Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

Sony Takes Legal Action Against Infamous PS3 Hacker GeoHot


Sponsored Links
205w ago - Update #5: According to [Register or Login to view links] via [Register or Login to view links], GeoHot and Sony now share same charge as a result of a PS3 OtherOS class-action lawsuit.

To quote: "One of Sony's defenses is rather interesting, as the company claims that it had no way of knowing gamers who bought the hardware would want to use these functions for the life of the system, and the multiple warranties and Terms of Service all said that Sony had the right to remove functions from the hardware."

Update #4: The latest documents reveal Judge Susan Illston has denied Sony's request for expedited discovery, essentially meaning Sony can't send out the subpoenas to other PS3 hackers mentioned previously, however, [Register or Login to view links] reports Sony is now preparing to inspect GeoHot's hard drive.

Update #3: [Register or Login to view links] has now updated his site with the following, to quote: "As of 2:00 PM EST, 1/14/2011, I am not subject to any TROs" followed by legal documents citing a request for dismissal by lawyers representing George Hotz and concluded with more legal documents now granting Sony the TRO although according to [Register or Login to view links] GeoHot laywers are now filing a motion to dismiss the TRO.

So, although there is still a court case to go through essentially what this means is US District Judge Susan Illston [Register or Login to view links] the temporary restraining order telling Sony to prove their case first, leaving the burden of proof upon them while Sony documents now allege George Hotz has a PSN account.

Update #2: Some videos of GeoHot on G4's Attack of the Show which aired at 7PM EST tonight are now available below, with his motion for temporary restraining order rescheduled for Friday, January 14, 2011 at 9:00 am.

Update: While [Register or Login to view links] now classifies the legal action as a restraining order as GeoHot hires a lawyer from Ettorney Law who previously won big cases against the RIAA and MPAA, Research Professor of Computer Science David S. Touretzky at Carnegie Mellon University has now [Register or Login to view links] the GeoHot file archive calling the bluff of Sony's legal team.

It appears infamous PS3 hacker GeoHot aka George Hotz is now in hot water himself along with 27C3 lecturers and fail0verflow members Marcan aka Hector Martin and sven aka Sven Peter and 100 John Does, as posted on IRC and his site Sony Computer Entertainment has now filed suit against him.

Charges include:

•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2)(C) - Confidential Information On Computer
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(4) - Intent To Defraud And Obtain Value
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(5)(A) - Knowing Transmission of Code
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(5)(B) and (C) - Intentional and Reckless Damage And Loss
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(6)(A) - Trafficking in Password
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(7)(B) - Intent to Extort

To quote from his site: "As of 1/11/2011 7:20 PM EST, I have been served with papers, see below...

[Register or Login to view links]
[Register or Login to view links]
[Register or Login to view links]

old front page, with relevant info removed, is [Register or Login to view links]

contact me geohot ... gmail

any legal fund donation things you see are 100% fake as of now, don't get scammed"

Sony claims to have sent GeoHot a $1 donation for his PS3 hacking work, and from the legal docs, to quote: "Upon information and belief, Defendant George Hotz is bound by the Playstation Network Terms of Service and User Agreement (the PSN User Agreement), 14 of which states in relevant part that both parties submit to personal jurisdiction in California and further agree that any 23 dispute arising from or relating to this Agreement shall be brought in a court within San Mateo County, California.

The FAIL0VERFLOW Defendants intentionally circumvented SCEA's TPMs, accessed the PS3 System and trafficked in Circumvention Devices and SCEA's proprietary information, with full knowledge that their unlawful conduct would irreparably harm SCEA.

Indeed, five days prior to appearing at the Chaos Conference, Bushing echoed a [Register or Login to view links] comment anticipating this irreparable harm: Last chance to sell any Sony stock you may have.

By distributing the Circumvention Devices discussed herein, Hotz has caused irreparable injury and damage to SCEA. Russell Decl. at 9-10. Recognizing the harmful impact of his unlawful conduct on SCEA and attempting to leverage his circumvention activities, Hotz addressed SCEA when he posted the Metldr Keys. Bricker Decl. at 22, Exh. U.

In an attempt to obtain employment, he wrote: "if you want your next console to be secure, get in touch with me." Id.

Furthermore, in a January 6, 2011 interview with the BBC, Hotz acknowledged that his conduct will catalyze the piracy of video games: "I hate that it enables piracy." Id. at 27, Exh. Z.

Despite feigning disturbance resulting from the proliferation of piracy, Hotz then went on to release 3.55 Firmware JailBreak and the Signing Tool - both components of Circumvention Devices that are designed to facilitate videogame piracy.

Finally, SCEA will likely prevail on its claim under 1030(a)(7)(B), which prohibits intent to extort from any person any money or other thing of value by threatening to obtain information from a protected computer without authorization or in excess of authorization or to impair the confidentiality of information obtained from a protected computer without authorization or by exceeding authorized access. Hotz violated this provision when, in the same post in which the published SCEA's Keys, he attempted to obtain from SCEA thing of value in the form of employment: if you want your next console to be secure, get in touch with me."

[Register or Login to view links] has also posted some additional court documents and the following, to quote: "My Wikileaks Fax machine just finished dumping the finished E-filings for today by Sony, with the official Court Stamp and Signings, and included now is what SCEA wants to claim in damages and their reasons, and dates of when the info was released by Team Fail0verflow and Geohot and various other info like sharing of work via twitter, posting youtube videos, etc."

From [Register or Login to view links]: "Ah, so Sony decided to sue everyone under US law. Guess I won't be visiting the US in a while..."

From [Register or Login to view links]: "Looks like Sony decided to ignore the facts and sue us all for it. See http://geohot.com/."

GeoHot on IRC: (IPs/other users/etc removed)

geohot: [Register or Login to view links]
geohot: they expect me to be in SF tomorrow at 9am :/
geohot: they also say i am taking donations, which i am not
geohot: and that i have a twitter, which i do not
geohot: moving to spain :P
geohot: old index page and jailbreak.zip has been restored to geohot.com
geohot: i assure you i am takely this matter very seriously
geohot: after reading the documents and consulting with my legal team, i have decided to repost the information and jailbreak
geohot: the tro is proposed, not signed
geohot: if the court signs off on the tro, i will comply with the courts decision
geohot: whats ironic is the program to get the metldr key was run under otheros
geohot: 100% legally
geohot: on 3.15
geohot: nothing was circumvented









Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene and PlayStation 4 scene updates and fresh homebrew releases!

Comments 262 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

• Please Register at PS3News.com or Login to make comments on Site News articles.
 
#252 - crud26 - 195w ago
crud26's Avatar
Well Sony seems to think that he is in South America according to their court documents:

[Register or Login to view links]

Though the evidence establishing personal jurisdiction is already overwhelming, SCEA has little doubt that there is much more. However, over the last several weeks. Hotz has engaged in a campaign to thwart jurisdictional discovery at every turn –regardless of whether the Court has ordered such discovery or not. Most seriously, 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. Hotz’s attempts to dodge this Court’s authority raise very serious questions.

#251 - SinnerShanky - 195w ago
SinnerShanky's Avatar
this is a rumor... kakarotoks confirmed it being a rumor...!!

#250 - crud26 - 195w ago
crud26's Avatar
Update: Some more legal doc updates have now surfaced, which include GeoHot's laywers response refuting Sony's claims (via [Register or Login to view links]) that the "blickmaniac" PSN account belongs to him.

[Register or Login to view links] 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 [Register or Login to view links] or [Register or Login to view links] in South America, and finally that GeoHot may have intentionally removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivery.

To quote from [Register or Login to view links]: "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 [Register or Login to view links] 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 [Register or Login to view links] and [Register or Login to view links]: "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 [Register or Login to view links]: "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 [Register or Login to view links]: "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 [Register or Login to view links] 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 [Register or Login to view links]: "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."

More PlayStation 3 News...

#249 - talruum - 196w ago
talruum's Avatar
Quote Originally Posted by zagan View Post
So far you just have him trying to get the court room changed which is just prolonging the above result in this case.

Agree with that.

But what Hotz didn't realized at first is: he is not the only suffering. Think about their parents. Their family. Do you think his mother is proud of him to get sued by Sony? You're nothing without your family...

#248 - zagan - 196w ago
zagan's Avatar
Geohot won't get out of this and will get wiped on the floor, that is the end result of this court case. His lawyers are clutching at straws trying to get out of this case but it won't work.

That company won't get it's subpoena quashed as it's a court order they'll have to supply the data or get hauled into court for obstructing justice. the DMCA laws are written in a way that currently Geohot is already guilty and he has to prove that what Sony is claiming isn't true, and with him blabbing about all the stuff he's been doing posting videos of himself in front of a PS3 explaining/showing himself altering it etc

it'll be extremely hard for him to prove that Sony is wrong in a court of law no matter where it's done to be honest.

I think or assume that he probably thought he could get out of it easy with a simple excuse but when you have a company that's more than happy to spend as much as it needs to to win at all costs.

I assume he's starting to get the hint that his either going to jail and paying a fine or paying a fine and end up in jail for not paying the fine out and so asked for the cash to roll in but that will only last for so long.

People aren't going to pay for his legal bills all the time and to be honest with the way the DMCA is written all that money sent to him is a waste of other people's money to be honest and currently I just don't see Geohot trying to prove he didn't do anything or Sony is wrong.

So far you just have him trying to get the court room changed which is just prolonging the above result in this case.

 

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links