCUSE.

    • Just go ahead and look everywhere and find a single moment where I had *anything* and didn’t share it? Also, find a single moment where I bragged about having something without making it public.
      Also, that’s besides the point, like I said in my post, I have no issues with people keeping things for themselves, or doing closed source, etc.. it’s my freedom if I ever wanted to keep everything closed, as long as I’m not oppressing you and taking away your freedom by what I do.
      If I work countless hours, never sleep for a month and burn myself out to write some code, am I not entitled to gain something in exchange for my work? So if I ever wanted to sell it, I’d be within my rights, and you’d be free to buy it or not. If when selling it, I make it add restrictions on your property, then that’s not correct. But anyways, I’ve never done that, so I don’t see why you’re criticizing me.
      Please get your facts straight.

  23. What I think is that you do more talking than coding…
    You can always start a new career as a hacker politician.

    • yeah, I’ve been thinking of doing that, seeing as I don’t do any coding and I should be embarrassed when compared to you Mr. “my name, not yours”, so I think I’d better hide forever, stop coding and just keep preaching.. maybe I’ll create a new sect where we sacrifice n00bs on the altar in order to feed the spiritual energy of the great coders like yourself.
      Thank you for sharing your awesome opinions, as always.

      Best Regards,
      Mr. Sarcastic.

    • hey kakaroto mak i jailbreak email me i have a code that makes install packages

  24. Pingback: Exclusive: Interview #2 with PS3 hacker Youness Alaoui (KaKaRoToKS) | MyCE – My Consumer Electronics

  25. sorry my bad english (from google translate)
    I Luffy from Indonesia, I apologize if not polite .. but if you intend to hack the ps3 to version 3.6 +?
    because in our country is very poor, if for ps3 games have to use my original game .. I also boarding school boys would not have much funds as they see themselves living in countries european / american ..(i really want to play like Shadow of the Damned or Bleach soul ignition)
    thanks ..

  26. Pingback: Who Owns Your PS3? KaKaRoTo Talks Modifing The PS3's Firmware, Piracy and DRM | PlayStation LifeStyle

  27. I cannot agree that buying PS3 is buying hardware itself. SONY wouldn’t make any money selling PS3 for money demanded. It spend millions on R&D and is selling it with loss hoping that it will earn on software/licences etc. Maybe that should simply sell Linux access. So if someone wants hardware with access to Sony services (games etc) wouldn’t spend additional money for functionality that won’t be used.

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