PlayStation 3 Hacker Case Delayed

Sony's lawsuit against PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz (a.k.a. "Geohot") has been delayed over confusion regarding jurisdiction. reports that at the initial hearing of the case, San Francisco district court judge Susan Illston expressed uncertainty over the case being held in California.

The actual security breach was performed in Hotz' home state of New Jersey, making Illston pose the possibility that the case should be held there. Sony's lawyers argued that the widespread dissemination of the hack was on Twitter and YouTube, both of which are hosted in California. They also allege that Hotz received donations from from PayPal, also based out of California.

Regardless, Judge Illston pointed out that such loose definitions of jurisdiction could lead to problems. "If having a PayPal account were enough, then there would be personal jurisdiction in this court over everybody, and that just can't be right," she said. "That would mean the entire universe is subject to my jurisdiction, and that's a really hard concept for me to accept." The case has been pushed back while the court determines the proper jurisdiction.

This move from Sony isn't surprising. Though the company is taking legal action on Hotz himself, its ultimate goal is to block the hacks and remove all traces of the code from Web sites. So far Sony has had little luck stuffing the genie back into the bottle, and this delay only leaves more time for the offending code to be copied.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 17, 2011 11:56 AM

    Although its funny to laugh at Sony about 'putting the genie back in the bottle'

    I think this is just step 1.

    Win this case, and having that taken care of, use is as ammo to sue to kid for damages until he's bankrupt.

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      January 17, 2011 12:24 PM

      What are they going to sue him for? Jailbreaking an iPhone is legal, so this would fall under the same category.

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        January 17, 2011 12:32 PM

        No it does not, the iphone and PS3 fall under two different categories when it comes to this.

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          January 17, 2011 12:34 PM

          Not trying to start something, but how do you that? I don't think a court precident has been set for this yet.

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            January 17, 2011 1:07 PM

            i will look for it it again. I read they consider the iphone jailbreak different from the jail breaking on a PS3. Something to do with the different format, stupid but along the lines of one was a phone the other is not.

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              January 17, 2011 1:17 PM

              They're both multimedia entertainment devices, no?

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                January 17, 2011 1:21 PM

                The library of congress granted a specific DMCA exception for the following:
                Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.

                Now, the PS3 is not a wireless telephone handset, so it falls outside the scope of the exemption.

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                  January 17, 2011 1:26 PM

                  Hacked PS3 + Linux with VOIP application + working wi-fi + bluetooth headset = wireless telephone handset.

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                    January 17, 2011 1:28 PM

                    You must have very large hands.

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                      January 17, 2011 2:37 PM

                      I miss the original XBox controller; it was perfect.

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                        January 17, 2011 2:56 PM

                        I thought it was pretty good too. I only wish they had released an updated version where they moved white/black to rb/lb style shoulder buttons.

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                    January 17, 2011 1:30 PM

                    + car battery

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                      January 17, 2011 2:38 PM

                      Thanks, I posted and forgot to put in a portable power source.

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                  January 17, 2011 2:03 PM

                  Wouldn't the lawyers argue to replace "telephone handsets" with PS3? I can't see it being that hard to win based on those grounds.

                  • Ebu legacy 10 years
                    January 17, 2011 3:25 PM


                    A telephone handset is not a PS3.

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                      January 17, 2011 3:41 PM

                      How is it fundamentally different with respect to jailbreaking? Changing the word "cellphone" with "game console" will not alter the relevant, explicit mention of the device in the DMCA. What is special about the game console that does not exist for the cellphone?

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              January 17, 2011 1:22 PM

              They are different formats for consumers, but in legal terms, I'm not sure they are different. They both have an interactive video interface that requires input from the user. Both play music, videos, and games. One is just hand-held.
              If you have something that supports your arguement, please link it, but I don't think you will find much.

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                January 17, 2011 1:27 PM

                Don't get me wrong i could careless wither way, but its not the same thing, i read pretty much what garrarg just posted.


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                January 20, 2011 3:32 AM

                Its not about what format it is to consumers. Its about owning the device that you purchase to do what you want with it. Yes the Jailbreaking case can be used as a baseline. If Sony dose win this, it will mean that even though we have bought the system made by Sony it will technically not be ours to do what we want with it, and will have to use it for what only Sony says it was meant for. This will mean that you are actually paying the $300 to lease the system. This means they can take away features when they want, disable your system when they feel its not being used to their liking, and you can't do a damn thing about it. This is actually huge case.

                The idea that some don't care either way have no idea about what rights they will be giving up. I don't put it past any company (if Sony wins) to take advantage of this and use it to force/mold their customers.

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            January 17, 2011 1:21 PM

            Presumably everyone's referring to the Librarian of Congress's recent exemption to the DMCA, which makes jailbreaking of phones legal. In which case it's pretty easy to say the PS3 hack doesn't qualify for the same protection, because I don't think the PS3 is a "wireless telephone handset". See rules 2 and 3 at

            Not to say it has or will be proven illegal (and I don't think oneshot is saying so either), but it certainly doesn't have the same protection iPhone jailbreaking does, and arguing that it must be legal if jailbreaking is doesn't work when jailbreaking is primarily legal because of a very specific exemption (which could suggest it would not be legal if not for the exemption). Unless geohot will argue that the use of the PS3's key is protected under the security research exemption for video games?

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              January 17, 2011 1:32 PM

              Does this even fall under the DMCA though? (I'm genuinely curious, so please explain if it does). He is just releasing the master encryption key. How does that circumvent copy protection? Using the key would violate the DMCA I'd imagine, but he hasn't actually released anything that uses the key to bypass copy protection? So far it's just him publishing "a number"?

              (Did some brief googling, didn't see anything concrete either way)

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                January 17, 2011 3:18 PM

                The copy protection the easy part from what i have been reading.

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                January 20, 2011 3:34 AM

                Well, this is what this case will help to bring an understanding too.

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          January 17, 2011 12:37 PM

          Yeah, it's the same thing. That kid knows what he's doing.

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            January 17, 2011 1:14 PM

            Maybe you should go represent him in court then, I am sure your vast knowledge of the law will prevail. What is it that you do again?

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          January 17, 2011 12:44 PM

          That's what I thought also. It's electronics that a consumer modified on his end for his own personal use. Also, the fact that he was simply trying to gain back the original functionality should give him some good legal footing. Especially since the other OS feature was a main feature advertised when the system was launched.

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