The vendetta between Sony and the hacker nation has turned personal. Being a wildly popular subject on N4G, I felt I should give my two cents on what is happening, whether it is morally justified, and some recommendations on an end to the conflict.
To those familiar with the video games industry, mention the name George Hotz and you'll get a mixed response. His actions were the catalyst to a digital battle that has taken the industry by storm. Every site I follow has posted extensively on the topic and it's been the subject of wide speculation. For those that don't know, George Hotz successfully hacked Sony's PSN service through the "OtherOS" option. Sony then sued, causing Hotz reportedly to flee to South America to avoid persecution. Fellow hackers then attacked various websites through DDoS (denial-of-service attack) affiliated with Sony, including playstation.com and the site of the legal firm representing Sony. A break-off sect of the notorious hacker group Anonymous, calling themselves "SonyRecon", has now gone after the company in question. The group has distributed personal information of the upper executives, including marital status and family members, but for what purpose? I'm sure the businesspeople side of these individuals is separate from their personal lives, so why attack them personally? What is that supposed to achieve?
Maybe the hacker group is toying with reality, or see themselves as godlike figures hiding behind the insecurity of the Internet, but they are only wasting the time of everyone. For the loyal PS3 owners being forced to download multiple security updates, it's both disparaging and degrading. Gamers are the only ones who lose in this unlawful quest to destabilize the corporatism of the industry, so why can't this group of bandits use their skills productively? There's a reason it took so long to break the PS3 in the first place, so instead of waging a needless war against Sony, why can't the hackers work with Sony to improve the security of its console?
Sony has the law-abiding right to go after those who stole their products. Whether people agree or disagree on the act itself, or the manner of which Sony is going after these individuals, piracy is still illegal last time I checked. Piracy has been a massive issue for the industry and will most likely affect its survivability in the future. This court battle will set precedent on dealing with hackers, and the conduct necessary to negotiate with unlawful people. Stealing is stealing, and there is no way to justify it otherwise. These companies have enormous budgets to give us endless hours of entertainment and to steal honest, hard-working peoples' work is unethical and immoral. Those guilty of stealing should feel ashamed.
In reading Hotz's blog (http://geohotgotsued.blogspot.com/), he clearly has a god complex. He claims that "we" (being the people responsible I assume) built the PS3, and justifies it by saying it is their right to do this. That mentality leaves me with one question - why destroy your own creation? Why force yourself into such a precarious position when in fact you could use your extreme talent to help better Sony's system, earning money and a reputation in the process? It sounds like a win-win situation. He also explicitly states that Sony has turned this into the grandiose scandal it is to send a message; that other companies would want to keep something like this quiet. If Sony doesn't bring attention to the subject, he can't work in secrecy.
As you can see, I am sort of peeved as to how this has played out. I don't even own a PS3 and to know that a beloved gaming box has been subjected to piracy makes the blood boil. This time next year no one will be talking about this. Actually, maybe only those who plan on or who are currently studying law, or video game design. I want you all to take a good look at the group who deliberately pirates games and shun them. That's all we can do because most of them blatantly hide their identities in fear of getting sued out the ass by corporate Japan. And rightfully so.
What a hate-filled ninety-eighth post! I tried to ignore the scandal here, but a court case that questions the very ethics of an industry rarely comes around. Couldn't pass up this opportunity. Gotta love a good rant in the morning alongside my coffee. Anyway, I'll be posting my Crysis 2 review once I actually beat the game. Been preoccupied with other things lately, but I do have the game for a week, and I'll try and break my comprehensive review into two parts. Thanks for reading and I wish you all a happy Tuesday. Ciao!