Sony sues PS3 hackers

Console maker alleges a conspiracy to unlawfully circumvent system's security measures; hacker says claims have no basis.

Recently, hackers proclaimed victory over the PlayStation 3's security measures, releasing security keys allowing people to run unauthorized software on their consoles, including pirated games, homebrew programs, and even custom firmware. Sony Computer Entertainment America fired back yesterday, filing suit in US District Court against original iPhone jailbreaker George Hotz and multiple members of a hacking collective called fail0verflow.

SCEA is concerned that the hackers' actions could "destroy" its business.

The suit seeks injunctive relief and damages, accusing 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.

Additionally, Sony characterizes the hackers' efforts as a conspiracy because they worked together to circumvent the PS3 security measures and encouraged others to build on those actions. As a result, Sony wants each of the defendants held liable for all acts committed in furtherance of the conspiracy by the other members.

"Unless this court enjoins defendants' unlawful conduct, hackers will succeed in their attempts to ensure that pirated software can be run on the PS3 system, resulting in the destruction of SCEA's business," the suit states.

Sony is also seeking a temporary restraining order preventing the defendants from circumventing the PS3 security or assisting others in that act, as well as an evidentiary preservation order requiring them to preserve all hardware and files related to their hacking efforts. Those requests have not yet been ruled on by a judge.

When asked for comment, Hotz provided GameSpot with the following statement: "I am a firm believer in digital rights. I would expect a company that prides itself on intellectual property to be well versed in the provisions of the law, so I am disappointed in Sony's current action. I have spoken with legal counsel and I feel comfortable that Sony's action against me doesn't have any basis."

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Discussion

319 comments
QOSMSTR
QOSMSTR

If you hack and mod, you FAIL...

Vampiro_HuntT3R
Vampiro_HuntT3R

@ColdP1zza You just saw all this? Man! You are seriously late! But whatever. I will say two words. Stab them inside your head with a knife "You are an id!0t". Ok fine. those are not two. But whatever. And capitalism is fail. It has failed everyone. You must just be a jerk who cant accept a reality, but I will still say it. Go do some research and see what capitalism has brought us. Billions for one and Minus Billions for others. Huge debts and loans and all sh!!t like that, well that is just one side of Capitalism. Unlike you, I fully understand and know what I type or say. Please do not comment at someone just because you can. Only do it if you REALLY know that you will say something useful. Because I seriously have no cure for your illiteracy! P.S. I heard someone say "Idiocy causes Cancer". You should consult an oncologist. Who knows it might be in early stages and you might actually live. But I highly doubt it. :)

ColdP1zza
ColdP1zza

@Vampiro_HuntT3R The "corporates" are controlling everything? Lol @ the anti-capitalism fail. Your just repeating words that you don't understand that you heard elsewhere.

ColdP1zza
ColdP1zza

@thisisreallybor Of course you wouldn't drive a nice car fast when the speed limit doesn't permit it because your just going to end up getting into a car accident. And hacking the console to enjoy it more for yourself is one thing (although its illegal and you accepted certain terms of agreement by using the PS3 so you are violating a contract), but its another thing to share it over the internet with everyone else so they can steal video games that costed money and time to make.

ColdP1zza
ColdP1zza

@thisisreallybor Of course you wouldn't drive a nice car fast when the speed limit doesn't permit it because your just going to end up getting into a car accident. And hacking the console to enjoy it more for yourself is one thing (although its illegal and you accepted certain terms of agreement by using the PS3 so you are violating a contract), but its another thing to share it over the internet with everyone else so they can steal video games that costed money and time to make.

S001-PRIMAL
S001-PRIMAL

r u serious????! ur actually commenting on this now.......

thisisreallybor
thisisreallybor

@S001-PRIMAL and you don't make copies of games to sell. you make copies to back up your own games. a person who knows how to hack their PS3 also knows how to burn games for themselves.

thisisreallybor
thisisreallybor

@S001-PRIMAL you read the sony pamphlet?? hahahhaha fail So you're the type of guy that buys a REALLY awesome car but never drives it really fast because of speed limits?? Let me guess too, you never ride a bicycle because the sticker on the bike says "You must wear a helmet!" A PS3 is not a loaded gun, or a bomb, or a weapon. It's an entertainment center. I plan on getting 100% the MOST entertainment out of a machine that I legally own by doing whatever I want with it. so have fun obeying all of the rules that pamphlets and stickers tell you to

shirish_yindia
shirish_yindia

@FriendBear and @DarkNeoBahamut. These hackers we're talking about here and the online cheaters you two are talking about are different

makavelli12
makavelli12

now can i say soemthign this is getting very over used and said tthe xbox is hacked and still seelign mroe than the crappy ps3 even if the ps3 does sell beter oevrseas umm in asia chiney lol it doesnt make a diffrence in my opiion the ps3 is basically doomed they wer behind before and now this gona cripple them :)

_MEDUSA_
_MEDUSA_

As far as modding or hacking the console their isnt much sony can do about it, (as it is technically your property) but taking said console online to perform a completely different set of illegal activities, the breach of contract (Ts & Cs) is 'minor' its the federal and legislasive laws that hackers break i think and hope that over and above Sonys' claim that these hackers will face federal charges, The only way i think for Sony to 'correct' this, 'in the publics eyes is by finding a way to ban the console from the PSN and assure the 'honest' user that such a breach will unlikely take place again,

Vampiro_HuntT3R
Vampiro_HuntT3R

And people! If you think these companies will go out of business just because a few thousand copies are pirated, then you are wrong. This is a Corporate Age. These corporates are controlling everything and are making billions for a very small task. If they had lowered the prices a bit and went with just millions, I think no one would have ever thought of piracy in the first place. If the companies only care about the money, and a lot of it, then they dont deserve it. They deserve to be pirated. But yes, I admit that they should get fruit for all their hardwork, but just not in billions. Be it millions, fine. So that we too can at least pay our bills and raise our families and still play the games and actually pay them. Unlike Americans, who live individually or just one other person, we have to take care of 4 to 5 people and we alone are the bread earner. So. You know what I mean? Come to moderation, Companies. The piracy and the hacks will stop eventually! Till then! Long Live Hackers! Long Live Pirates!

Vampiro_HuntT3R
Vampiro_HuntT3R

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

TheMammoth731
TheMammoth731

Anyone who thinks that these hackers cracking the security is a good thing, let me explain to you what happens now. One of two things: 1) Sony can find a way to alter the encryption remotely (update). 2) The hack is uncorrectable. If the hack is uncorrectable, It can very well cripple the company or put the games division of SCEA out of business. Should piracy run rampant, game developers will no longer develop for the system. These hackers will have, by and large, made everyone's $300+ dollar systems an expensive brick. For our sake, lets hope that Sony can fix this. Otherwise we all might have a very expensive useless piece of electronics on our hands. Hackers are a plague.

ShadeHunter1840
ShadeHunter1840

I dont realyy have anything against pirates, they sell enough games to make up the difference, but hackers just ruin the whatever game your trying to play online, and that just sucks. @ziproy, technically the terms and conditions are a contract.

cubachino
cubachino

It I buy a car pimp it out so it can do more than 130MPH it's my choice to either stay within the law and go the speed limit or break the law and go above it. So if I bought a game console threw it out my second floor window, no one should care. And if I purchase a game console hacked into it and turned it into a very expensive alarm clock and then shared the how to with the world for free no one should care either. Ultimately the choice should be mine. And for those who choose the wrong way like using pirated games let them deal with the consequences if and when they get caught. So I say stop wasting tax payer dollars on this frivolous lawsuits

Shadowblade2584
Shadowblade2584

So true.I'm never using online when I get a PS3.Offline Red Dead Redemption all day.

FriendBear
FriendBear

As I said before, homebrew is a good thing but the problem is, and always has been it has the negative effects such as piracy and hackers, the latter can totally destroy online gaming. @@shirish_yindia Pirates are one thing but hackers are scum to be honest, criminals who totally destroy gaming entirely, all hackers are the enemy of legitimate gamers everywhere.

ziproy
ziproy

You didn't sign a contract when you bought the console. It is your property so if I want to use my PS3 as anything from a bomb to a paper weight I am entitled to do so. The fact that game companies don't want us to mess with our consoles is a step in the very wrong direction

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

I dunno what this means but it either sounds very painful or inappropriate for family viewing..."tortuous interference with contractual relations"

junglist101
junglist101

I don't support the piracy of video games but I do support the freedom to do with the ps3 as I please considering I own it.

Sam-os_IMP
Sam-os_IMP

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

shirish_yindia
shirish_yindia

@Sam-os_IMP Hackers are the reason devices and their features improve. Go troll elsewhere or blow some sony executive

Sam-os_IMP
Sam-os_IMP

These people are not fooling anybody, the real reason behind all the b.s.you hack a console for is to pirate games and perform other illegal activities. Even if you hack for fun why release hacks to people who will use it for piracy then? That is the purpose and everyone knows it. The real problem here though are the laws, the Media Laws need to be changed so that people who create hacks that make way for piracy can be punished.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

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

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

@pmurph13- ...you claim hacking is 'not' stealing, yet in the same statement stated that hacking 'CAN' be a form of stealing, and continue to say that it doesn't even apply here... :/ from what i read in the article i believe $ony is fighting hackers for one of the reasons being that they are enabling free games to be played on their system and also enabling others to do the same.... it seems like stealing to me, bro... i'm just saying... xD @Philly1UPer- yea, i agree with you. i thought i was saying the same thing. LoL anyways...i'm a firm believer that if you do the crime (no matter how trivial...) you better be able to do the time when and if caught..... i'm just saying... play with fire expect to get burn...

shaunn191
shaunn191

No mater how smart the people at sony trying to prevent hacking there's always going to be a hacker out there that is smarter. But yeah, unless you've signed into PSN and accepted the SCEA they shouldn't be able to do anything, i'm pretty sure i didn't have to perform an oath to the dude at EB Games when i bought my PS3.

maxwell97
maxwell97

Screw homebrew. If you want homebrew, buy a PC. A console is a walled garden, which ALL of the terms of use make clear. If Hotz feels "comfortable that Sony's action against me doesn't have any basis," he's a fool. I'm not familiar with all the laws cited, but at the very least, breaking the code is a violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

alexatkin
alexatkin

What an act of desperation. Sony had their chance to play nice with the homebrew community and blew it. I expected this right from the start when I heard OtherOS did not allow GPU acceleration. Yet, people put up with that. So in order to add insult to injury Sony pull OtherOS entirely. Is it any wonder this happened? If they had just allowed enough access to fully utilise the PS3 for homebrew this would never have happened. It wouldn't have needed to open up the security of the console, so piracy would still have been impossible, but instead they did the opposite and look where its gotten them.

conroybrink
conroybrink

And the real pisser is that Sony when they first put the ps3 out you had access to alot of the internal coding from the get go,the ps3 community was supposed be about moding and allowing gamers to play more the way they wanted,roughly a year into the system being out they updated and yanked all that from it because modding wasnt something console gamers are into.Hence the new systems not having any memory card slots and only two usbs besides helping in the price cut it just wasnt a function most people wanted.And now someone turns around and just undoes what Sony stopped us from doing what they originaly wanted gamers to do,so in a funny way Sony accidentaly forced someone that actuly knew computers to make there system a modders system again like it WAS intended to be from the start,so yeah go ahead argue over the merit of hacking right or wrong but when it comes down to it,its a GAMING CONSOLE not a way to crash the worlds economy (bush did that already) or Sonys for that matter.

conroybrink
conroybrink

@S001-PRIMAL yes I know what you are talking about with the whole "making a super computer" that was also something that was thought up when computers first started,to say that some how 7 people hacking a ps3 is related is hilarious,there are super computers already in the governments hands that they admit to,and the one big thing that youre talking about is the joint efforts of linking computers together to use the processing power as a combined whole which still is in the works..Youre now taking something as simple as a few hackers that wanted to be able to use system as a whole and not just how sony wants you to use and turning it into some sorta of chaos theory that hacking a few ps3 is going to allow someone to aquire the launch codes to the nukes we have..Get real,there is no threat its simply sony being pissy because there unhackable system just got owned by some people with a whole lot of time on there hands. And thats the great part these people were just doing it for fun and now most notably on this forum its some how turned into a witch hunt which I'm sure sony will try and do also...Not everything is a conspiracy,some people just enjoy breaking into stuff..No one was harmed other than sonys sensability about there proven wrong claims...So everyone needs to relax and play some splinter cell if you want a good conspiracy story...Chuckle Heads..

ValentineRain
ValentineRain

@S001-PRIMAL: No, I don't remember those projects. It doesn't help that you didn't link them. By your logic, if 'the government' decided to use any electronic device available to the public, ever, using it in any other way than the developer intended would be a federal offense. I highly doubt the military feels threatened in any way by a bunch of civilians jailbreaking the PS3. Sorry~

conroybrink
conroybrink

To even try and say that this is close to a federal threat is a joke,you're talking about private companies vs government now and thats two solidly differnt entities..Listen if the government is concerned that a few people are hacking a gaming console theyve got alot more to worry about than we really are aware of.Not to mention that the pentagon has been hacked its self a few times.Honestly you really think that someone hacking a game system is note worthy by the government we would even hear about it? No, the people you hear about arent the people you need to worry about and the government knows this and only easily fooled people think that the stories that make the front pages are the things to be concerned about,the best hackers arent getting caught hell the best hackers are most likely working for said companies and or gov's.At this point in time how can anyone think that our gov let alone any other that has sense about it would let this get that far if it really was a threat is a fool.

polymetalalloy1
polymetalalloy1

Interesting riposte by Hotz with the digital rights argument, seems like a very solid point to me I think the hackers have a case here.

aFatDog
aFatDog

A battle doomed for failure if you ask me. Trying to stop piracy is like trying to stop cancer. How many different companies have tried to stop piracy and failed? Not saying i encourage it, but even if they did miraculously stop one group, it would just pave the way for more hackers to try their luck.

m4t3u5LP
m4t3u5LP

wow... this is hilarious.

S001-PRIMAL
S001-PRIMAL

@conroybrink actually this can be considered a federal threat as well. the reason is simple...do you remember those projects that the united states air force and the fbi were and still are working on required.....Playstation 3's. the project was to build a supercomputer they needed a system with "powerful" security and massive processing power that was cost effective but yet still just as powerful or more. their answer was the ps3. if the system is hacked then that could mean problems

conroybrink
conroybrink

All I have to say is wow,you people are acting like these couple of other people just toppled the Trade Center again..Its a machine,thats what happens people hack,get over it,and to the idiot saying all that these people are Cyber terrorists get real buck-o Sony isnt going to lose squat and the family of the people who are involved do not need some Yakuza videos of death tapes sent to them,you on the other hand need some serious help for even going there..Sony sues they make the hackers pay some money and they beef up there security..This is what makes systems better,it forces companies to look at there products and figure out how better to make them safer,and lets face if you truly love video games you are going to buy the real thing and keep these companies afloat..And hahaha yes when you buy your PS3 or 360 youre only buying the rights to use it and thats it..But most people dont know that and its not like it makes any difference anyway..So really all any of you complainers are doing is feeding into this..Must be nice that the only thing you have to complain about is what someone else is doing...Good job chuckle heads!!

megakick
megakick

so many sony fanboys say kill the hackers. the real issue is sony they let their arrogance get the best of them. unlike sega and nintendo who learned from their mistakes sony is doomed to repeat them.

S001-PRIMAL
S001-PRIMAL

@MagicOneUp first off you cant compare music to a multi billion dollar game. second, im going to be straight up with you.....NO just because u paid for it doesnt mean its yours.if you didnt read the first comment i placed up before, ud see i explained this. tell me just because u paied for the console, does that mean u own playstation network.....afterall access to the playstation network is a feature of the ps3........the answer is NO. u paid for the rights to use the ps3. im surprised that ur still questioning every single sentince and twisting it for loopholes....u should probably read every single sentence thoes papers that come with any game u buy and the console itself. but then again ur probably supporting hackers and pirates so.......

PT_FRANK
PT_FRANK

These guys are cyber terrorist no better than a suicide bomber. I would like to see Sony send out some Yakuza types to the family members home of these hacker/pirates and have a nice chat with em. These criminal scum need to some hard time. CIA could whack em if Obama's liberal policy let them. No matter how, they need to be delt with.

jhpeter
jhpeter

"a conspiracy to unlawfully circumvent system's security " Gosh, Sony people are really paranoid and supremacist, as their system is the only one that cannot be touched. Losers.

jhpeter
jhpeter

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

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

@S001-PRIMAL so when you 'paid' for a ps3, its not yours at all? when it dosn't work, will sony ever replace it or give your money back? what if i had it for 5 years and its out of warranty, can i give it back to sony cos its not whole mine? can i modified it to bring back features that are promised by sony? what if terrorist got their hands on a ps3 ect... you get the picture? what you paid for is your's. if you have a good idea and share it with others, good for you. but if others decided to do stupid things, its their fault. i bet you never record a tv show or rip music to your ipod in your life?

tremor33
tremor33

@johnevegas My sentiments exactly. A judge even ruled similarly that it is okay to jailbreak/ hack an iphone. You buy it, you can do whatever you want with it, but if you pirate games or software, that's actually a crime

Anoush13
Anoush13

Who cares if some guy hacked the PS3? It's just a hack that let's you to unlock your console and do what you wish with it! However Piracy on the other hand is the real issue here! If your system has been hacked, it's not actually harming you in any way financially! In fact, it might actually boost Sony's sales by allowing it! Many people out there will probably find potential in the PS3 for those hacks alone! However in Piracy, it's basically stealing games! Imagine if Sony's big line up of 2011 was all given for free? Sony wouldn't make a single cent and would just loose millions of dollars! I believe Sony should meet half way. Allow the hacks for the PS3, but make sure that there are no hacks that are allowing Piracy on their games! Fight Piracy, Allow Hacks!