Sharing hack details citing 'freedom of speech' "is such rubbish," he says. All PS3 owners will suffer their actions, not just Sony. Must "roundly condemn" hackers.
Buying a PlayStation 3 console "does not give me unrestricted ownership of it," said Braben, using land ownership and planning restrictions as an example.
"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."
"These people are damaging to everyone with a PS3, not just to the games dev community, because of future security measures that will be needed, but there seems to be a blind spot amongst some players, perhaps because they imagine it will mean ‘free stuff’ in the future," he went on. Piracy has exploded on the console since the hacks.
"If someone buys the same model of car as me, and then after studying it at length announces to the world a good way of breaking into that car, it hurts me."
Certain censorship is a good thing, argues Braben: "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."
"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."
"There is a more subtle side to this not ‘getting’ ownership. That is the failure to acknowledge intellectual property rights, and rights to a service," he notes.
"It is all about what is reasonable. Hacking into a machine as an academic exercise is one thing. Broadcasting the information is another. We should all be prepared to roundly condemn such people. Right now it is Sony that is hurting."
"Tomorrow it will affect all of us in the development community, so we should stand against it together, now," concluded the veteran videogames designer. Frontier Developments created titles such as Kinectimals, LostWinds and RollerCoaster Tycoon.
Braben: PS3 hacks "damaging to everyone", "stand against it"
25 February 2011 | By Simon Priest
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