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Sony Takes Legal Action Against Infamous PS3 Hacker GeoHot


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207w 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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#227 - NTA - 199w ago
NTA's Avatar
sony is really opposed to hacking lol

#226 - tonybologna - 199w ago
tonybologna's Avatar
Quote Originally Posted by hunterrr View Post
this part explains a lot: "Sony's reasons for requesting such a wide-reaching subpoena are two fold: First, they want to show how pervasive Hotz's PS3 jailbreak is. And second, they want to provide evidence that a large number of people in northern California downloaded the jailbreak file, which would help justify them suing Hotz in San Francisco rather his home-state of New Jersey."

I don't think they're doing anything to the people that downloaded the file, just proving a point in the case to help win...


That's what I stated in my last post. That's all this is about. People are getting paranoid for nothing. Sony is just trying to help their case and nothing more with this particular situation.

#225 - Field - 199w ago
Field's Avatar
The debate of piracy is always a funny thing. Most people would use these jailbreaking methods to pirate games. So what drives people to piracy. It's the cost! Here in Australia, games are $100AUD - which due to the aussie dollar doing so well is the same as the US dollar. Yet games are so expensive. Music CD and movies DVD/BluRay can be brought for under $20 dollars [even less].

I'm a musician, have a band too, and know the costs of production in a recording studio - looking at $1000 AUD dollars a day just to record here in Melbourne (and at a semi pro studio). So you can imagine a big band spending close to a million dollars recording and producing a CD. Some band's producer fees can run up to a quarter of a million dollars - add promotion, mastering, mixing, etc and the costs rise. Yet the cost of a CD is $20 AUD sometimes less.

A movie maker has the same problems. Avatar cost 500 million to make - yeah sure James Cameron can afford it, but once out of cinemas, the cost of buying it from the local JB Hi Fi is again $20 AUD. Blu ray more like $40 AUD or so.

Game developer can have the same costs. Killzone 2 believed to have cost around 50 million USD to make over the 4 years. I'm hearing too that the mass costs of promotion and marketing is extreme for a video game. Look at Duke Nukem - that costs millions of marketing. Yet those costs are $80 - 100AUD

I can understand the differences among the different media, but still the costs of games can be 5 times the price verses same media [Yes true that blu-ray vs cd or dvd, yet the Xbox360 media is still DVD9 - same as dvd movies]. The band that I'm in got 500 CD made - they cost us $2.50 to make [that cover, disc with coloured printing - everything] - so you can imagine the cost of cds are.

Depending on the developer and the situation - Games developers get a certain amount of money to produce and make the game. Yet it's the publisher and big company that makes a lot of money. Heck look at the whole EA crap out with re-having to purchase an online code when buying second hand games. Greed!

If the price of games were that of $20 AUD then piracy would take a fall. Today I just brought Left For Dead 2 for $19 [though granted it was pre-owned but looks in great condition], and Kameo for $9. Paying $108 for Call of Duty black ops is so over the top. Even second hand you're looking at $70 due to being a popular title

Usual argument {Enjoyment} - I get more enjoyment out of a game ie Online play, DLC, MMO etc. But in saying that I also get enjoyment out of listening to the new 'Opeth' or 'Her Tortured Embrace' album and listening to said records more than once. Same with movies, same with books, same with other online media or personal vices.

In the end it's greed that rears its ugly head. Greed from the major companies, greed from people like you and me.

#224 - dekaspace - 199w ago
dekaspace's Avatar
In some countries like mine its not illegal to BACKUP a dvd or game its illegal to break COPY PROTECTION.

So what if a disc has no copy protection?

#223 - Liloolil - 199w ago
Liloolil's Avatar
Then what about copy protected DVD's, it is legal to backup DVD's for personal use, in some countries around in Europe: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripping#Other_Countries

 

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