PS3 hacker exits US

[UPDATE] In the midst of ongoing lawsuit, George Hotz travels to South America; Sony says trip raises "very serious questions," contends defendant lied about not creating PSN account.

by

George Hotz has left the building--and the country. According to a filing in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California--San Francisco Division--by Sony Computer Entertainment America, the PlayStation 3 hacker has traveled to South America during the middle of a legal struggle with the game giant.

"Buenos dias, Señor Hotz!"

According to the document, "SCEA learned that Hotz had deliberately removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivering them to a third party neutral and that Hotz is now in South America, an excuse for why he will not immediately provide the components of his hard drives as requested by the neutral [third party]. Hotz's attempts to dodge this Court's authority raise very serious questions."

In addition, SCEA contends that Hotz lied about having a PlayStation Network account. "Contrary to Hotz's declaration under oath, jurisdictional discovery has revealed that Hotz did register for a PSN account," read the document. The company's filing contends that Hotz owned four PlayStation 3s, one of which he bought in February 2010.

Through the process of discovery, Sony tracked that console's serial number to a GameStop store several miles from the purported hacker's home. Through its records, Sony claims that Hotz created a PSN account under the name "blickmanic" on March 10, 2010, using the PS3 with that serial number. Because one has to accept the PSN terms of service to create an account, Sony asserts that Hotz is in violation of the TOS and must be held accountable.

[UPDATE] In a blog post, Hotz contends his South America trip was a pre-planned vacation and has nothing to do with the lawsuit. "Factually, it's true I'm in South America, on a vacation I've had planned and paid for since November," he said. "I mean, it is Spring break; hacking isn't my life. Rest assured that not a dime of legal defense money would ever go toward something like this. And of course [Sony law firm] Townsend loves the idea of painting me as an international fugitive. I have been in contact with my lawyers almost every day; I would not let the case suffer. That said, I also won't let this ridiculous lawsuit run my life either. Then the fearmongerers win."

Hotz's South American sojourn is the latest twist in the ongoing legal struggle between Sony, Hotz, and a group of PS3 hackers known as fail0verflow. In January, Sony unleashed its legal department on Hotz and the group, accusing them of releasing security keys allowing people to run unauthorized software on their consoles. Thus far, that investigation has largely centered upon Hotz, who had been ordered by the court to forfeit his computers, hard drives, and other storage material to Sony's legal team.

Discussion

1213 comments
partytimekegs
partytimekegs

@ howie1926 Actually, in order to be extradited like that you'd have to be on a U.S Military base or U.S Embassy. Or some sort of other sanctioned US property in a foreign nation. And yes, the Wild West is still quite alive. I severely doubt someone will send me "packing" if I do a crime and end up in Thailand or some other foreign nation if I never set foot on some form of US soil again. (Unless you are in Canada or Mexico.. where they can somehow void that law for some reason.)

Laza-rus
Laza-rus

So my taxpayer dollars are going toward prosecuting this pantywaste? Leave him in South America if that's the case. If all these Google-generation morons had enough education and social skills to get jobs, they could afford to BUY games and stop all this nonsense. I thought I had worthless hobbies.

L10nH3ArT86
L10nH3ArT86

Yeah I'm tapped out on Sony also. I mean the negative views on this site tend to come from online gamers that apparently have no other form of entertainment than their "precious" gaming consoles. I've lost love for both Sony and gamers themselves over the years.

Agent3sephiroth
Agent3sephiroth

This guy is epic! I don't think many of us would be able to act so casually when facing an industry giant in court!

Philly04
Philly04

That TOS document is not exactly in laymens terms also

Xaviersx
Xaviersx

Thank goodness there is supposedly a neutral third party involved. My trust and respect of Sony went out the door years ago with all of its court activities, both as plaintiff and defendant. One among many companies that is no where close to the innocence . Maybe somebody can give them so CD money to make up for the loss, or a free emulator. Just make sure the disc doesn't have a read error.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@ceigered *slow clap* nicely put

Raizeen
Raizeen

Laws mean nothing to me. Gogogog hotz!!

HisCreation
HisCreation

@WolfGrey Lol, talking down on me. Well, You see. I still think your opinionated and besides the point that same of your facts are just that.. Facts. Somethings you're still misinformed on. Like for example how you stated Jailbreaking is illegal. It's not strictly illegal, there's exceptions.. Look in the DMCA in this case perhaps it is but that's another part of this trial and that's why Hotz is defending himself. Anyways, I'm not going to argue with you. You can get over it too... If you try hard enough.

ceigered
ceigered

@WolfGrey, we all know this is illegal. What's in question is whether it's moral. Laws generally are made for a reason, however this reason does not have to conform with morality, or may no longer serve its original purpose. Not to mention this does bring up the question of common sense, since who expects someone to read a constantly elongated TOS document? Is it sensical to sell a computer device to someone and restricting them from using their own software so that they can only use Sony approved software and services? Is it sensical for a company to lock people out of using their device for otherwise legal purposes, and use that regulation as a way of protecting otherwise exposed security implementations, that could be used for piracy? These are important questions I feel, since in the highly urbanised society of today, I think the current laws and legal system is sort of outgrown and needs to be heavily reformed (along with criminal rights, but that's a different topic, unless we're talking about Hotz being treated like a fugitive)

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@WolfGrey You should say "Im only treating them the way I do" rather than "they do". Bugs the hell outta me when people get the written language wrong, makes me want to educate them... And you're easily coming across as being just as arrogant, if not more so, than any other post I've read. Sure, you've got a load of facts about the law that you know and that are affecting your opinion. Most of the other people here don't know all the legalities and don't seem to care, their opinion being based on their own sense of morality. Which is, I reckon, a far move valid opinion because at least THEY'RE saying what THEY'RE thinking. Rather than you who just says "ignorant idiots,its illegal". Yeah, real interesting input. You're a tool.

wbezuidenhout
wbezuidenhout

I see a lot of people reaching for the 'I bought the hardware, therefore I own it and can do with it what I want' argument. Sure, unless of course you agreed to a particular ToS, which then legally binds you to the terms of use and makes it illegal to tamper with said hardware. That's why Sony are desperate to prove that Hotz created a PSN account, to further their stance that he a) agreed to the ToS, and b) willfully broke the ToS.

mull20641
mull20641

@vader501st I prefer to think of it as 'sending a message'

vader501st
vader501st

I'm not saying Hotz is right, but Sony is seriously bullying him this time. He could o some major damage to them with stalking charges.

Dedaxys
Dedaxys

The main thing that Sony has against Hotz is his breach of contract. Whether you know it or not, agreeing to the ToS is the same as signing your name at the bottom of a legal document. Attempt at theft aside, Hotz has still broken the law by violating the terms of a legal agreement between the two parties. Law class FTW

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@HisCreation Let me put it this way.This is law knowledge.The ToS isnt an opinion.Releasing inside info on knowldge of a program that isnt supposed to be modified is illegal.That isnt an opinion either.Jailbreaking is illegal(otherwise this case wouldnt exist) so that not an opinion either. Its simply more plausible because unlike their points of veiw, its correct.Completely based on REAL fact and logic.Not to mention the court case itself.This is not a subject you just bring an opinion to.And even when you do it needs to based on the facts at hand.Otherwise its pointless to comment at all. Im no better person.Just an informed person who actually reads or pays attention.You can be one too if you try hard enough.

HisCreation
HisCreation

@WolfGrey How is your "opinion based on facts" and opinions about other peoples point of view better of more plausible than anyone else's? You seem to be just like the people you're ranting about. Everyone has a right to be opinionated in their own right whether they are arrogant, wrong, or ignorant. Don't let it get to you, just brush it off knowing you're the "Better person.

fefisgbf13
fefisgbf13

he should have sold it they keys to Sony at least he would make a good profit....

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@Shanks_D_Chop Im only treating them the way they do because they post uneducated,ill informed crap on here.I wouldnt be annoyed at them if they actually knew what was going on.In my opinion no one should post a comment on this or any other article without knowing what the hell they are talking about.Some of them get really arrogant about what they think is right without any facts to support or any knowledge for that matter. Its bugs the hell outa me so i see fit to educate them.I get even more annoyed when they dont read other peoples comments(to know more about the subject),lack common sense,arrogantly believe its ok to break the law, and so on so forth.It just ticks me off.I mean just a minute of research or a sliver of common sense would make it known all of this is illegal.You have to admit that.It takes no intelligence whatsoever to get the point of this or understand what is going on yet this happens.Which is why i call them morons and dolts.

Spacerac
Spacerac

You own the hardware but you don't own the software that's required to run it. Same with PCs; you own the hardware-that is the computer and all parts required for it to run, but you have to purchase a license to run Windows on it and you still don't own Windows.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@WolfGrey Or people here just don't care enough about this subject. It's trivial, really. So pull your head out of your arse and stop jumping on people's backs because they don't know all the legal ins-and-outs of the situation.

marvelx3
marvelx3

way to go forest, while you are there..join the revolution.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@LSS_Broly29 And your one of the people here with no common sense.Jailbreaking a ps3 is completely illegal.Old ps3s had second OS functions and allowed SOME homebrew functions but not to the extent this brat has done.What he has done is violate the ToS,company violations, and release of modified program info which is also illegal. Bloody children, learn to read.Or do some dam research.Or actually read one of the ToS.You would get it.And go well dam, he was doing illegal things.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@D3thN1gh7 Ok allow me to enlighten you since your ignorant on the subject.IPhone alllows homebrew so that new apps are made for the iphone.So that many can work on it.They might not realize other things are happening on it(or they dont care) but they set up for apps, not hacking.Jailbreakin to them just made it so new things could come faster.They dont have to deal with a very large and very real piracy problem.Different implications and a different ToS.Welcome to 2 different companies. But yes homebrewing in the way he is, is completely illegal.Its right in the ToS that you are suppose to not modify the programs.Hell if im not mistaken there is mention of on the box somewhere, not to mention on almost all the games released on the ps3 in the first place.Especially the online ones. Get your facts straight and understand the subject at hand.I swear no one here does any research or has common sense.Cept a small few.

mightycloud
mightycloud

If he was using the PS3 hardware (as in the components in the box) to run other software, as you would a PC, then there would be no problem. But bottom line is that he hacked the software that is made by Sony to run content and services for THEIR network. He, and every other person that plays online, agree to T&C's that licence you to use their network. And if anyone actually bothered to read them once in a while you see that Sony are well within their rights to prosecute people like Hotz for breaking them.

siiixon
siiixon

@D3thN1gh7 lets keep the facts straits trough, ebay has no DEFAULT filters for "jailbroken" those things on top are popular searches, its automatically created from statistics..... one day it could happen that sony or apple ask ebay to remove those searches, LUCKY this haven't happened yet

D3thN1gh7
D3thN1gh7

@WolfGrey So jailbreaking without piracy is illegal huh? That makes "so much sense". When the iPhone got jailbroken it was then protected under Fair Use. So you're trying to tell me that all the thousands of jailbroken iPhones that are sold on eBay are illegal? And that eBay even has search filters for it even though it's illegal? Yea right. And you're also saying all the hacked PSP's being sold on eBay and everywhere else are also illegal? Okay man. Okay.

LSS_Broly29
LSS_Broly29

Look this guy helped hack the friggin' iPhone and Apple didn't go after his ass! What makes Sony so friggin' special? Jailbreaking a PS3 (which IS legal) is what the man did. He is not responsible for what other people do with his programs afterwards. Ugh Sony is pathetic...

siiixon
siiixon

who does not brake the law this days! i know i do all the time. good for this kid i wish him well :) there is a HUGE difference between following the law, and whats right and wrong...this kid violated the law, but in my eyes he did nothing wrong

trodeback
trodeback

Hotz may feel safe, that is until Sony sends a Japanese assassin to South America to take him out. Don't **** with the Japanese mafia, Sony in disguise.

KCKING23
KCKING23

you people thumbs me down when it's true that sony can offer him a job in case someone else comes up and do the same thing guess who can save the out break this guy himself

Barabajagal
Barabajagal

Judging by his picture, this dude needs a vacation. He looks like Charles Manson's grandson.

dg3215
dg3215

All I have to say is Sony thinks they own the word Spyder, if you don't believe me go try to make a PSN account with Spyder in the name. F Sony. That being said yes I have a PS3 and I loved KZ3.

Melchior111
Melchior111

Lol, Hotz is asking for donations? Oh right, how the hell is he supposed to pay for his pina coladas and cuba libres.

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

Be glad that you didn't donate to this Idiot. If you run around asking for donations for your legel defense then you should probably shell your own money out as well rather than using it to go on vacation or at least canceling your trip and using your money towards it until its over then going on vacation if you really needed it so badly.

Melchior111
Melchior111

@frankblack789 Hey "true genius" First, I corrected the statement about country before you posted, to avoid confusion. Second, I live in south america, let me tell you that unless you are dealing with some sort of FBI most wanted criminal wanted all around the world, you won't get the extradition moving, not even by a long shot.

frankblack789
frankblack789

@Melchior111 hey genius, he doesn't state which South American country he's in so how do you assume that there is no extradition treaty in effect. you are either completely ignorant that South America is NOT a country but a continent, or you know exactly which country he's in which would be interesting.

Melchior111
Melchior111

Funny he chose a place without an extradition treaty for spring break. Hotz, You ain't no Assange dude. You are just a guy who made a poor decision and you are paying for it. I mean, you were expecting a job offer from sony after you ripped the PS3 a new one ?

inferno394
inferno394

HOtz is my hero. I'd do him. Thank-you Hotz for letting everyone bump and grind $ony's back door :D

redness19
redness19

"According to the document, "SCEA learned that Hotz had deliberately removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivering them to a third party neutral" -- What did you think he was going to do? On this issue I'll side with the consumer every time, we own the machine, it's ours to tamper with. To hell with your terms of agreements. My PSP is better served as a portable PS1 then it ever was as a PSP.

Rocker6
Rocker6

Good luck Mr.Hotz,and enjoy your vacation :)

Vengeful_Angel
Vengeful_Angel

WolfGrey and DanTekira, thank you. For awhile now, I was starting to believe everyone was losing common sense over this guy. People, chillax, no need for a revolution "in a society driven by fear". He broke several laws, simple as that. Hotz isn't fighting for me, or any of you for that matter. He got himself in a heated situation and he's just trying to survive. Yes the consoles are his, but haven't you people thought of WHY companies put security measures on these things you buy? To reduce (and hopefully prevent) abuse such as this. And if he admitted that he's in South America, why did his attorney say otherwise?