Sony Corp (ADR)(NYSE:SNE) could soon start distributing compensations to customers affected by its move years ago to kill Linux support in a certain version of PlayStation 3. The company has finally proposed a settlement that is expected to cost it millions of dollars after a prolonged legal battle going back to 2010. Sony’s proposal is to pay $55 to any owner of the so-called Fat-PS3 who can prove that they ran a secondary operating system on their consoles. But those who can only prove that their Fat-PS3 became irrelevantafter Sony removed the function to install OtherOS will get $9 as part of the settlement.
It appears Sony Corp (ADR)(NYSE:SNE) has come to a point where it feels that it needs to put the OtherOS litigation behind it. Although the company has made the proposal to compensate the affected customers and pay lawyers involved in the class-action suit, its proposal still doesn’t stand until a federal judge approves it.
A major selling point
When Sony launched what has come to be known as the Fat-PS3 years ago, it provided a functionality that allowed users to install secondary OS. But in a later update, it closed that window and caused serious disruption to many customers who bought Fat-PS3 solely on the grounds that it supported OtherOS. Some of those who acquired the Fat-PS3 intended to run Linux on it. As such, the moment Sony removed the support for OtherOS in subsequent software updates, they were denied certain benefits and they felt cheated.
That triggered a string of class-action lawsuits. But those suits began to fall apart one by one as Sony Corp (ADR)(NYSE:SNE) convinced those hearing the cases that the idea of killing OtherOS support in PS3 was driven by the desire to bolster the security of the device. Sony almost got away with the argument until a previously dismissed class-action lawsuit was restored. While the company maintained throughout the hearing of the case that it had no malicious intension in killing OtherOS in the Fat-PS3, it now believes that settling with the plaintiffs is the best way out of the litigation.
A hearing at which Sony Corp (ADR)(NYSE:SNE)’s proposal to compensate the litigants will be approved or amended by a federal judge is set for November 8, 2016.