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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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#202 - farenheit - March 5, 2011 // 9:45 am
farenheit's Avatar
I aint buying it.. are you? Were talking about sony here... Nuff said!

#201 - modmate - March 5, 2011 // 8:58 am
modmate's Avatar
That must be a Joke sony.. LOL I don't know if that is correct. I mean "all who watched it" is a very bad turn in the wrong direction.


#200 - heartagram62 - March 5, 2011 // 8:13 am
heartagram62's Avatar
This is absolute BS! I have visited his site and watched various videos but only out of interest. I never downloaded anything or hacked either of my consoles but should I hear something different from $ony then both of them with be hacked with an entire back catalogue of games downloaded just because I can. I was with $ony all the way through this but it looks like they are now going after the loyal aswell! Is a change of sides on the cards?

#199 - Takavach - March 5, 2011 // 7:55 am
Takavach's Avatar
Hi everyone, please listen to me: sony wants to scare us and if it's not for scare users in the net we must see the geohot site and with this work we have 3 points:

one: we show to sony we are not scare from them.
two: we support our hacker and love them.
three: sony have big problem with many ip for searching and tracing us.

i hope everyone do that i am in geohot site and waiting for other guy good luck everyone

#198 - EiKii - March 5, 2011 // 7:37 am
EiKii's Avatar
well afaik they can do whatever they like with my ip, to get any info from my ISP they would need a court order and a damn strong case, and by that time the ISP probably would have deleted the needed log files, where i live at least. And case closed. They are trying to scare. BLEH!

#197 - shummyr - March 5, 2011 // 5:27 am
shummyr's Avatar
Quote Originally Posted by PS3 News View Post
I think that era ended with Dark_AleX, which amazingly Sony never went after legally as far as I'm aware.

As you mentioned, GeoHot made himself an easy target for Sony through his media-seeking/attention-craving actions, but I'm sure he was well aware of the consequences before starting anyway. If he wanted to he could have done everything anonymously, but he wanted to make a name for himself.

Yea that pretty much sums it up for geohot, and yes there was an end of an era when Dark_Alex left unfortunately.

#196 - DemonoidMaster - March 5, 2011 // 5:12 am
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Quote Originally Posted by RevCube View Post
what puzzles me is that how come sony didn't go after psjailbreak in this manner? and i figured it out. this is what happens when you try to humiliate a multibillion dollar corperation. They sick the hell hounds on you. stupidass fail overfl0w, bunch of geeks trying to look cool basically tried to embarrace sony. The manner in which they conducted themselves at the hacker convention was totally uncalled for...

UMAD? hur hur...

#195 - Breach - March 5, 2011 // 4:59 am
Breach's Avatar
Either way this turns out, it doesn't matter.

Geohotz wins: Everyone will cheer how Sony got what was coming to them.
Sony wins: Everyone will cheet how Geohotz got what was coming to him.

What concerns me, is that the courts allow these corporations to trample our rights. I wish the all of the sheeple in the US would wake up.. We need to get back to basics.. More freedom.. Less governement.

I sure hope Ron Paul runs for President in 2012! That would be a good start.

#194 - tonybologna - March 5, 2011 // 4:48 am
tonybologna's Avatar
Guys! You're overlooking something from the news on this situation:
Sony told Spero, a San Francisco magistrate, that it needed the information for at least two reasons.
One is to prove the "defendant's distribution" of the hack. The other involves a jurisdictional argument over whether Sony must sue Hotz in his home state of New Jersey rather than in San Francisco, which Sony would prefer. Sony said the server logs would demonstrate that many of those who downloaded Hotz's hack reside in Northern California – thus making San Francisco a proper venue for the case.

This information isn't going to be used to sue all names tied to the IP addresses. It's just for jurisdiction purposes. Is it bull? Certainly! It's ridiculous! However, there's no way Sony can get by with suing people just for viewing and watching a dang video and/or commenting on it. They may think about it but that's too extreme and not going to happen. This appears to be a strategy to help their case!

#193 - RevCube - March 5, 2011 // 4:01 am
RevCube's Avatar
Things need to go back to that way, With the PSP failing due to piracy, there is no way that they are going to let this happen to the PS3, and then you have geohot allready talking trash about NGP? is this guy serious? hes bringing the heat on the scene even before new consoles are released, you think sony is gonna stand by knowing you got this moron threatening to hack and potentially enable piracy on a console that isnt even out yet.

The ERA ended with dark alex and what do we have now glory hogs. That made it easy for sony to track anyone that went to their glory hole site and clicked on a link. And to the other users talking about yeah people in usa got no ballz and we are letting sony take away our freedoms you tell me sr. what can YOU do about it? They got the MONEY they got the POWER.