117w ago - Update: Some more legal doc updates have now surfaced, which include GeoHot's laywers response refuting Sony's claims (via Groklaw) that the "blickmaniac" PSN account belongs to him.
ArsTechnica is also reproting that GeoHot's PS3 SCEJ manuals remained sealed, that he couldn't have known of SCEA to set up a PSN account and that the PlayStation 3 serial numbers don't match.
Today many sites are reporting that Sony has allegedly found George Hotz's PSN account under the nickname of blickmanic which would subject him to their TOS, that the PS3 hacker is currently fleeing or vacationing in South America, and finally that GeoHot may have intentionally removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivery.
To quote from EscapistMagazine.com: "After Magistrate Judge Spero ordered an inspection of Hotz's devices and ordered Hotz to appear at a deposition in California, SCEA learned that Hotz had deliberately removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivering them to a third party neutral and that Hotz is now in South America, an excuse for why he will not immediately provide the components of his hard drives as requested by the neutral," the motion read.
In the understatement of the year, the opposition stated: "Hotz's attempts to dodge this Court's authority raise very serious questions."
To quote from VGHQ.net and EuroGamer.net: "It's safe to say things are looking decidedly dicey for poor old George. Sony is now also claiming that he lied to the court about having a PlayStation Network account.
"Hotz identified four PS3 Systems in his possession. He explained that he had purchased one of these consoles new in February 2010 and provided the serial number for that console. SCEA used that serial number to determine that on February 25, 2010, Hotz purchased the PS3 System at a Gamestop store just miles from his home.
"SCEA's records show that the same PS3 System was used on March 10, 2010 to create a PSN account under the user name 'blickmanic.' The IP address associated with the registration is located in Glen Rock, New Jersey, where Hotz lives."
Then, more evidence regarding his PSN account was discovered: "Hotz's ownership of the "blickmanic" account is further supported by the fact that an Internet search of the user name "blickmanic" reveals a posting discussing the jailbreaking of cellular phones - Hotz's original "claim to fame." Bricker Decl., 7, Exh. F ( "Just curious what people would pay for exclusive rights to this solution. [Motorola] Tracfone W175g unlocked and debranded. PM me." )
As discussed above, to create his PSN account, Hotz was required to first agree to the terms of the PSN User Agreement and thus he is clearly subject to personal jurisdiction in California. It is well established that a valid and enforceable forum selection clause operates as consent to personal jurisdiction in a designated forum.
Sony continued that even without his PSN account breach evidence, they already have enough evidence against him:
Although Hotz's PSN account registration clearly establishes jurisdiction, even without it, SCEA has shown the necessary minimum contacts between Hotz and California."
To quote from IGN: "SCEA learned that Hotz had deliberately removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivering them to a third party neutral and that Hotz is now in South America, an excuse for why he will not immediately provide the components of his hard drives as requested by the neutral," Sony says.
"Hotz's attempts to dodge this Court's authority raise very serious questions."
Update: Stewart Kellar, Hotz's attorney, has responded saying the missing hard drive parts have now been delivered.
"The 'integral components' SCEA is talking about are stock controller cards, not the hard drives themselves," Kellar told IGN in an e-mail. "The neutral subsequently had to explain to SCEA the form and function of hard drive controller cards. Those controller cards have since been provided to the neutral so the point is moot."
Finally, to quote from GeoHot's Blog: "Apparently, I have fled the country. ROFL
Factually, it's true I'm in South America, on a vacation I've had planned and paid for since November. I mean, it is Spring break; hacking isn't my life. Rest assured that not a dime of legal defense money would ever go toward something like this. And of course Townsend loves the idea of painting me as an international fugitive. I have been in contact with my lawyers almost every day; I would not let the case suffer. That said, I also won't let this ridiculous lawsuit run my life either. Then the fearmongerers win.
I will be back, I hear it's hard to come by the Xperia Play down here."
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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.