PlayStation 3 Hacking Lawsuit Hits a Snag

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PlayStation 3 Hacking Lawsuit Hits a Snag

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Sony's lawsuit against PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz has been delayed over a question of whether the case should even be tried in a California court.

It didn't take long for Sony to wheel out its legal team in response to the PS3 security circumvention hack put out by George "GeoHot" Hotz in early January, nor has it taken much time for the case to hit its first legal speed bump. Sony sued Hotz in the state of California but U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston suggested that the case might need to be tried in New Jersey, Hotz's home state and where he actually committed the hack.

"I'm really worried about the jurisdictional question," the judge said.

Sony's attorney argued that the matter should be tried in California because Hotz posted information relating to the hack on Twitter and YouTube, both based in California, and took "donations" for the hack through PayPal, also a California company. While Hotz's attorney denied that he had ever received money for the hack, the judge observed that if using sites like Twitter and YouTube were enough to determine where a case should be tried, "the entire universe would be subject to my jurisdiction."

Sony then claimed that its terms of service agreement requires that all legal matters be settled in federal court in California, close to the Sony Computer Entertainment America headquarters, but the judge declined to issue an immediate ruling. "Serious questions have been raised here today," she said.

Source: Wired

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Looks like Sony can't handle the truth.

Right on, Justice system. Show those Corporate idiots I am starting to despise more and more for their actions who's boss!

Two problems, Sony:

1. GeoHot never actually took money. Other people did and claimed they would give it to him (yeah right).
2. He claims he never signed up for PSN and thus never agreed to your terms of service, which in turn renders that part of your argument invalid. Prove he had a PSN account and then maybe you have an argument for CA, but until then, I say move it to New Jersey.

What if the servers where in a country where there isn't extradition?

wtf; we put it in our terms of service so the justice system needs to ignore the law and do what we want!

GTFO Sony. If I was the judge I'd have slapped them down hard for that.

"The entire universe would be subject to my jurisdiction" if twitter and youtube were used indeed.

That quote made me laugh for some reason

Ugh, there's that terms of service stuff again. I kinda groan when I hear a company reference it in legal proceedings. Terms of Service agreements are like the Bible; lots of people agree with them but very few people have actually read them.

Wasn't there a legal precedent set some time back that said you can't hold users to the ToS if they haven't read it yet have blindly agreed to it because it prevents them from playing the game? (or something to that effect) Frankly I don't think ToS should be viable in any legal proceedings since such a thing implies companies are able to write their own laws. (I may be over exaggerating out of rant inertia here)

There was a once a time when it was legal to buy something and do whatever you wanted with it. Now we have to get permission. Please Sony, can we please please please do what we like to the things we buy?

This isn't an illogical request, considering that the hack doesn't apply directly to piracy. Perhaps computers should be banned because without them, piracy would be impossible.

Why are they pushing so hard to do it in Cali? Can't afford the plane tickets? Short on gas money? I am sure they could carpool.

PSN and online gaming in the PS3 will be ruined very soon if the hacking continues this way. There are already people who play COD complaining about hackers with cheats and admin privileges. Sony should start banning consoles from PSN instead of proceeding with futile lawsuits.

Wow at the responses here.

So they're corporate, that means that they are soulless sellout fucks now?

Fuck that, piracy is still wrong and this guy is still breaking the law.

squid5580:
Why are they pushing so hard to do it in Cali? Can't afford the plane tickets? Short on gas money? I am sure they could carpool.

I'm betting part of it is because if he can't make an appearance, he may lose the case by default.

SomethingAmazing:
Wow at the responses here.

So they're corporate, that means that they are soulless sellout fucks now?

Fuck that, piracy is still wrong and this guy is still breaking the law.

think befor one speaks
wether piracy is wrong or not is not the issue there was no piracy in this lawsuit.
sony is suing him beceause he hacked a ps3 to be able to play custom content ie: something you yourself made or someone else made. as a side effect it also enabled people to play pirated games. all sony has to stand on that i can see is their terms of service. that he most likely never agreed to anyway. the lawsuit will likely just fall threw. on his page during the release he stated that he did not make this so people could pirate games he did this to make it ether a open console to run your own software or to expand on the ps3's capabilities.

as a side note this is my take on whats been going on i have been following this event closely.
what he did is no diffrent that someone takeing the windows 7 and improveing on it by makeing software or allowing you to run other things on it.. with this logic anyone who installed firefox or updated flash ect... so should microsoft file a lawsuit agenst the worlds population? i think not.

HappyHacker:

SomethingAmazing:
Wow at the responses here.

So they're corporate, that means that they are soulless sellout fucks now?

Fuck that, piracy is still wrong and this guy is still breaking the law.

think befor one speaks
wether piracy is wrong or not is not the issue there was no piracy in this lawsuit.
sony is suing him beceause he hacked a ps3 to be able to play custom content ie: something you yourself made or someone else made. as a side effect it also enabled people to play pirated games. all sony has to stand on that i can see is their terms of service. that he most likely never agreed to anyway. the lawsuit will likely just fall threw. on his page during the release he stated that he did not make this so people could pirate games he did this to make it ether a open console to run your own software or to expand on the ps3's capabilities.

as a side note this is my take on whats been going on i have been following this event closely.
what he did is no diffrent that someone takeing the windows 7 and improveing on it by makeing software or allowing you to run other things on it.. with this logic anyone who installed firefox or updated flash ect... so should microsoft file a lawsuit agenst the worlds population? i think not.

Sugar coat it all you want, it's fucking piracy.

Why do you think custom firmware exists for PSPs? Just to play custom content? Don't make me laugh. It's to download games for free, you know it is. Sony knows it is too. That's why they are suing.

bottom line is as far as the law goes he didnt do anything wrong. what everyone else does with the the hack thats up to them but you are right in a sense 90% of the people who use it are going to be people pirateing but thems the breaks. and you know what there is not a dam thing sony microsoft or nintendo can do about it in the long run because. as in everything in the electronic world "nothing is unhackable".

*

HappyHacker:
bottom line is as far as the law goes he didnt do anything wrong. what everyone else does with the the hack thats up to them but you are right in a sense 90% of the people who use it are going to be people pirateing but thems the breaks. and you know what there is not a dam thing sony microsoft or nintendo can do about it in the long run because. as in everything in the electronic world "nothing is unhackable".

The DMCA could still apply here. The problem Sony is facing is that Jurisdiction is part of the ToS of PSN, and there are no PSN accounts for the those involved in the for-mentions claims.

Copyright circumvention device will be the DMCA claim, but the original team didn't do that, they released the key used for signing packages. Stock firmware lack the necessary calls to run pirated games, the various custom firmwares available usually just add a package manager so you can install unsigned packages, emulators etc.

The problem Sony will face if they ban modded consoles from PSN is that they have no method of buying stuff from PSN any more, aka excuse for piracy.

Personally i don't see why people aren't allowed to fuck about with their consoles. I know i basically rape my pc with changes to make it more suitable to be. What can't console users do the same?

SomethingAmazing:

Sugar coat it all you want, it's fucking piracy.

Why do you think custom firmware exists for PSPs? Just to play custom content? Don't make me laugh. It's to download games for free, you know it is. Sony knows it is too. That's why they are suing.

Why do you think jailbreak exist for iphones? Just to play pirated content?

The dude didnt make the ps3 able to play pirated games.
http://g4tv.com/videos/50733/hacking--jailbreaking-with-george-hotz/

SomethingAmazing:
Sugar coat it all you want, it's fucking piracy.

Why do you think custom firmware exists for PSPs? Just to play custom content? Don't make me laugh. It's to download games for free, you know it is. Sony knows it is too. That's why they are suing.

No it's not "fucking piracy". It's fucking FREEDOM to do what you want with a hardware product you purchased that is within the law. That some people might use it outside of the law is besides the issue. Period. The DMCA recently allowed jailbreaking of cellphones for the same reason, even though it's estimated that 80% of paid applications on smartphones are pirated.

Also you are misinformed. Every major console in the last decade with the exception of the PlayStation 2 was hacked with the primary purpose of running Linux or Homebrew. Piracy was just a sideeffect. It might be the most POPULAR sideeffect, but that still doesn't change the original reason for why the console was hacked.

Athinira:

SomethingAmazing:
Sugar coat it all you want, it's fucking piracy.

Why do you think custom firmware exists for PSPs? Just to play custom content? Don't make me laugh. It's to download games for free, you know it is. Sony knows it is too. That's why they are suing.

No it's not "fucking piracy". It's fucking FREEDOM to do what you want with a hardware product you purchased that is within the law. That some people might use it outside of the law is besides the issue. Period. The DMCA recently allowed jailbreaking of cellphones for the same reason, even though it's estimated that 80% of paid applications on smartphones are pirated.

Also you are misinformed. Every major console in the last decade with the exception of the PlayStation 2 was hacked with the primary purpose of running Linux or Homebrew. Piracy was just a sideeffect. It might be the most POPULAR sideeffect, but that still doesn't change the original reason for why the console was hacked.

I think it's the "within the law" part of your statement that's the operative part, not the "FREEDOM" part. And, but for few and rare exceptions, circumvention of a mechanism intended to protect copyrights is, as a general rule, outlawed by the DMCA. How the courts will come down on the issue of circumvention for purposes that don't involve obvious piracy is no where near settled and remains to be seen but, at this point in time and until a body of clear legal precedent saying otherwise is established, circumvention for whatever purpose does amount to skating on thin ice.

JDKJ:
I think it's the "within the law" part of your statement that's the operative part, not the "FREEDOM" part. And, but for few and rare exceptions, circumvention of a mechanism intended to protect copyrights is, as a general rule, outlawed by the DMCA.

The point here is that this rule should, AFAIK apply to the games themself, not the system they are run on. If i have a computer and a computer game in the United States, i can do whatever i want with the computer, but I'm still not allowed to circumvent the copy protection on the game.

As soon as you start to tie in the copy protection with the physical product (in this case the PlayStation 3) rather than the copyrightet products (in this case, games), you are pretty much asking for it.

Also, while it's true that Geohot and fail0verflow has provided a few tools that allows you to mess around with the PS3, they actually haven't provided any specific product that circumvents the copy protection on the games themself. They have provided the necessary information on how to do so by disclosing the keys to the playstation, but that shouldn't fall under that category. They haven't released any custom firmwares yet, only self-written software that is capable of running on stock firmware.

Athinira:

SomethingAmazing:
Sugar coat it all you want, it's fucking piracy.

Why do you think custom firmware exists for PSPs? Just to play custom content? Don't make me laugh. It's to download games for free, you know it is. Sony knows it is too. That's why they are suing.

No it's not "fucking piracy". It's fucking FREEDOM to do what you want with a hardware product you purchased that is within the law. That some people might use it outside of the law is besides the issue. Period. The DMCA recently allowed jailbreaking of cellphones for the same reason, even though it's estimated that 80% of paid applications on smartphones are pirated.

Also you are misinformed. Every major console in the last decade with the exception of the PlayStation 2 was hacked with the primary purpose of running Linux or Homebrew. Piracy was just a sideeffect. It might be the most POPULAR sideeffect, but that still doesn't change the original reason for why the console was hacked.

No, it's not. And even if it is, it really shouldn't be.

When you buy hardware, you are buying permission to use it. You are not buying the console itself. Thus, what you can do with it is limited. Especially limited against jailbreaking and homebrew.

This gives companies the control necessary to continue creating software for it.

Athinira:

JDKJ:
I think it's the "within the law" part of your statement that's the operative part, not the "FREEDOM" part. And, but for few and rare exceptions, circumvention of a mechanism intended to protect copyrights is, as a general rule, outlawed by the DMCA.

The point here is that this rule should, AFAIK apply to the games themself, not the system they are run on. If i have a computer and a computer game in the United States, i can do whatever i want with the computer, but I'm still not allowed to circumvent the copy protection on the game.

As soon as you start to tie in the copy protection with the physical product (in this case the PlayStation 3) rather than the copyrightet products (in this case, games), you are pretty much asking for it.

Also, while it's true that Geohot and fail0verflow has provided a few tools that allows you to mess around with the PS3, they actually haven't provided any specific product that circumvents the copy protection on the games themself. They have provided the necessary information on how to do so by disclosing the keys to the playstation, but that shouldn't fall under that category. They haven't released any custom firmwares yet, only self-written software that is capable of running on stock firmware.

The Act doesn't require provision of a specific and complete tangible product that allows circumvention of copyright protection mechanisms. Rather, the Act states that "no person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that" circumvents copyright protection mechanisms. A mere part or piece or portion of any technology, product, service, device, or component is enough.

SomethingAmazing:

When you buy hardware, you are buying permission to use it.

So, when you run out of gasoline, are you buying a new car? Do you change the tires, sea covers, or radio? After all if you don't put the right fuel in your car, you can damage it.

This is the exact same logic you used. Under the current legal system, it's also not a correct statement.

vxicepickxv:

SomethingAmazing:

When you buy hardware, you are buying permission to use it.

So, when you run out of gasoline, are you buying a new car? Do you change the tires, sea covers, or radio? After all if you don't put the right fuel in your car, you can damage it.

This is the exact same logic you used. Under the current legal system, it's also not a correct statement.

Cars do not follow the same rules as game systems do.

vxicepickxv:

SomethingAmazing:

When you buy hardware, you are buying permission to use it.

So, when you run out of gasoline, are you buying a new car? Do you change the tires, sea covers, or radio? After all if you don't put the right fuel in your car, you can damage it.

This is the exact same logic you used. Under the current legal system, it's also not a correct statement.

SomethingAmazing is in fact correct. When you purchase a game console, you haven't bought the software in the console. You've only licensed it from the manufacturer. And the terms of that license are usually found in the EULA with which you some how and in some way agreed and signed off on before you were able to actually use the console to play any media. And those terms usually state that the buyer can't fuck around and tinker with and re-write the software.

SomethingAmazing:

vxicepickxv:

SomethingAmazing:

When you buy hardware, you are buying permission to use it.

So, when you run out of gasoline, are you buying a new car? Do you change the tires, sea covers, or radio? After all if you don't put the right fuel in your car, you can damage it.

This is the exact same logic you used. Under the current legal system, it's also not a correct statement.

Cars do not follow the same rules as game systems do.

You just said they did. They're all technically hardware.

By trying to get a new president or two set, Sony is also throwing out two that already exist.

1)The iPhone jailbreak is already legal. This is a firmware change to a piece of hardware. This was already challenged and Apple lost. This means that the president is set against Sony.

2)With the civil suit in California instead of Jersey, they're trying to say that any individual is physically at two places at one time with this data work. This is both impossible and if it is seen as proper, then could set up for a frightening standard. It could mean that anyone using the internet, if they connect to a network in a country could be put on trial in the country, if what they're doing is illegal in that country.

Phone "jailbreaks" really should be illegal because it causes all sorts of problems. Not the least of which is piracy.

vxicepickxv:

SomethingAmazing:

vxicepickxv:
So, when you run out of gasoline, are you buying a new car? Do you change the tires, sea covers, or radio? After all if you don't put the right fuel in your car, you can damage it.

This is the exact same logic you used. Under the current legal system, it's also not a correct statement.

Cars do not follow the same rules as game systems do.

You just said they did. They're all technically hardware.

By trying to get a new president or two set, Sony is also throwing out two that already exist.

1)The iPhone jailbreak is already legal. This is a firmware change to a piece of hardware. This was already challenged and Apple lost. This means that the president is set against Sony.

2)With the civil suit in California instead of Jersey, they're trying to say that any individual is physically at two places at one time with this data work. This is both impossible and if it is seen as proper, then could set up for a frightening standard. It could mean that anyone using the internet, if they connect to a network in a country could be put on trial in the country, if what they're doing is illegal in that country.

While it makes very little intuitive sense, it is possible for a defendant to be in two or more places at once and for personal jurisdiction to exist in both or all of those places. Take, for example, a case of defamation. I can sue an alleged defamer in either the place where they made the defamatory statement or the place where the defamatory statement was received, assuming those two places aren't the same. One is where the alleged injurious conduct occurred. The other is where the alleged injury to my reputation occurred. I can sue the defamer in either of those places and the courts of both places will have proper jurisdiction.

As I said elsewhere, I can see this lawsuit going nowhere.

SomethingAmazing:
Phone "jailbreaks" really should be illegal because it causes all sorts of problems. Not the least of which is piracy.

A lot of things CAN cause all sorts of problems. That doesnt mean it should be illegal.

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