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January 11, 2011 // 8:19 pm - Update #5: According to ArsTechnica via Groklaw, 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, Wired reports Sony is now preparing to inspect GeoHot's hard drive.

Update #3: GeoHot 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 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 denied 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 Engadget 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 mirrored 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...

Motion For TRO
Proposed Order

old front page, with relevant info removed, is here

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 fellow hacker 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."

PSX-Scene 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 Marcan42: "Ah, so Sony decided to sue everyone under US law. Guess I won't be visiting the US in a while..."

From fail0verflow: "Looks like Sony decided to ignore the facts and sue us all for it. See"

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

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 has been restored to
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

Sony Takes Legal Action Against Infamous PS3 Hacker GeoHot

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#222 - barrybarryk - March 6, 2011 // 1:18 am
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YES!!! It's still circumventing copy protection and is illegal no matter what way you try to justify it.

#221 - Liloolil - March 6, 2011 // 1:08 am
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What about the people who don't use these USB-jailbreaks for piracy? A lot of people use these to backup their own games to the hard drive, to get less loading time in games, to prevent scratches on the disks, to have all their games in one place, and to give the blu-ray laser a longer lifetime. Can Sony do anything about these people? Are they doing something that is wrong?

#220 - jarvis - March 6, 2011 // 12:22 am
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F-Sony. They disgust me. This is nothing more than bullying and scare tactics. I visited Geohots site originally through a link off of a legitimate news site. I've never hacked my PS3 or pirated games.

I have since sold my PS3 and all 35 games I owned (yeah Sony, long time fanboy that will never back you again). Of course the courts are on their side because that's how the US Government operates as well. Its all used to strip us of our freedoms by inducing fear in weak minded citizens. Orwell was close with 1984, it just seems to be happening a few years later.

Whoever posted that link on torrent freak, thanks. I've been thinking about these things a lot recently and that article is exactly in line with my thinking. Location, who you interact with, and all communications is recorded and authorities don't even need to obtain search warrants or perform any due diligence.

If you do something someone doesn't like they can probably build any case they want about you and get whatever information they are looking for bypassing the constitution and bill of rights. The sad part is that most people are oblivious to this fact, and actually make it worse on themselves by willing posting their private lives on Facebook, twitter, etc.

The only difference between the US and countries such as China & North Korea is that the fact that they are open about restricting peoples rights and freedoms where the US hides this fact. They are all doing the same thing.

Knowledge is Power (appropriately timed Mortal Kombat reference). Those that understand and can build technology are our modern day freedom fighters. I would like to say I'm shocked that all communications are not encrypted at this point, but I'm sure there is pressure from the powers that be stalling this movement.

Here are my predictions as time goes on. Encryption implementations will become illegal to share. Backdoors and spyware will be present in most things we buy. I predict an attack on open source software, stating that if facilitates illegal activity. Access to software tools (compilers, disassemblers) will be illegal. You will need some special government issued permit to gain access and they will try to monitor what you do with them.

The difference between the government and Sony though is that they couldn't go through with this if we were not giving them our money. PLEASE PEOPLE, STOP PURCHASING SONY HARDWARE, SOFTWARE, MUSIC, AND MOVIES. SELL THESE THINGS OFF, AND CONVINCE AS MANY OTHER PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE NOT TO BUY SONY!

#219 - ilikeitindabutt - March 5, 2011 // 11:51 pm
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Well this is sony trying desperately to get the courts in California will they win i doubt it because if they are gonna compare to that state to others they should include the whole world cause im sure there is more ppl downloading the file then just Northern california.

And why is this judge even allowing this to happen in the first place now this place is getting ip addresses from other countries and do they have that right because a judge from that states approved it. When does it become illegal is it as soon as you download it or is it after you unzip the file or is it after you use it ?

i don't give care what sony says i will always gather the files and share them since these programs are not made by sony they are open to public whether not they offer the option to allow access to MY PS3 OR NOT. That's right MY PS3.

#218 - nickxab - March 5, 2011 // 11:04 pm
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What's their problem ? They dug their grave and now they try to catch everyone...

Sorry Sony but you lose respect from your fanboys (including me).

#217 - barrybarryk - March 5, 2011 // 8:57 pm
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Exactly, besides they'd have to get the ISP logfiles for each IP range to identify anyone. It's just the normal people overreacting that seems to be happening a lot recently.

#216 - hunterrr - March 5, 2011 // 8:46 pm
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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...

#215 - joffe - March 5, 2011 // 8:09 pm
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A nice article that I've read describes the situation very well:

#214 - aboy014 - March 5, 2011 // 7:01 pm
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sony have surely asked a japanese judge to to rights but asks it to a american or a europian judge.. F-Sony!

#213 - TUHTA - March 5, 2011 // 6:36 pm
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