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Sony agrees to potential settlement in 6-year-old Linux lawsuit

After a lengthy amount of litigation, Sony has agreed to pay PS3 owners who felt slighted by the removal of Linux functionality on the Playstation 3.

It's been 6 years, but Sony has finally reached an agreement on a settlement with the plaintiffs of a 2010 class-action lawsuit over the Playstation 3's Linux functionality. 

In 2010, plaintiff Anthony Ventura filed suit against Sony, alleging that the company was in breach of sales contract between the company and Playstation 3 customers for disabling the console's "other OS" functionality, and that by doing so it had comitted an unfair and deceptive business practice on its customers. 

The "other OS" functionality allowed Playstation 3 owners to install Linux and other non-Playstation operating systems on the console, until it was removed in 2010.

Sony has consistently claimed it has the right within its own terms of service to remove the "other OS" feature, and that it had sound reason for doing so for fear of the feature being abused by hackers and pirates. 

According to a filing discovered by Ars Technica, Sony has finally agreed to settle the lawsuit, promising to pay $55 to Playstation 3 owners who can make a valid claim that they used the other OS functionality, and $9 to Playstation 3 owners who can attest "that they lost value and/or desired functionality or were otherwise injured as a consequence of the firmware update."

The settlement still needs to be approved by a judge, but Sony's willingness to finally settle the case seems to be an indicator this matter will finally be brought to a close.

The settlement makes clear this wasn't an agreement made lightly by either party, as the case was previously dismissed with prejudice by one judge, had its dismissal partially reversed by another, and only arrived at a settlement after several months of negotiation.

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