Sony gets impound order for PS3 hacker's computers

Judge orders George Hotz to cease all hacking of console, turn over PCs and hard drives within two weeks.

by

Sony won its first victory in a lawsuit against PlayStation 3 hackers this week, as a judge granted the electronics giant a temporary restraining order preventing lead defendant George Hotz from further hacking of the console. Additionally, Hotz must now turn over his computers, hard drives, and all other storage materials related to Sony's legal team within 10 business days.

Until recently, the PS3 had largely stymied hackers.

The judge signed off on Sony's proposed restraining order with minimal edits, agreeing that the order was "necessary to prevent immediate and irreparable injury" to Sony. Additionally, the court determined Sony "has shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its claims for violation of the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] and the [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act]."

In opposing the restraining order, Hotz's attorney pointed out that with the PS3 security keys already readily available online as a result of the hacking, there was no further injury to prevent. "That cat is not going back in the bag," he said.

Late last year, a group of hackers known as fail0verflow publicized a major PS3 flaw in the way it creates security keys. Days later, Hotz released the system's master key, allowing people to run unauthorized software on their consoles, including pirated games, homebrew programs, and even custom firmware. Sony's subsequent lawsuit accused the hackers of breach of contract, tortious interference with contractual relations, trespassing, common law misappropriation, and violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Copyright Act, and the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.

Discussion

1398 comments
Justanian
Justanian

@Hoski0999 Well, yes, actually, I do. Its a dog eat dog world.

Th3_Oblivious
Th3_Oblivious

He went to my high school! (Bergen County Academies) WIsh I could meet him, he graduated a year or two before i attended

cubachino
cubachino

Free George Hotz's PCs!!!!!!!!!!! I've said it before - let me do whatever I want with whatever I purchase, weather it's my car, my phone or Playstation. And I repeat - Playstation console in where at no time of my purchase did I agree to any rules or promise not use it in any way Sony might not like. Unlike on the Playstation Network where I did agree to terms and conditions! For those crying that hacking is bad because cheating is uncool and you can't become number 1at COD or whatever game, toughen up it's just game! Or except the fact that like me i do well around my circle of friends but when I face people online I stink. Just don't take my rights away because you want to be the best at some pixels on a screen. It's a fact it's illegal to profit from someone else's intellectual property. therefor Sony has to prove that Hotz has made monetary gain from his apps. O, I mean hacks for the PS3 (they'll only become apps after Sony start to profit from them). In my opinion Sony is acting like a bully.

awheaten
awheaten

@raghraghragh The fact that you say, "Nothing he has done has been found to be illegal." Just lets me know that you're argument is totally oblivious to my point. The point is that YOU don't know the story. Because you are not reading the whole story. The article that you are talking about says, "This isn’t, however, a win for Sony. This order simply stops Hotz from distributing while the case is ongoing" doesn't say that Sony didn't win the case that is mention in this article, and that is my point. It is YOUR opinion that he did nothing wrong, and I'm not trying to convence you otherwise. The point I'm trying to tell you is: 1) He's not getting his stuff back. The fact that he is handing his stuff over to Sony, does not have anything to do with the fact that this is a temporary restraining order. 2) It doesn't mater if you think that he did something wrong because the judge thinks he did something wrong. Sony won that case:). Thats all I'm saying.

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

LoL... just getting more and more intriguing... lets see how this plays out. xD

raghraghragh
raghraghragh

@awheaten Nothing he has done has been found to be illegal. Sorry to disappoint you, but you're wrong. Again, as I stated before it is a temporary restraining order. The judge thinks that Sony may have a case, but they need the evidence from Geohot's computers. Here's a quote from a Nukezilla article: "This isn’t, however, a win for Sony. This order simply stops Hotz from distributing while the case is ongoing. Sony will continue to work against Hotz to obtain a permanent restraining order and obtain damages." http://nukezilla.com/2011/01/28/sony-granted-temporary-restraining-order-against-ps3-hacker-geohot/ It's also unlikely that anything will happen to Geohot. Precedence favours him and his work with the iPhone. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/07/feds-ok-iphone-jailbreaking/ I'm done, soz.

awheaten
awheaten

@raghraghragh Again Read the Story, "Sony won its first VICTORY in a LAWSUIT". IT HAS ALREADY BEEN FOUND THAT GEOHOT DID SOMETHING ILLEGAL. The [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act are different suits all togather. This whole thing was about getting a restraining order in the first place. That is what the suit was for. The acquisition of his equipment was all Sony. These things were given to Sony to investigate and reverse engineer his hacking software. So they can figure out how he did it. Sony is not going to sue him and have a long trial. He doesn't have any money. Only thing he could get is jail time, which he may get if Sony decides that they want to make an example out of him. Read man!

raghraghragh
raghraghragh

@ awheaten If it's found what he has done nothing illegal, of course his computers would be returned. The government can't just steal your property. It is a victory for Sony because the judge has acknowledge there is a possibility they may win. That's all. It doesn't mean that Geohot ALSO doesn't have a chance to win, as both sides may have valid arguments. And yes, they were granted a temporary restraining order. The key word being temporary. He hasn't been found to be doing anything wrong yet.

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

@Range_Finder I mean translations for individual games. Like for example, Tales of Vesperia.

tiagotgp
tiagotgp

Companies have yet to realize that the only way to fight piracy is through price reduction.

awheaten
awheaten

@raghraghragh You said, ".... If the courts find he has done nothing wrong, then his computers will be returned to him." How do you know that?! Read the story dude. It explicitly says: "Sony won its first VICTORY in a LAWSUIT against PlayStation 3 hackers this week..." It, also, says, "judge GRANTED the electronics giant a temporary RESTRAINING order..." These 2 statements means that the judge thought that he did something wrong. Your making things up. READ the story man. He can say good bye to his computer and equipment. He better stop before the FBI gets into it then he'll have another trial. This time it'll be a prison trial. Also, I've notice there are alot of people on here who thinks that hacking is ok. Its not. Just buy the games people. Think about it. Videogames have cost 60 dollars since the 90s and have not gone up with inflation. It now cost the same as it does to fill up your gasoline tank. Buy the games man, and get good at them. Don't hack.

raghraghragh
raghraghragh

@awheaten Good definition. But he isn't being penalised. His computers are an important part of this case. If the courts find he has done nothing wrong, then his computers will be returned to him.

awheaten
awheaten

@raghraghragh (a very stupid name by the way) This is what dictionary.com's definition of a sanction: a. a provision of a law enacting a penalty for disobedience or a reward for obedience. b. the penalty or reward. I think we're loosing the practicality in all this. Anytime I have to hand over a computer, that could cost from 150 to 2500 dollars, to anybody, I'm sorry but there got to be a side of me that must feel like I'm being penalized.

mariostar0001
mariostar0001

If only they could somehow put the cat back in the bag. :|

raghraghragh
raghraghragh

@awheaten Er, what? I think you should probably look up what a legal sanction actually is. Anyway, Geohot being forced to hand his computers over to the court does not mean he is guilty of anything. For someone to be found guilty, a TRIAL has to take place first.

slothrox
slothrox

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

TevoxZi
TevoxZi

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

awheaten
awheaten

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

technole
technole

GeoHot will probably be on a street corner begging you for $$ someday. Flunked out of college, and now is going to rack up a criminal record. Oh yes. I guess he was smart for telling Sony to hire him, or else.

ertai222
ertai222

just back up the data and burn the pc

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

awheaten
awheaten

@dzimm You said, "Hotz is innocent by any reasonable interpretation of the law." THAT is a load crap. Because if he was innocent, he wouldn't have been sanctioned by a judge... who went to Law School, not looking and manipulating wikipedia sites.

everlast219
everlast219

I simply state my opinion of Sony and I receive warnings from GameSpot for "trolling" and have my comments removed. Quite hypocritical for a website that is supposedly anti-censorship.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Good for Sony, but 10 business days? Thats just enough time for him to upload everything / back it up to a friends computer before he gives it away. And just because "The cat is out the bag" does that make it right for what he's done? If your car was stolen and sold on or dismantled before the guy who stole it was caught, would they be able to claim he's done nothing wrong then?

instinctgator
instinctgator

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

dam no more free games i was hoping of not spending 60 on every game we'll they will try again

maxwell97
maxwell97

@dzimm: Nice try, but no. A.) The hack involves a key built into the hardware, and is not only software. B.) I'm still not hearing any independently created computer program. C.) By definition, running an alternate OS on a PS3 does not create interoperability between two programs, it shuts down one program (the PS3 system software) to run another (Linux). Hotz is not innocent, he's guilty, and I hope he goes to prison.

dzimm
dzimm

: "I was speaking figuratively." And your comment was a load of crap. Figuratively speaking.

S3RAF1M
S3RAF1M

i hope they hurry for a fix to 3.56 firmware prob.. Thx.. BlackSnake123

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

jb9776
jb9776

The argument that people are having here, if hotz committed a crime, reminds me of the columbine shootings. Now the guy who sold them the guns didn't pull the trigger but by selling them the weapons he was still charged. Sometimes even though you don't commite a crime providing others with the tools to break the law can get you in ztrouble. Also I think Sony got a little victory in this also. By getting Some Of hotz' equipment they can see how he was Able to hack them and plan accordingly.)

awheaten
awheaten

@dzimm I was speaking figuratively. My point is still valid. You purchase an item, you're still obligated to abide by the terms and conditions, no mater the machanics of the law. BTW which law school did you graduate from again?

maxwell97
maxwell97

@Peace_Anarchy: And as I'VE said before, the DMCA is an ethical law (though flawed), because its intent is to protect the rights of content creators. @dzimm: And Hotz lawfully obtained a copy of what computer program, reverse engineered to achieve interoperability with what independently created computer program? This doesn't apply to his case.

dzimm
dzimm

"H.R.2281 - Sec. 1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems" This particular law does not take into account fair use and has been successfully challenged a number of times on that basis. However, interestingly, it allow for reverse engineering under subsection f: "...a person who has lawfully obtained the right to use a copy of a computer program may circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a particular portion of that program for the sole purpose of identifying and analyzing those elements of the program that are necessary to achieve interoperability of an independently created computer program with other programs, and that have not previously been readily available to the person engaging in the circumvention, to the extent any such acts of identification and analysis do not constitute infringement under this title." And it further says that "The information acquired through the acts permitted under paragraph (1), and the means permitted under paragraph (2), may be made available to others..." So there ya go: Hotz has done nothing wrong.

coltsfan4ever
coltsfan4ever

Lmao @ Geohotz. Dude is getting what he deserves. Hope Sony really rakes him over the coals.

Peace_Anarchy
Peace_Anarchy

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Peace_Anarchy
Peace_Anarchy

If they were honest and consistent they would have said were renting systems, but that of course would not sell, but now they want to argue the legal point that they have done so all this time with their bs clause. Its one or the other, did they rent their cosloles to us or sell it? either way their screwed for false advertising or the fact that their system does not legally belong to them because they have SOLD it. and max, like i said before not all laws are ethical, being a society dominated by big business their will be a lot of laws on the books that favor them. Economics is not free of class interest.

maxwell97
maxwell97

@Ex-DarkBlade: No problem, I wasn't saying you were wrong, just that even if Hotz had good lawyers, he'd still lose. And I think his current attorney has his degree printed on a cocktail napkin. "Your honor, my client has so seriously and irrevocably harmed Sony that there's no point in trying to stop him from doing further harm!" Yeah, good one, Perry Mason. @dzimm: "Acquiring and posting the master keys to the Playstation 3 is not illegal in and of itself. All it does is give people the ability to modify their Playstation 3 systems which is perfectly legal under any reasonable interpretation of the law." Actually, it's NOT perfectly legal. Circumventing the security system of a PS3 is a federal crime, whether or not it's done for piracy (see below). Similarly, you can be charged for sitting in your car while drunk, even if your car is turned off and your keys in your pocket. You can get charged for carrying a gun into a school, even if you don't try to shoot anyone with it. You can get charged for doing 80 on the freeway, even if you don't get in an accident. That's the law for ya. H.R.2281 Sec. 1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems `(a) VIOLATIONS REGARDING CIRCUMVENTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES- (1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c105:1:./temp/~c105wcSVBf:e11962:

Peace_Anarchy
Peace_Anarchy

The contractual argument of "well if u dont want to abide by my rules dont buy it" can easily be argued in reverse. "Well if u dont want anyone tinkering with it than dont SELL it" but that of course defeats the purpose of making and SELLING an item. If the latter position is so easily dismissed by its intended purpose( ie. to sell) why is not so the case with the former positions purpose? which is to buy it in the first place. Why should the first argument hold more legitimacy?. the word and intention in question here is SELL. is selling something different than renting something? Sony seems to FALSLY advertise that it is "SELLING" a product when its clause can be changed and altered at on their terms effectiveley make their transaction a renting one. If they are suing hotz it is because they never sold anything and have rented all there systems out. Never once did they clearly inform their patrons that they were renting the cosnole for 10yrs - 4ever. Instead they constantly advertise the item so people can BUY something that is being SOLD. Not rent something that is being rented.

inferno394
inferno394

Good luck to $ony if they can remove the hacking files offline! :D MHahahahaha!

Ex-DarkBlade
Ex-DarkBlade

@maxwell97, thats what I meant by "never did" in my comment. Sorry if my comment wasn't clear. Enjoy your day.

jadefury27
jadefury27

chances are they backed up the data and the harm's already done so this was nothing more than a big puffing out of their chest by sony in hopes of scaring off others. it'll change nothing in the end, with all the money they spent on the court case they could've put that into another amusing kevin butler ad.

dzimm
dzimm

awheaten: "That means when you buy Sony, M$, or Wii products your receipt is a contract for the terms specified by these companies..." You need to read up on contract law, because that's not how it works.

awheaten
awheaten

I think that Holz's attorney had a point though, "That cat is not going back in the bag,". This is so true... People have the software. Others will repost it. Others will use it, and follow his work. However, Sony does have the advantage with taking his work. One post said that Holz will copy his work with the 10 dayz he has. This is probably true. I agree that Sony should offer the man a job. There is a side of me that says he is bluffing about the PS3 not being able to use a update to cure the problem. There are wayz. Fundamental changes to subsequent systems can happen or changing the way devs zip up a game developed for Sony. This is an interesting development.

lwsydney
lwsydney

Too little, too late yet again by the peeps in black robes. You'd think those who should understand law the most wouldn't be so clueless about tech matters.

dzimm
dzimm

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@dzimm You know i disagree with that but we'll just leave it at that. No point us getting into an argument if neither side will change their opinion.