PS3 Firmware Hacker KaKaRoTo Talks About PS3 Ownership

Youness Alaoui, known better by his online persona "KaKaRoTo" and for being the first man to develop modified firmware for the PS3, sits down for an interview with PlayStation LifeStyle to talk about the PS3, piracy, black hat hackers, and whether Sony owns its system or consumers do. Alaoui, who describes himself as a software engineer of Moroccan origin currently living in Canada, says that his passions are programming and open source development, which he has been doing for over 10 years.

Alaoui begins by talking about Anonymous and LulSec's attacks on Sony, and while he can understand why they did what they did against the company, he adds that he doesn't necessarily agree with the methods they employed. As for the PlayStation Network hack, he says that Sony took too long to tell people about it, and then they tried to downplay what happened. On that subject, he added that Sony's use of the term "cyber-terrorism" was "irritating" to him and that their position that they were a "victim" doesn't really work because it was due to their "incompetence in securing their own network."

He adds that "a month or two before the PSN hack" his group tried contacting Sony to warn them that they were "using outdated and vulnerable software and [that] they should secure their network better." He claims that they completely ignored those warnings.

Alaoui says that despite the company's removal of OtherOs, the hacking and homebrew community still wants Sony to provide them with a way to create homebrew software. That is why he created the "Humble Homebrew" initiative and provides few homebrew games for free to jailbroken PS3 users to enjoy (as well as other platforms)."

Alaoui says that the whole fight with Sony has always been about Freedom:

"It’s really about freedom, we should have the freedom to use our devices any way we want (within the boundaries of the law and without infringing on other user’s freedom), and having a legitimate path to homebrew is getting one step closer to that freedom. The PS3 wasn’t hacked for 4 years because we had Linux support which allowed countless people to experiment with the Cell processor, but as soon as they illegally removed Linux support from our PS3s, they have unleashed the developer’s thirst in getting their freedom back."

He goes on to say that he (and the majority of those who modify firmware and promote Homebrew software) does not promote piracy, and does not want people to pirate games. He also adds that just because some people might have used his modified firmware to play pirated games, a majority of the people he knows simply use it for homebrew or to play legal backup copies of games they have purchased. Further, he says that modified firmware would not be necessary if Sony had given homebrew creators an official means to make software work on the system.

Skipping to the end, Alaoui says that Sony needs to stop its current lawsuit against Alexander Egorenkov:

"They need to stop their current lawsuit against Alexander Egorenkov (who only brought back Linux to the PS3 and write Linux drivers, he hasn’t even looked at GameOS), they need to give a proper and sincere apology on their blog about their removal of OtherOS support, and give us a way for legitimately running homebrew applications on the PS3, whether it is by bringing back OtherOS support, or by creating something similar to the Xbox Live Indie Games."

We obviously abridged much of what Alaoui had to say about a myriad of subjects, but you can read the whole thing at PlayStation LifeStyle.

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  1. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    I agree that a low cost low barrier option for game development on the PS3 would be awesome. It was one of the reasons why I wanted the Linux option on the PS3. I wanted to try out various Linux games, especially those made to run on the PS3. It would have been fun. I was also interested in making some games this way.

    Alas, it is no longer an option.

    Of course, based on the state of XBLIG, I don't think it is viable for any developer to play around in these sandboxes. XBLIG has shown to be the bastard step child of Microsoft. I doubt indie development would get any more love than that.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
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  2. 0
    Austin from Oregon says:

    This guy is the least whiny homebrew guy I've ever read about. He makes a great point that so many others don't about how both sides can win if sony would provide a legitimate way for them to do their tinkering. Everyone else just shouts about how they need it all and piracy is irrelevant, but here's a guy who's willing to look at it from the company's point of view.

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