116w ago - Today Wired.com (linked above) has published legal documents confirming a federal judge has granted Sony the right via subpoena to unmask anybody who visited GeoHot's site, including but not limited to those who downloaded the PS3 "jailbreak.zip" file.
To quote: "A federal magistrate is granting Sony the right to acquire the Internet IP addresses of anybody who has visited PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz' website from January of 2009 to the present.
Thursday's decision (.pdf) by Magistrate Joseph Spero to allow Sony to subpoena Hotz' web provider raises a host of web privacy concerns.
The subpoena to Bluehost, which maintains Hotz' geohot.com site, is part of Sony's lawsuit against the 21-year-old New Jersey hacker. Respected for his iPhone hacks and now the PlayStation 3 jailbreak, Hotz is accused of breaching the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other laws after he published on his website an encryption key and software tools that allow Playstation owners to gain complete control of their consoles from the firmware on up.
Sony also won subpoenas (.pdf) for data from YouTube and Google, as well as Twitter account data linked to Hotz, who goes by the handle GeoHot.
The Bluehost subpoena requires requires the company to turn over "documents reproducing all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records, and application or registration forms" tied to Hotz' hosting. The subpoena also demands "any other identifying information corresponding to persons or computers who have accessed or downloaded files hosted using your service and associated" with the www.geohot.com website, including but not limited to the "geohot.com/jailbreak.zip file."
Sony told Spero, a San Francisco magistrate, that it needed the information for at least two reasons.
One is to prove "defendant's distribution" of the hack. The other involves a jurisdictional argument over whether Sony must sue Hotz in his home state of New Jersey rather than San Francisco, which Sony would prefer. Sony said the server logs would demonstrate that many of those whom downloaded Hotz' hack reside in Northern California — thus making San Francisco a proper venue for the case.
The DMCA prohibits the trafficking of so-called "circumvention devices" designed to crack copy protection schemes. The law does not require Sony to prove that Hotz received payment for the hack, which was designed to allow PlayStation 3 owners the ability to run home-brewed software or alternative operating systems like Linux. It builds on a series of earlier jailbreaks that unlocked less protected levels of the PlayStation's authentication process.
Jailbreaking a console is also a prerequisite to running pirated copies of games, which Sony emphasizes in its lawsuit.
"I think the these subpoenas, the information they seek, is inappropriate," said Corynne McSherry, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In a letter to Magistrate Spero, she termed the subpoenas "overly broad." (.pdf)
The judge also signed off on a subpoena to Google seeking the logs for Hotz' Blogger.com blog, geohotps3.blogspot.com.
A subpoena to YouTube, also approved, seeks information connected to the "geohot" account that displayed a video of the hack being used: "Jailbroken PS3 3.55 with Homebrew." The subpoena demands data to identify who watched the video and "documents reproducing all records or usernames and IP addresses that have posted or published comments in response to the video."
A fourth subpoena is directed at Twitter, demanding the disclosure of all of Hotz' tweets, and "documents sufficient to identify all names, addresses, and telephone numbers associated with the Twitter account."
Sony has threatened to sue anybody who has posted the hacking tools or the encryption key. It is seeking unspecified damages from Hotz.
A hearing on whether Hotz will be tried in San Francisco or New Jersey is set for next month in San Francisco federal court."
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Some more legal doc updates (courtesy of http://psx-scene.com/forums/785995-post1.html) are attached below, which include GeoHot's laywers response refuting Sony's claims that the "blickmaniac" PSN account belongs to him.
I'm really not trying to be mean here, but you have no idea what you are talking about. In particular:
1) This is still in the early stages. they are still in the discovery stage, with a neutral party facilitating the transfer of items and information. I hardly think that qualifies "His lawyers are clutching at straws trying to get out of this case..."
2) I'm not quite sure how jail time comes into the equation here - he was not arrested nor accused of committing a crime at this point. He is being sued. You can't go to jail just for being sued. Actually, anybody can be sued for anything...it really doesn't mean anything until the judge makes a final ruling (and then appeals can kick in).
3) This is a civil suit, so there is no "fee" for him to pay, other than normal court fees. Beyond that, he has to pay his lawyer's fees, but that's a business contract, not a judicial fee. Additionally, you can't go to jail (in the US) for an inability to pay. If he has the ability to pay and a court order to do so, that's different. But if he cannot afford to pay it, he's not legally required to pay it over personal needs. Actually, if SCEA wins and the court orders a huge sum to pay, he could just claim bankruptcy and likely get it discharged. Then SCEA can't even come after him.
4) By that logic, there's really no reason to support anybody challenging a DCMA suit. I agree that the DMCA is horrible and should be rewritten, but that doesn't mean money going towards defending people accused of violating it is being wasted. Maybe there are better DMCA-related causes, but personally, I want to see how this plays out.