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Sony's anti-emulation action comes to court

PlayStation emulators from Bleem and Connectix to be challenged separately today

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Sony has acted to block the release of a second PlayStation emulator, less than a month after failing to get Connectix's Virtual GameStation (VGS) banned. According to a report in MacWeek.com, Sony this week asked a federal judge to prevent Bleem from shipping its eponymous Windows-based emulator. An initial court hearing to weigh up the validity of Sony's demand takes place in San Francisco today. Bleem's case will be strengthened by Sony's failure in a similar blocking action made against Connectix back in February (see PlayStation emulator wins first round against Sony). Sony demanded that Connectix cease shipping VGS pending the company's case against the Mac developer for alleged intellectual property and copyright infringement, and promotion of software piracy. That request was thrown out by the Federal judge. However, on 11 March, Sony achieved a small victory against Connectix's development of a Windows version of VGS. Sony's requested all development be suspended. That demand was rejected, but US District Court Judge Charles Legge did order that what Connectix called "a specific bit of code" could not be used in the development of VGS for Windows. Sony claimed that "specific bit of code" is a part of Sony's PlayStation BIOS, and therefore its claim that Connectix had infringed its copyrights was justified. It hopes to prove that point later today in a preliminary hearing for its main copyright and IP infringement case against Connectix, a hearing which covers both Mac and PC versions of VGS. Connectix maintains that no Sony intellectual property was used on the development of VGS or exists within the software itself. Bleem will be watching the outcome of that hearing closely. Right now, its emulator runs on Windows machines, but the company is preparing a Mac version, due to ship in the second half of the year. It's hoping to outsell VGS by supporting all Power Macs, not just the G3 PowerPC 750-based models that VGS requires. ®

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