Sony sues PS3 hackers

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

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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
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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