Despite the release of updated firmware and a new game decryption key designed to stop PS3 owners from taking advantage of the console’s USB exploit, Sony hasn’t yet stopped using legal measures to control the spread of the modchip devices.
German residents who had recently ordered the PS3 Break have begun receiving cease and desist letters from Sony’s legal team.
The letters were spawned by the seizure of a shipment of the devices from Hong Kong when they were attempting to pass through customs. Officials were tipped off by the name of the product and were able to seize the shipment based upon section § 95a of Germany’s legal code which prohibits the circumvention of protection on technical devices.
With the names and addresses of PS3 Break buyers printed clearly on each package, Sony’s lawyers were easily able to identify and contact them.
Buyers have been asked to sign and return the cease and desist letters or face penalties of at least 5100 Euros ($7100 USD). Those who do sign and return the letters are agreeing to the destruction of the product and a promise not to purchase, create, or use such devices in the future.
These threats and agreements aren’t expected to stop shipments of the PS3 Break and similar devices, however. It is expected that importers will simply begin to use more discreet packaging for the products in an attempt to thwart future customs seizures.
I’m actually surprised that the market for these USB keys still seems to be thriving after everything Sony has done to lock them down. Maybe there are more users than Sony had anticipated who are resisting the firmware upgrades and giving up PSN access in order to retain homebrew and game backup functionality.