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Sony sues GeoHot for hacking the PS3


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Sony has been on a legal rampage lately, filing lawsuits against anyone who hacks their PS3, or posts the "master key" which was leaked recently, and now is going after infamous hacker GeoHot for hacking is own PS3. GeoHot is infamous in the hacking scene, for initially jailbreaking the iPhone, and then he released the PS3 master key, and a "jailbreak" that allows homemade games to be played on the PS3.

GeoHot posted on his blog today that the company is suing him for hacking his personal PS3, even though he never used it online, and is against mass piracy. In his post, GeoHot writes that;

"I am an advocate against mass piracy, do not distribute anyone's copyrighted work but my own, do not take crap lying down, and am even pro DRM in a sense. For example, I believe Apple has every right to lock down their iPhone in the factory as much as they want, but once it's paid for and mine, I have the right to unlock it, smash it, jailbreak it, look at it, and hack on it. Fortunately, the courts agree with me on this point."

He goes on to mention that his goal was to "provide users with a legitimate path to homebrew" which is "100% legal." Apparently the lawsuit has been in motion for over a month now, and GeoHot was waiting until he had talked to his lawyers before making a statement.

Now, GeoHot is asking for help from the internet -- and the media -- in getting his message out there. Obviously an individual could not afford as many lawyers as Sony has on the case (Which is 5, by the way), so he asks that anyone who supports the cause to donate as much as they can to help support the fight.

Since the case was launched, Sony has also changed the Terms of Service on the playstation network which now allows them to monitor any activity on the service and record it for 'legal purposes' and can take action against users if required to. The 'action' in question is being blocked from Sony Online Services themselves.

For more information or to support GeoHot's fight against Sony, visit his new blog here.

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Is this somehow Anonymous related? :blink:

Nope. It's just that Anonymous may start getting angry at Sony for going so hard on someone on doing a perfectly legal thing in US (jailbreaking). I saw this pic on GeoHot's blog that he saw this...

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Boycotting something simply gives it more attention.

True, but not in a positive way.

Agreed. And that's what GeoHot and Anonymous would be wanting now. :P

Infact, it seems I've already started boycotting Sony from my side. I'm planning to buy a nice LCD TV for the bedroom and I haven't brought Sony into any consideration...

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sonys diggin themselves a hole and it dont look too great for them (sony) whether or not they have money

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I hope you guys boycott Sony so hard, that I'll remain the only one willing to buy (they'll be offering me a 99% discount, just to show they have customers).

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I will do my part and boycott all Sony products and I will also spread the words. The one thing that I hate the most in life is an abuse of power.

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It's not like people buy Sony products on a daily basis. Tough to boycott unless you were actually planning to buy something from them in the near future. I guess I am boycotting by default since I wasn't planning to buy anything electronic related for the next few years. :hehe:

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"OtherOS" class-action lawsuit: GeoHot, Sony now share same charge

The claims against Sony in the ongoing class-action lawsuit dealing with the removal of the "OtherOS" functionality in the PlayStation 3 hardware have all been dropped, save for one: a claim that Sony violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by removing the ability to run Linux. This is the same law under which Sony is suing George Hotz for hacking the PS3, in fact.

One of Sony's defenses is rather interesting, as the company claims that it had no way of knowing gamers who bought the hardware would want to use these functions for the life of the system, and the multiple warranties and Terms of Service all said that Sony had the right to remove functions from the hardware. From the court documents filed by Sony:

To establish the implied warranty of fitness existed, Plaintiffs must allege that SCEA had "reason to know" of their special purpose, i.e., to use the PS3 in perpetuity for all advertised features and functions including the Other OS; that Plaintiffs relied on SCEA's expertise; and that SCEA had "reason to know" of their reliance on the continued availability of all features and functions. Plaintiffs have not only failed to allege these requisite facts, they indeed cannot due to the explicit language of SCEA's Warranty, SSLA, and Terms of Service. Specifically, because SCEA had the right to terminate or alter any feature or function, it had no reason to believe that Plaintiffs purchased their PS3s particularly with the expectation and belief that all features, including the Other OS, would be available for the "life" of the PS3.

Sony is arguing that your system needs to keep all the features it was sold with for the length of its warranty, and then after that time, removal of any function is fair game. "I think the problem is that in order to accept the notion that Sony made an unauthorized intrusion onto the plaintiffs' PS3s, you have to start with the assumption that what was 'disabled' was something that the plaintiffs had an ownership interest in..." Sony's laywer argued.

He continued, saying that gamers had a choice. "We're talking about if you are so interested in keeping this one feature, then you're not going to be able to access the PSN anymore. You may not be able to play some games. But that is not hacking into somebody's computer, which is the essence of the [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act]." This isn't a matter of accepting or declining a software update, it's the problem of Sony placing consumers in a position where they lose functionality no matter what they do. That may be a tough sell to the court.

Groklaw has a great article on the entirety of the court case, and we urge you to read it. The ins and outs of this case deal with much more than gaming consoles and Linux, and go into the idea of a warranty, and what's expected of modern electronics. We'll continue to follow the story as it develops.

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