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Sony Uses DMCA To Shut Down Aibo Hack Site 418

Therlin writes: "Victor Matsuda, Vice President of Sony's Entertain Robot America (makers of AIBO), sent a letter to Aibopet.com citing the Digital Mellennium Copyright Act. You can read the letter here. Aibopet is the website of an AIBO owner who enjoys researching AIBO. He also provides free software programs to improve and add features to the robots." I bet Sony won't increase their Aibo sales this way -- don't they like fanatical customers?
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Sony Uses DMCA To Shut Down Aibo Hack Site

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  • Easy work around... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by grammar nazi ( 197303 ) on Saturday October 27, 2001 @09:19PM (#2488480) Journal
    It asks him to remove that long list of zip files. He should just claim that Sony violated the DMCAA by circumventing his encryption when they unzipped those files. Otherwise, how would they know what the zip archives contain?
  • by narfbot ( 515956 ) on Saturday October 27, 2001 @09:22PM (#2488489)
    Not too smart. If people can't do what they want to do with the products they buy, they might as well switch over to buying other products.

    Sony's hurting a customer, and potential buyers and themselves. Say if someone creative takes a visit at the aibopet website, and finds its waay cool, they have a potential buyer... whoops it not there any more.

    Too late Sony. DCMA is a virtual trap.
  • So? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Pancake ( 458864 ) on Saturday October 27, 2001 @09:26PM (#2488503) Homepage Journal
    well in this day and age we don't buy products, just the right to use them.
  • Sony vs. Lego (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fossa ( 212602 ) <pat7 AT gmx DOT net> on Saturday October 27, 2001 @09:29PM (#2488513) Journal

    While slightly different I think, it's interesting to contrast this with Lego's attitude toward hacking MindStorms.

  • by SONET ( 20808 ) on Saturday October 27, 2001 @09:53PM (#2488565) Homepage
    This just gives me one more reason to be glad that I stopped buying Sony products.

    I used to buy their products religiously, everything the top of the line. My first fun experience was when I brought my $800 (at the time) Sony VCR to their repair center, which happens to be located near me. They wanted $240 just to look at it. Then they were charging $80/hr. plus parts to fix it. The person I talked to at the service center said he thought he knew the problem from the symptoms, and it was about $500 to repair it after the diagnosis, parts, and labor. It really rubbed me wrong when he reached over to a pile of Sony catalogs and handed me one and recommended a replacement model that I could order right then and there. Was this a regular occurance for them? All this when my VCR had about 8 hours of use, and it was just over a month outside of their warranty period.

    I also had a similar experience with a camcorder I had spent over a grand on. That's when I decided to stop buying their products. They consider everything disposable, even after just a year of use (or no use for that matter). When I pay a premium for a product, I don't do it just to show other people the brand name. I do it because the company behind the name makes a good quality product and stands behind it. Sony used to make a good product, but they have never stood behind it for me.

    Not that they care with their sales volume, but until their service practices change and their product quality returns to what it used to be, they lost me as a customer.


  • by neonsam ( 170829 ) on Saturday October 27, 2001 @11:17PM (#2488714)
    If Sony were really serious about using the _DMCA_ against this guy, they would have had his ISP shut his sight down. The DMCA specifically grants Sony the ability to tell his ISP to shut him down - without notifying him directly. It's obvious to me that Sony's own lawyers don't think they have a real DMCA claim.

    (The law firm I work for represents an ISP, and we had to advise our client that, yes when someone requests that you shut down a site under the provisions of the DMCA, you have to do it, otherwise the ISP will be held responsible. The DMCA is a big stick, and can be used to very quickly shut down a site. Sony was in no rush to get these files off the internet)
  • by glenalec ( 455692 ) on Sunday October 28, 2001 @04:09AM (#2489116) Homepage

    Not all of us.

    I thank Microsoft for driving me to Apple.

    I thank Apple for driving me to Linux.

    And I don't like Sony much!

  • by Nubrian ( 160158 ) on Sunday October 28, 2001 @10:10AM (#2489477)
    ... that without Aibopet my Aibo's would be just cute little robots that wandered about my living room and changed occasionally. With Aibopet's tools they are fascinating machines that I can watch from the inside, change, and interact with in a meaningful and interesting manner.

    I have an ERS 111 and an ERS 210 and I must say that the software that was supplied with them (outside of their personality software) was limited and poor. Had I only had that to rely on I would have lost interest two days after receiving my ERS 111 and I would never had bought the 210.

    Aibopet and the previous VP of Sony were able to come to an agreement that was a win win for all parties, why can't a similar thing happen with the new VP - is this some kind of power trip he is on to stamp his mark on the job! If it is he has pissed a whole heap of Aibo owners in the process.

    People like Aibopet should be encouraged, he is the embodiment of what lies at the heart of the hacker ethic - he works for the good of the Aibo community, he works for free, he shares without expecting anything, and he has done his best to play within the rules. He deserves the support and the recognition of the hacker community for his efforts.

  • bleem! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by josath ( 460165 ) on Sunday October 28, 2001 @11:41AM (#2489613) Homepage
    This sounds oh so familiar to the case against bleem! [bleem.com] software, and especially bleem!cast. These products in effect replaced the console that sony sells at a loss and encourages endusers to buy more software which causes a profit for sony. They didn't care about this, they just wanted control of the market, which may seem strange to many of us, but is a common japanese mindset from what i understand.

    just my two sense.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.