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Sony Takes Legal Action Against Infamous PS3 Hacker GeoHot


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206w 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









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Comments 262 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#247 - kablooey - 196w ago
kablooey's Avatar
Same here pal. I think you are the only one who is using his brain.

#246 - talruum - 196w ago
talruum's Avatar
I told this 2 weeks before Hot got sued, and I'll say it again: the only enemy of a man is his own ego. This is a lesson to you smart, but still young guys: be quiet. Learn.

Sony has billion of dollars in this game. It's a big company reputation. The lawyers cost a penny for them, and for Hotz, maybe he got one or two people work for him. Sadly.

Hotz lawyers are still lost in this case. If they found copyright software on Hotz drives, oh man! An entire life completely lost. The scene must remain, but not private, just anonymous. That's my opinion.

And just a question: why did Gerge Hotz used his own name? He never listened about nicknames? Oh ego, ego, ego...

God bless Hotz, and God bless the people from Japan who's suffering a lot these days. Peace.

#245 - PS3 News - 196w ago
PS3 News's Avatar
Indeed, promoted it to the main page now and +Rep to SinnerShanky for the news.

#244 - ionbladez - 196w ago
ionbladez's Avatar
WAYY too long to read, but I read it all. Definitely, I agree that Sony was making some ridiculous protests, and then as said above, misrepresenting data that has been put forth to otherwise incriminate geohot.

They thought they had the big guns and no weak spot, looks like geohot's lawyers, or himself have just found that spot.

Geohot: Inifinity
Sony: 0

#243 - SinnerShanky - 196w ago
SinnerShanky's Avatar
Today [Register or Login to view links] reports that PS3 hacker GeoHot is now accusing Sony of "false representations" to the court and petitioning for a protective order while [Register or Login to view links] confirmed that SoftLayer is moving to quash Sony's subpoena on George Hotz Forum account details in the pending PlayStation 3 hacking case despite their recent PayPal victory.

To quote from Groklaw: "Specifically, Hotz says that Sony Computer Entertainment America falsely claimed at a recent hearing that the Software Developer Kit at issue in this litigation referenced SCEA being in California. The SDK, Hotz says, is owned by Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan, and the installation procedures reference Sony Japan, not SCEA.

This is relevant, Sony argued, because if they found any of the SDK tools on his computer, it would "establish contacts between SCEA and Mr. Hotz" in that they claimed SCEA is the only entity distributing the SDKs. The discovery that the court ordered was based on SCEA's representations. Now what? Should the discovery even be allowed?

Hotz has filed a motion for a protective order, as the parties continue to wrangle about what should happen to Hotz's impounded hard drives. At the same time, SoftLayer Technologies has filed a motion to quash."

From Wired, to quote: "Dallas-based SoftLayer is the only company so far to object to subpoenas in the hotly contested Hotz case. The judge has signed off on Sony subpoenas to Twitter, YouTube, Google and PayPal as part of the console-maker's scorched-earth litigation tactics to win an unspecified amount of monetary damages from Hotz.

Thursday's legal tussle surrounds a SoftLayer subpoena approved by Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of San Francisco two weeks ago. It demands "documents reproducing all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records, and application or registration forms" connected to Hotz's psx-scene.com account.

Sony wants those logs, and a record of all of his postings, to determine whether Hotz had logged in from the San Francisco area while trumpeting or posting his hack.

That data is at the center of a jurisdictional argument whether Sony must sue Hotz in his home state of New Jersey rather than in San Francisco, where Sony would prefer. SoftLayer objects to the subpoena on grounds that, among other things, it requires "disclosure of protected matter." No hearing date has been set."

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