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PS3 Hacker to Sony: Cat Not Going Back in the Bag


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Attorneys for George Hotz, the hacker who discovered and published the root key for the PS3 on the Internet, says the temporary restraining order is pointless since the "code sought to be restrained will always be a Google search away," and that jailbreaking of the PS3 should be allowed since it "functions as a multimedia personal computer."

After a hacker by the name of GeoHot, aka George Hotz, the same user who helped to crack the iPhone, discovered and posted the root key of the PlayStation 3 (PS3), Sony responded a few days ago by filing a request for a temporary restraining order against further publishing of the code.

It also demanded that he turn over all "computers, hard drives, CD-roms, DVDs, USB stick, and any other storage devices on which any Circumvention Devices" in his "possession, custody or control."

Attorneys are fighting back against the TRO by pointing out that it really serves no purpose in the context of the overall lawsuit since the jailbreak code has already been widely published on the Internet.

"That cat is not going back in the bag. Indeed, Sony's own pleadings admit that the code necessary to jailbreak the Sony Playstation computer is on the internet. Sony speaks of "closing the door", but the simple fact is that there is no door to close. The code sought to be restrained will always be a Google search away," reads the lawsuit.

There is no way to "unrelease" the code, and thus lends credence to the idea that the real purpose of the lawsuit it to frighten would be future jailbreakers of Sony devices. Since Sony obviously can't undo the distribution of the PS3 root key or seek "bona fide relief" for Hotz's actions, then what else could Sony be after?

"Make no mistake," said Stewart Kellar, one Hotz's attorneys,"this case is not about Sony attempting to protect its intellectual property or otherwise seek bona fide relief from the court. Rather, it's an attempt from Sony to send a message that any individual using Sony hardware in a way Sony does not deem appropriate will result in harsh legal consequences from a multi-billion dollar company, irrespective of any legal basis or authority for such action."

Hotz's attorneys also questions Sony's DRM-circumvention allegations since it has always marketed the device as a "multimedia personal computer" that can play BluRay movies, music, stream content from the Internet, browse personal pics, and perform a wide of variety of other functions that "can be enhanced by an end user's ability to install and run third party software on the Playstation computer."

In fact, if you look on Sony's PS3 homepage you can clearly see that it is much more than a gaming console.

Sony claims that the root key has no purpose other than to play pirated, copyright-protected games, and yet unlike a mod chip, whose sole function is just that, the root key "enables users to enhance the noninfringing aspects of the Playstation computer and treat the apparatus as it is, a computer."

Either way it's hard to see what Sony expects to gain in the end. Even if it did manage to somehow punish Hotz with a successful damages award or the forfeiture of all his PC gear, will it really serve as a warning to other would be jailbreakers?

I doubt it, for after all there's always WikiLeaks.

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