Frontier Boss Hits Out At PS3 Hackers, Buying Console Does Not Mean 'Unrestricted Ownership'

By Colin Tan on February 25, 2011, 12:37AM EST

UK studio Frontier boss David Braben has taken his stance against the recent hacking drama Sony faces, arguing that buying a console does not immediately mean "unrestricted ownership" and the recent hacking problems have left him quite annoyed.

"When we buy a house on a plot of land, we don't own the mineral rights even if we "˜own' the land," he said. "Buying a PlayStation 3 (for example), also does not give me unrestricted ownership of it."

"If I "˜dig' into it, I can't just sell or even give away all the information I find. It really annoys me when hackers claim they can do what they like with what they find, especially when it is destructive to the security of all the other PS3 machines."

"There have been suggestions that releasing hacking information is an issue of freedom of speech. That is such rubbish. Some freedoms of speech are also curtailed for sensible reasons," he added.

"Broadcasting easy ways of breaking into cars is bad for everyone affected, as is the freedom of speech cliché that is always wheeled out "“ shouting "˜Fire' in a cinema, which creates a real risk of harm to others. It is common sense not to do it."

Braben noted that many outlets, hackers included, fail to "acknowledge intellectual property rights, and rights to a service," adding that "a game is an item and a service too, except there are people out there trying to prevent publishers and developers detecting whether a game is new or has been sold again.

"The equivalent is adjusting the paperwork and registration number on your second hand car to get a new warranty and free maintenance out of your garage.

"We see shops using polishing machines on used game discs, and even replacing the outer sleeve to make a scratched game look new. With a game, the service is a combination of the single player game and online support."

He also points out that there is a fine line between what's reasonable and what isn't, saying that hacking a machine for "academic purposes" falls well within reason, but broadcasting that information doesn't.

"We should all be prepared to roundly condemn such people. Right now it is Sony that is hurting," he said. "Tomorrow it will affect all of us in the development community, so we should stand against it together, now."

Source: Develop

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