Sony’s warning on third-party firmware hacks

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Sony Japan confirmed in a statement that any third party hacks performed on their cameras will automatically void the warranty (Google translation):

Part of the Web site, the Internet bulletin board, etc., has been tested and confirmed that the software tool to rewrite the body software specifications of Sony digital single-lens camera α and digital still camera Cyber-shot has been around. These software tools are not intended to have been officially issued by the Company, please note that operation can not be guaranteed.

If the Company was to use other than the software to offer than Sony's Web site, not only not been certified, it becomes the outside of the object of repair and warranty.

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  • MdB

    It doesn’t say it will void the warranty.

    • “Sony’s Web site, not only not been certified, it becomes the outside of the object of repair and warranty.”

      • MdB

        While that is very unclear English, it reads to me that that aspect is not covered by warranty / repair. Not that it voids the warranty on the whole camera. In fact the ‘hacks’ don’t actually change your cameras software unlike replacement firmwares and the like. The ‘hack’ is nothing really more than emulating the Sony website to install ‘apps’. So it doesn’t appear to do this at all:

        “that the software tool to rewrite the body software specifications of Sony digital single-lens camera”

        • Could be, but the translation says “repair AND warranty” – to me those are two different things listed one after the other.

          • MdB

            Yes but the object seems to be the software, not the camera.

          • JL

            Let’s say the firmware hack has bricked the camera, or even destroyed, let’s say because it bypassed some heat detection and the electronics got damaged: Why should Sony cover that with their warranty?

          • MdB

            The time limit has nothing to do with thermal protection. The thermal protection AFAIK is still effective. Time limit is solely due to EU tax law.

          • Duncan Dimanche

            …. Sony shuts the video whenever it gets too hot… that’s what JL is TRYING to tell you… it seemed pretty clear to me and his argument valid… so please reread and then comment back 😉

          • MdB

            *sigh* yes, maybe re-read what I wrote? Hmmm? The ‘software’ in question removes the arbitrary time restriction, not the thermal protection. Understand?

            PS I understood perfectly what JL was jabbering about.

          • JL

            “Jabbering”? *plonk*

          • MdB


          • Duncan Dimanche

            his word was “eventuality”… that’s all. So it’s like a big IF….. lol

            Well I’m glad that we all understand each other then 😉 We can all have a good day it seems


          • MdB

            It wasn’t in his first post. He said ‘lets say THE firmware hack…’, ‘the’ as in current. But anyway, not hugely important. I agree that damage done by users is their own fault, just not terribly clear on the wording.

            to me it sounds like ‘if you do this it won’t be covered under warranty’, not that it voids the warranty of your camera. It’s a bit like having user replaceable parts in a laptop, you can replace them without affecting your warranty on the laptop, but if that part is defective it will not be covered (and may incur charges by the repairer for diagnosis etc).

          • JL

            I’m talking more about eventuality, not that specific hack. If you were Sony and I bring you my dead camera, would you happily investigate and decompile my hacked software to find out, if the fault is on you or on me? It’s not a public API that is meant to be used by hackers (and protects the camera from harmful usage), nor are the hacks certified for anything.

          • MdB

            Indeed, though I’m not sure this access allows access to low enough level to allow that. I believe this changes a figure in an info file somewhere, hardly low level stuff.

    • Hubertus Bigend

      Yes it does. Besides: no surprise that it does. Would anyone really expect something else?

      • MdB

        Well that is your interpretation of this Engrish.

    • Musouka

      It is because of the Google Translation. In Japanese, ‘voiding the warranty’ is written as 保証の対象外となります which would literally translate into ‘become not covered by warranty’

      • MdB

        And yet nowhere does it say ‘become not covered by warranty’ as a literal translation.

        • Musouka

          Because it’s worse than literal translation. It’s machine translation! In case, you’re wondering, it is the very last sentence.

          I was just commenting on the differing structures of sentences in both languages.

          • MdB

            Fair enough. I personally can’t make clear enough sense of it, but it would be very hard to prove this damaged the camera and in most places consumer law would prevent bypassing of warranty based on this alone.

      • Thanks, that’s what I thought.

  • TinusVerdino

    I’d like a hack for my hx9v to stop it from painting all over my jpeg’s.

  • Spy Black

    So, is that a leaked version of their own “software tool”, or did someone conjure up a program to rewrite the firmware or create entirely different firmware? Also, what kind of firmware hacks have there been?

  • J-Man

    In other words, if you hack the camera, and that hack is responsible for damaging the camera, then Sony could void the warranty, and may refuse to repair.

  • Dmitry Anisimov

    They could have sold more cameras if they opened the ecosystem.

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