Norway: Sony breached Norwegian Marketing Control Act by removing Other OS

By Stephany Nunneley, Thursday, 27 January 2011 20:29 GMT

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An independent government agency in Norway has apparently received enough complaints from PS3 owners over the removal of Other OS that it has presented the case before the country’s Consumer Ombudsman.

According to Norway’s Consumer Council, the removal of Other OS means that Sony breached the Norwegian Marketing Control Act when it removed the feature after being sold on the market.

“Sony claims a universal right to change or remove functionality from the gaming console,” the Consumer Council’s Øyvind H. Kaldestad told Arstechnica.

“The Consumer Council strongly believes there needs to be a limit to what constitutes a reasonable change to products we buy—and that terms of service that grant the manufacturer full access to literally downgrade the product or limit the functionality are unreasonable and in clear violation of the Marketing Control Act.”

“When a company use terms like ‘updates’ or ‘upgrades,’ it is reasonable to expect a significant improvement of the product and not the risk of being stuck with a lesser product,” added councilman Thomas Nortvedt.

Consumer Ombudsman can appeal and negotiate to companies on behalf of third parties, and if an agreement cannot be reached, the matter can be taken up by the Market Council which legally has the power to “issue decisions banning unlawful marketing and contract terms and conditions in standard contracts when deemed necessary in the interests of consumers.”

Sony was today granted a temporary restraining order against hackers GeoHot and fail0verflow for the PS3 hack which would allow Other OS to be reinstalled on the system. While neither party is no longer allowed to distribute the files needed to hack the system, the fruits of their labor are already slathered across the Internet.

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