clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Sony could pay millions to PS3 owners after six-year legal dispute

New, 24 comments

Company agrees to potential settlement with Linux-loving PS3 users

Sony Computer Entertainment America has agreed to a settlement that could see them compensating upward of 10 million PlayStation 3 owners for the removal of Linux support from the console. A court document obtained by Ars Technica includes the terms of the potential deal, which comes after more than half a decade in court.

A federal judge has yet to approve the preliminary class action settlement, but if it passes, Sony will pay the plaintiffs $55 upon proof of eligibility for the payout. These include owners who used the Other OS feature to install the Linux operating system on their original model PS3 systems prior to Sony removing the feature, meaning anywhere from November 2006 to April 2010.

In order for Sony to award them their $55, claimants "must attest under oath to their purchase of the product and installation of Linux, provide proof of their purchase or serial number and PlayStation Network Sign-in ID, and submit some proof of their use of the Other OS functionality," according to the document.

Sony will also pay $9 to those who can prove knowledge of or intention to use the Linux functionality on their PS3 consoles during that period.

The firmware update that removed Linux support came in the spring of 2010, specifically disabling the ability to install other operating systems onto the "fat" model PS3. Several people filed suit against Sony beginning later that year, resulting in a class action case that found members attempting to reach a settlement various times over the next six years.

A judge won't approve the settlement until mid-July, but the document suggests it's likely to move forward. Sony has reached legal settlements with PlayStation users in the past, most notably after a major data breach in 2011. The $15 million class action suit reached a settlement in 2014, and users received free games as compensation.