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Sony sues California man for selling jailbroken PS4 consoles

He reportedly sold his systems loaded with bootleg games.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 8, 2018
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Timothy J. Seppala/Engadget

There hasn't been much piracy in the PS4's five-year history, but that's been changing ever since users started discovering jailbreaks that would allow running unofficial software -- and Sony is eager to put a swift stop to it. The company has sued California resident Eric Scales for selling jailbroken PS4s on eBay and his own site with piracy in mind. Scales allegedly violated both Sony's copyrights and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by circumventing the console's copy protection and loading systems with bootlegged games like Call of Duty: WWII and God of War.

Scales wasn't exactly shy about his intentions, either. Sony bought two of the consoles itself to catch Scales in the act, and noted that the accused included printed instructions showing how to install illegal copies, and encourage people to "enjoy all games free." On his website, Scales even displayed a skull-and-crossbones pirate flag and encouraged people to "stop buying games." He couldn't claim that he was modding PS4s for innocuous reasons, then.

Sony isn't specific about the damages it's requesting for the lawsuit, but it's entirely possible the tech giant will demand a large sum. As TorrentFreak explained, this could be the first lawsuit over jailbroken PS4s. The company may want to use the potential penalty to discourage PS4 modders thinking of selling their work.

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