Sony Interactive Entertainment is requesting over $20,000 in damages and judicial costs from a California man that was accused of selling jailbroken PS4 consoles packed with pirated games back in October.
According to TorrentFreak, the man in question failed to respond to the accusations lodged by the PlayStation maker, and so Sony is now asking the court to issue a default judgement for a violation of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions and more.
As you may know, for its first couple of years on the market, the PS4 largely stood strong against pirates and hackers. But eventually, like every console, it broke in 2017, when jailbroken systems started to make the rounds and pirates started to move in to make a buck.
In this wave of piracy, Sony responded by filing a lawsuit against a California-based man by the name of Eric Scales, who it said was selling jailbroken PS4s with pirated games installed. The thinking being, if it took a stand, it would deter other and future pirates.
Sony claimed that Scales was using eBay to sell the corrupted PS4s and ran a site that advised potential customers to never buy games again, and rather steal them, courtesy of him, "Blackcloack13."
As mentioned above, the defendant never responded to the claims, which forced Sony's hand and for it to file a default judgement earlier this month.
“Defendant Eric David Scales advertises and sells ‘jailbroken’ PlayStation 4 video game consoles on eBay," wrote Sony in an accompanying statement. "These ‘jailbroken’ PS4 consoles are loaded with pirated copies of PS4 video games. Defendant Scales also advertises on his website that he provides ‘jailbreaking’ services."
Sony is requesting $800 for the two consoels that Scales allegedly sold, and $200 per pirated game that he sold. And since Scales is said to have sold 76 different games, that brings the damage total to $16,800.
Sony notes that Scales broke not only copyright of almost 80 games, but violated DMCA. Further, Sony notes Scales failed to ever show up to court, which is reason enough for the payout. Additionally, it also points out that it's not even attempting to punish Scales as much as it could. It left off multiple other listings and sales, and came in considerably lower than the statutory maximum damages, which is another indication that it's not about the money for Sony, but sending a clear message to the pirating community.
“This amount is warranted in light of Defendant’s willful infringement and violations of the DMCA, his refusal to appear in this action, and his acknowledged understanding and intent that his products be used to deprive [Sony] of the opportunity to sell genuine PS4 video games..,” said Sony.
In addition to the $16,800 in damages Sony is also requesting $3,458 in judicial fees, which brings the total to over $20,000.
“[I]f this Court were to decline entry of a default judgment against Defendant Scales, it could set a dangerous precedent, allowing the purveyors of pirated PS4 video games and ‘jailbroken’ PS4 consoles to avoid liability by simply not responding to [Sony’s] claims,” said Sony.
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