It looks like Sony's making good on a promise to ban PS3 users who've hacked or elected to run unauthorized software on their consoles. Members of hacking site PS3Hax claim Sony's already wielding its banhammer against "jailbroken" PS3s, knocking the consoles off the company's PlayStation Network permanently.
Sony's initial warning, emailed to an offending user's PSN email address, allegedly reads as follows:
"A circumvention device and/or unauthorized or pirated software currently resides on your PlayStation(R)3 system. Immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from your PlayStation(R)3 system. Failure to do so will result in termination of your access to the PlayStation(R)Network and access to Qriocity(TM) services through your PlayStation(R)3 system."
Users who fail to comply immediately receive the error message "You cannot use PlayStation Network with this account (8002A227)" when attempting to access Sony's online service.
One apparently UK-based user posted the email that Sony's allegedly sending to users who receive the '8002A227' error message:
"Notice: Access to the PlayStation(R)Network and access to Qriocity(TM) services through your PlayStation (R)3 system has been terminated permanently due to the use of unauthorized circumvention devices and unauthorized or pirated software on your PlayStation(R)3 system."
"This use violates the terms of both the "System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation(R)3 System" and the "Terms of Services and User Agreement" for the PlayStation(R)Network/Qriocity(TM) and its Community Code of Conduct provisions."
If users believe Sony's email was sent in error (Sony calls this "unlikely"), they're encouraged to contact their "local consumer support centre."
Sony's within its rights to ban PS3s for violating the company's terms of service--that much seems legally bulletproof. If you're using your PS3 in a way Sony clearly forbids, the company's hardly obliged to let you loose online.
Whether the company can take further action (read: legal) against users for jailbreaking their PS3s is less certain.
If you're running pirated software, you lose, no ifs, ands, or buts.
But if you're just trying to run another operating system on the device, say you want a bunch of Linux servers in a PS3 cluster, well, let's just say it's too bad Sony's going to punish a few for the sins of the many.