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Sony Must Show It Has Jurisdiction To Sue PS3 Hacker

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the quick-guys-make-up-something-that-sounds-technical dept.

PlayStation (Games) 217

RedEaredSlider writes "A California court today asked that Sony show it has jurisdiction over the hacker who publicized a 'jailbreak' for the PlayStation 3 console. Judge Susan Ilston, in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, said Sony has to show that George Hotz, a hacker who posted a method of 'jailbreaking' PS3 consoles, has some connection to California if Sony is to claim damages for his work on the PS3." For his part, Geohot has moved quickly to fight back against Sony's accusations. His legal team issued a statement (PDF), and also pointed out, "On the face of Sony’s Motion, a TRO serves no purpose in the present matter. The code necessary to 'jailbreak' the Sony Playstation computer is 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."

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Can't have jurisdiction here (1)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34883920)

With my scant knowledge of law, I know they can't claim real jurisdiction over the hacker himself. The hardware is another story, but unlikely too.

On the other hand, with my vast knowledge of how these things go, he'll probably wind up facing a stiff penalty of some sort.

Re:Can't have jurisdiction here (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884166)

Your knowledge of the law, admittedly scant, is also utterly wrong.

Additionally, it's worth noting that the headline "Sony Must Show It Has Jurisdiction To Sue PS3 Hacker" belies typical /. cluelessness about any and all legal issues. You never have "jurisdiction" to sue somebody. COURTS have jurisdiction, not parties, and the jurisdiction means they have the power to HEAR the lawsuit.

Re:Can't have jurisdiction here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884414)

Yes, the title should be "Sony must show California court has jurisdiction to pursue legal action through said court." But that would be too easy to understand.

Re:Can't have jurisdiction here (5, Informative)

suutar (1860506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884570)

Right. The court is asking Sony to explain why a California court (where they filed) has jurisdiction, because Hotz's lawyer filed a response saying "What's california got to do with it? He lives in New Jersey".

Re:Can't have jurisdiction here (0)

suutar (1860506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884606)

(I do agree that the headline is poorly worded but it's derived from a technically-correct but also poorly worded line in TFA).

TFA presents the issue as Sony's jurisdiction (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885162)

(I do agree that the headline is poorly worded but it's derived from a technically-correct but also poorly worded line in TFA).

No, its not. TFA -- and not just in the sentence excerpted in TFS, which is technically wrong but which might, on its own, have just been an error in pronoun use -- presents the legal issue in dispute as being whether Sony (not the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California) has jurisdiction.

In addition to the first sentence in TFS, which might be explained away as an error in pronoun use in a sentence intended to convey the correct issue of the court's jurisdiction, TFA states: "Hotz's lawyer, Stewart Kellar, filed an objection stating that Sony has no jurisdiction in the case, as Hotz lives in New Jersey and the complaint was filed in California." [emphasis added]

This makes it clear that the error is not just one of pronoun use in the earlier sentence, its that TFA completely misrepresents the legal issue as being one of Sony's "jurisdiction".

That doesn't completely excuse the author of TFS and the editor posting the story, who should have recognized that the claim made in TFA was not reasonable and sought better sources before posting the story. But it does explain that they aren't the root source of the misrepresentation.

Re:Can't have jurisdiction here (1)

debrain (29228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884884)

COURTS have jurisdiction, not parties, and the jurisdiction means they have the power to HEAR the lawsuit.

Sir –

Even more pedantically: Courts and other dispute resolution bodies (e.g. arbitrators) have what we refer to as "jurisdiction" when these bodies have the power to determine the outcome of a dispute i.e. the power to issue an award that is enforceable over the people (in personam), subject-matter, and property (in rem) in issue.

I've been taught through experience that the word "jurisdiction" ought to always be accompanied by an adjective that answers the question "over what?" Determining issues of jurisdiction is typically a nuanced analysis, but worth learning about if you wish to understand how the rule of law operates. Disputes over billions of dollars are regularly swayed by issues of jurisdiction.

To give some leeway to its author, the headline could be interpreted "Sony must show [the Court] has jurisdiction to sue PS3 hacker", or "Sony must show it has [chosen the Court with] jurisdiction to sue the PS3 hacker".

e-ttorney at law? (1)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34883930)

I hope his attorney has insurance against injuries sustained from excessive eye-rolling.

Muhahah (3, Funny)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34883958)

Little does Sony know that SCO has now found they infringe on no fewer than 238 of their patents!

Re:Muhahah (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884196)

Ya that would be a classic, someone gets their hands on some PS3 OS code and Mr McBride is back on track!

Great Legal Team! (1)

Kuukai (865890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34883976)

"On the face of Sony’s Motion, a TRO serves no purpose in the present matter. The code necessary to 'jailbreak' the Sony Playstation computer is 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."

Isn't that a confession?!

Re:Great Legal Team! (3, Insightful)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884036)

No.

It just says that the information is out there, not that their client is responsible.

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884400)

The milk is spilled on the barn door and the horses are out of the bag! And no use crying over the cats in the yard.

If we can hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate. -- Zapp Brannigan

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884552)

It's still missing a car analogy.

Re:Great Legal Team! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884776)

The milk is spilled on the barn door and the horses are out of the bag! And no use crying over the cars in the yard.

If we can hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate. -- Zapp Brannigan

Re:Great Legal Team! (3, Informative)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884624)

The defense's argument is not that George Hotz isn't responsible. He is responsible. The question is whether or not what he did was illegal. They're arguing that there is little difference between jailbreaking a phone (legally exempted in the DMCA) and a console (still illegal per the DMCA.)

Re:Great Legal Team! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884702)

They're arguing that there is little difference between jailbreaking a phone (legally exempted in the DMCA) and a console (still illegal per the DMCA.)

Well, the main argument from the summary seems to be "I invoke Streisand's law to render your restraining order ineffective"

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

millennial (830897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884952)

The point is that there's no possibility of redress of grievances. The code is now widely distributed on the internet; suing Hotz to get him to remove his copy is a totally ineffective means of getting rid of it.

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884074)

I don't think he was ever planning to claim that it wasn't him to released the codes. His defense is probably going to be that what he did was tinker around with hardware he owned and published the result to the internet. Basically that he didn't break any laws.

Re:Great Legal Team! (0)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884294)

I don't think he was ever planning to claim that it wasn't him to released the codes. His defense is probably going to be that what he did was tinker around with hardware he owned and published the result to the internet. Basically that he didn't break any laws.

Exactly. No different than publishing a guide for breaking into your car.

Re:Great Legal Team! (4, Insightful)

geekprime (969454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884590)

Exactly. No different than publishing a guide for hopping up your car.

"Breaking into" is simply pointless pejorative wording. Pointless because the car is already yours. You paid for it, you should be free to do whatever you want to with it.

Imagine if ford decided that you could no longer use their cars on expressways and reprogrammed the engine control unit to prevent the car from going over 45mph AFTER YOU HAD BOUGHT THE CAR.

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884744)

Okay, so a better analog might be publishing a guide on how to remove the rev limiter from the engine computer.

Re:Great Legal Team! (4, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885154)

More accurate would be a how-to on how to read and recreate/reprogram the logic tables used by the ECM, so that the existing ECM can be repurposed/have its behavior changed.

Especially considering that the released information on the PS3 is not about how to alter hardware; Rather, it is about how to read software built into the hardware, and how to gain full control over that hardware and convince it that the software you are running on it is legitimate.

In short, this restraining order is like Ford issuing same against somebody researching proprietary ODBII protocol data, out of fear that it could be used to circumvent said rev limiter with a forged firmware "factory" update.

The argument should be that this falls squarely within the "enable compatibility" clause of legal reverse engineering, much like research into the allegorical ODB protocol would be, (allows creation of compatible 3rd party ODB based code readers and diagnostic tools for one thing, also allows new code tables to be pushed to the engine), and that the restraining order is further useless since this research was not strictly original, and the resulting information is widely publicised. (meaning it is a waste of the court's time and a frivelous and vindictive move by the plaintiff which should be dismissed.)

Re:Great Legal Team! (2)

Ganthor (1693614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885064)

Oh come on.... you really expect that argument holds any weight??

"It's my car...house...equipment I bought it therefore I can do what I like with it", including something forbidden by terms of use and by the law? - I think not.

The divide is whether you think that it's you right to backup and protect your media investment, and companies like Sony should not stop you from doing that. - End of the day, Sony are protecting their interests, while we try to protect ours (the right to make backups of fragile media).

They made it fuckin hard to crack the PS3 to play copies of whatever. Then when people came up with methods to do that, they removed "other OS feature" that allowed the crack. Then this guy finds a method and Sony loose control. I don't agree with Sony's over bearing control of the PS3, in particular the removal of features. However, I think it's clear what Sony are doing. They are making an example of what happens to you if you thumb your nose at them - publicly.

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884626)

Car analogy:

Mr. Hotz manages to open his welded-shut hood using the secret knock he heard about from fail0verflow.

Inside he finds detailed instructions for starting the car printed on an instruction sheet. Like all good instruction sheets, it has an ISBN.

Mr. Hotz writes the ISBN on a poster and puts it up in his yard. Other people start ordering copies using the ISBN.

Sony drives by, screeches to a halt, and fires a cruise missile from their car (full of lawyers) at Mr. Hotz's front door.

The judge in a far-away place called "Northern District" asks them if they were authorized to fire cruise missiles in the name of the Northern District.

Sony hems and haws.

Re:Great Legal Team! (4, Interesting)

xaoslaad (590527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884092)

They put the word jailbreak in there. I forsee the defense attempting to use thebrecent decision by the the Library of Congress for jailbreaking under the DMCA. I was wondering if they would try this. I also wonder if it will work.

Re:Great Legal Team! (2)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884348)

The DMCA exemption [copyright.gov] given by the LoC applies only to wireless phones (and doesn't use the term "jailbreak"):

"Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset."

Re:Great Legal Team! (2)

xaoslaad (590527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884392)

I know; but the act is commonly referred to as jailbreaking. Im also aware that as it's written it seems to only apply to phones, but that may not stop them from trying. It may not even be their defense; it may just be an attempt to compare it to a protected activity and ge people thinking whats the difference.... I just dont think it was worded that way by coincidence.

Re:Great Legal Team! (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885206)

Technically speaking, the PS3 *IS* a wireless communication device that is locked down to run proprietary software.

It has builtin bluetooth and WiFi. It's just some homebrew away from being a VERY large bluetooth VoIP phone.

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884648)

The DMCA exemption [copyright.gov] given by the LoC applies only to wireless phones (and doesn't use the term "jailbreak"): "Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset."

I'm not certain that GP was suggesting claiming that there is excemption for the PS3, but rather that there is precedent for adding exceptions to the DMCA. However, we are getting ahead of ourselves; the matter at hand is jurisdiction. If California does not have jurisdiction then the DMCA is irrelevant to this whole episode.

Re:Great Legal Team! (3, Informative)

GryMor (88799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884912)

That is not the only exemption, I believe 1201 f should apply as it is providing the information to allow the PS3 OS software to inter-operate with the software generating homebrew images.

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/openlaw/DVD/1201.html#f [harvard.edu]

IANAL

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

Capt_Morgan (579387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884476)

I don't see why they even need to bother. This seems like a clear free speech issue. Just like publishing the CSS key is free speech. You might not be able to sell a program like DVD Decrypter.. but you can certainly publish the key

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885094)

Free speech doesn't give you the right to publish copyrighted information without permission of the copyright holder.

I don't know if that includes this, but I would be extremely surprised if the matter of whether this is considered copyrighted information doesn't come up.

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885182)

Keys like this cannot be copyrighted. They are not creative works in any way.

jail break. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884520)

The exception in the DCMA states "Computer programs that enable "wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset."

A console is not a wireless telephone handset, so that circumvention exception is not litterally applicable I would think.

Re:jail break. (1)

millennial (830897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884988)

The question, then, is whether or not there's enough of a parallel between iPhone and PS3 jailbreaking for the iPhone precedent to apply.

Re:Great Legal Team! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884098)

I suppose, but it's still a good point that you can't close a barn door when the beans are already spilt by a cat out of a bag that can't be put back in the toothpaste tube, it's already spilt milk, so any injunction is useless, though it does seem like when it comes to the damages part of the thing the statement might be, well dare I say... damaging?

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884112)

I think if anything went forward the evidence against the guy is clear and they'd end up stipulating that he's the one.

That's why they're fighting jurisdiction and moving against restraining orders instead of taking it to court now and forcing Sony to show proof. If those don't work they should try to negotiate a cheap out, which Sony will piss on, so they probably won't bother to try. When it does get to trial, they'll fight over what it cost them and whether and how much should cost him. No sense pissing off the judge or wasting your client's defense fund by arguing things that are plain in the evidence.

Re:Great Legal Team! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884160)

I think they're going to argue that what Hotz did wasn't against the law, rather than argue the facts (which are mostly uncontested).

Re:Great Legal Team! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884562)

Kind of hard to do when it's against the license you agreed to when you bought the product.

"To the fullest extent permitted by law, you may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble any portion of the System Software, or create any derivative works, or otherwise attempt to create System Software source code from its object code." - SYSTEM SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT (Version 1.4) FOR THE PlayStation®3 SYSTEM [scei.co.jp]

So they're going to have to attack based on that clause before the first comma. Which could be the reason for the jurisdictional attack. Could be that California enforces EULAs or at least doesn't protect reverse-engineering by box owners. Forcing Sony into another jurisdiction either makes Sony's case weaker, or Hotz' lawyers are dumb.

Re:Great Legal Team! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884634)

Software License agreements dont really mean bunk in a court of law you yahoo.

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

millennial (830897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885054)

You only agree to that license when you install a firmware update.

Re:Great Legal Team! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884132)

No, just a statement that a request for a restraining order is nonsensical since there's no hope of restraining anything.

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884260)

It's hard to argue that he didn't do what he did, they're going to argue that what he did was legal. Like if I was accused of slander and responded with "Of course I called him an idiot, he is one!". I said what I said and stand by it, but that doesn't mean that what I did was slander.

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

Capt_Morgan (579387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884446)

One nice thing about America is that Congress can not make a law that abridges freedom of speech. Well, at least that is how it's supposed to work. I see nothing here but someone exercising free speech

"On the face of Sony's Motion" (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884916)

Isn't that a confession?!

No. Read it again. He never admits to doing anything, whether or not it is illegal, so all the pertinent questions of law and fact are still out there. All he does is state the fact that Sony's own filing admits that the information that they are seeking to prevent getting out is already widely distributed on the internet, and argues, based on that, that on the basis of the claims in Sony's own filing requesting a TRO (temporary restraining order) such an order would serve no purpose.

Re:Great Legal Team! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885142)

I think publicly releasing the jailbreak and taking credit for it might be as well.

My predictions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884022)

Is that people will be able to use the hardware that they purchased now and not have to fear a lawsuit.

There will be more piracy, but not to the point that there will not be room for a legitimate market for new games. My impression is that the type that applies custom firmware and burns(or copies to hard drive) blu-ray sized games is a minority of people.

old news (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884150)

for some reason sony microsoft etc that all lost lawsuits to hackers in the past dont seem to think the rules apply to new consoles. of course they do and they just lose the lawsuit again. and the hacker has a valid point on there being no door to close.

They know that, but that's not the point (5, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884270)

Sony knows that they can't put the cat back in the bag, but that's not the point. The point is to make life as hellish as possible for the person who let the cat out, so the next bloke who considers doing it might find something else to do. If nothing else they can haul him to court, ruin him financially, and hope for some kind of favorable legal precedent so that next time around it's even easier for them to come down with a hammer on the next poor bastard that dares to do whatever he wants with his own property.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884352)

I own a gun. It's my own property. Can I do whatever I want with it?

And if I do, will you promise to post 10,000,000 shrill comments in my defense after I am arrested for it?

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884444)

You can do modify your gun as you like, obviously you can shoot at other people, same as you can't bang with your ps3 people on the head.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884482)

You can do whatever you want to the gun, sure. Provided you're not breaking any other laws like assault and battery as I'm sure you're implying. Just like someone can hack their ps3, but they are not allowed to bludgeon/hack people with it. There's a difference between doing whatever you want to some inanimate object you own and doing whatever you want with some inanimate object you purchase.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (3, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884664)

DeadDecoy:

There's a difference between doing whatever you want to some inanimate object you own and doing whatever you want with some inanimate object you purchase.

In light of your slashID, I thought it important to mention that a corpse is an inanimate object, and even if you purchase it (legally, like for medical research) you cannot do whatever you want to it OR with it.

Just an FYI, in case you were wondering about the specific implications of edge cases to your generalism. You know. Stuff you'd want to do to/with a corpse. For science or something.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (1)

malkuth23 (451489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885004)

A human corpse is considered an especially sacred inanimate object in our society. It is also a health issue. The debate over burning a flag provides another possible example - although still protected at this time.

Who knows? Maybe one day we will provide legal protection for flags, religious symbols, excessively cute robots, and pictures of talk show hosts... but I hope not. And I really hope we still never hold game systems to the same standard.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884516)

I own a gun. It's my own property. Can I do whatever I want with it?

And if I do, will you promise to post 10,000,000 shrill comments in my defense after I am arrested for it?

Terrible analogy. The analogy using your gun would be: You own your gun, you take it apart and take pictures and post it on the internet. You show pictures of the clip design allowing others to make their own bullets instead of buying them. Then Smith and Wesson take you to court.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884598)

Thanks, chumps. Notice the guy wouldn't be targeted by a lawsuit if he hadn't posted Sony's security/trade secrets online.

That's why, chumps, the analogy is so apt: he's not being sued for "doing whatever he wants with his own property" -- he's being sued for causing HARM to Sony.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (1)

MotherErich (535455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884924)

Harming a company and doing something it doesn't appreciate are two different things. If Mad Catz posted information on how their PS3 controllers worked and how to build your own, Sony might not enjoy that information becoming so easily obtainable and understood, but that doesn't make sharing the information illegal.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884964)

Trade secrets are not protected in this manner. If you find them out they stop being secrets, neat huh?

You can harm Sony legally all you want. At worst he broke some EULA bs contract.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (1)

MotherErich (535455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884808)

In this circumstance jailbreaking the PS3 would be equivalent to modifying a gun, like adding a scope to a riffle, not shooting someone or holding up a bank.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (1, Funny)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884474)

"Ruin him financially" you mean he might have to move out of his dad's garage?

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (4, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884690)

Back in the old days, an organization from Japan would send over Ninjas to take care of the problem. I bet Sony misses those days -sigh-

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884870)

Back in the old days, an organization from Japan would send over Ninjas to take care of the problem. I bet Sony misses those days -sigh-

Yeah, but that was back when the only problems they had to deal with were in Japan itself. Ninjas are notoriously stymied by long sea trips, such as what would be required to traverse the Pacific Ocean before the invention of intercontinental air travel, especially when pirates are involved. Hence, they died out due to globalization.

Sure, you can find the odd mom-and-pop ninja shop in Japan, but they're sadly on their way out thanks to international corporate interests and big legitimate business ventures from around the world who can make it up in volume. That's not even mentioning the advent of the so-called "big box" assassination companies.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (2)

MotherErich (535455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884950)

Did the Pirates kill all the Ninjas as they crossed the open seas?

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (1)

chispito (1870390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884804)

The point is to make life as hellish as possible.. so the next bloke who considers doing it might find something else to do...

So use TOR next time and don't sign your work.

Re:They know that, but that's not the point (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884942)

Sony knows that they can't put the cat back in the bag, but that's not the point. The point is to make life as hellish as possible for the person who let the cat out, so the next bloke who considers doing it might find something else to do.

Unfortunately for Sony's motion for a TRO, such orders are allowed only for specified purposes (largely, to prevent irreversible harm), and punitive purposes are not an acceptable reason for a TRO.

Wrong use of jurisdiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884286)

Courts, not parties, require jurisdiction. Sony cannot have jurisdiction.

Isn't that kinda like saying... (0)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884296)

Because others guys are doing it, it's okay for me to do it, or this case continue doing it? I don't see that as a particularly good defense.

Re:Isn't that kinda like saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884424)

The law must respect the people, if the people are to respect the law.

Slow down cowboy! It's been 56 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment, and 20 years since anyone at Slashdot saw the inside of a programming textbook.

Re:Isn't that kinda like saying... (1)

taco8982 (725292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884538)

That it's already out there isn't his defense against the lawsuit itself, but rather against the immediate takedown of his site to prevent damage to sony. He's saying no further damage will be done by leaving it up, therefore the takedown before the judge hears arguments from both sides should be denied.

Re:Isn't that kinda like saying... (0)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884574)

I suppose, but still seems darn weak. It's kinda like Youtube arguing it should be able to keep up a video because facebook has the same video up, regardless of the legality of the video.

Re:Isn't that kinda like saying... (3, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884994)

I suppose, but still seems darn weak.

It directly addresses the legal standard for issuing a temporary restraining order, which is issued before the legalities at issue are determined to prevent ongoing harm that might otherwise occur while the case is progressing. That there is no reasonable basis to believe that the TRO would prevent any ongoing harm is the strongest possible argument against a TRO, not a "darn weak" one.

Re:Isn't that kinda like saying... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885200)

The problem with a restraining order is that at the time it's served, it's not established whether or not the subject is illegal. In your case, if you take down a legitimate video then you are censoring freedom of speech. If you don't then you are permitting continuing damage my whetever illegal stuff the video is doing.

So the court considers which action does the most harm. Taking it down will harm Hotz. It will not benefit Sony in any significant way at all. At least that's what Hotz's legal team are arguing and I agree with them.

Re:Isn't that kinda like saying... (4, Informative)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884638)

Derekloffin asked:

Because others guys are doing it, it's okay for me to do it, or this case continue doing it? I don't see that as a particularly good defense.

which was most likely in reference to this comment by geohot's Lawyer:

On the face of Sony’s Motion, a TRO serves no purpose in the present matter. The code necessary to 'jailbreak' the Sony Playstation computer is on the internet. That cat is not going back in the bag.

Note: TRO = Temporary Restraining Order.

Sony's shy^H^H lawyers tried to get the court to give them all of geohots computer equipment before geohot had time to mount a defense. He was only informed of this attempt a few hours before the hearing.

The "cat is out of the bag" statement wasn't addressing whether geohot is guilty or innocent of any crime. It was addressing the lame attempt by Sony to confiscate all of geohots computers. Sony said they needed the court to take this rapid and extraordinary action to keep the world from learning how to perform the exploit. Since the information was already on the web, seizing geohot's computers would not stem the tide.

TL;DR: Sony was being an asshole and tried to use a temporary restraining order as an excuse to steal all of geohots computers. Geohot had already lawyered up and was prepared for this sneak attack.

YAESF (yet another epic Sony FAIL).

if there was ever a time for a fully informed jury (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884306)

Disclaimer: I don't have any idea whether a jury is or will be involved at any point in this process. However, it seems to me that this could be a perfect use of jury nullification. Whether what he did was against the law or not, morally, he just tinkered with his own property and told other people how to tinker with theirs. There's nothing immoral about that, anymore than if I add an aftermarket gizmo to my car without GM agreeing, and then tell other people how to do the same.

Not that I expect most members of a jury would understand :(

Re:if there was ever a time for a fully informed j (0)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884526)

I would disagree. It is one thing to tinker with your own stuff. It's another to tell everyone else how to do the same with the full knowledge that most of those who listen will misuse it to commit illegal acts, and even those using it legally would be just as well served doing said legal activity on any number of other platforms.

Re:if there was ever a time for a fully informed j (2)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884684)

Hey everyone if you switch the spark plug wires on cylinders 2 and 4 you can turn a mustang into a mustang gt with an extra 15 hp.

Would that be illegal? No, even if Ford didnt like it.

Re:if there was ever a time for a fully informed j (0)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884754)

And where exactly does this enable a huge number of people running around stealing millions of dollars of IP? I don't see it. That's the difference here. It is not that legal uses exist, it is that legal uses a insignificant next the huge number of illegal uses that said person fully knows will occur.

Re:if there was ever a time for a fully informed j (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885026)

That's not relevant to the topic. For one thing it also has substantial non-infringing uses in terms of legitimate backups. And for another it allows users to roll back the clock to a point when Sony allowed them to install Linux and other OSes on it. Something which they revoked after people had paid for their PS3s and without giving them the opportunity to get a full refund.

Just because something can be used for illegal purposes, does not mean that it doesn't also have legitimate ones.

Re:if there was ever a time for a fully informed j (1)

millennial (830897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885112)

And where exactly does this enable a huge number of people running around stealing millions of dollars of IP?

I see what you did there! Comparing copying to stealing. Funny how they're not even vaguely similar. People who pirate games almost certainly would never have spent the money to buy them. No sales were lost.

Re:if there was ever a time for a fully informed j (1)

Capt_Morgan (579387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884824)

It's too bad that we have protection of free speech here. That includes speech you or Sony does not like

Re:if there was ever a time for a fully informed j (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885146)

It is one thing to tinker with your own stuff. It's another to tell everyone else how to do the same with the full knowledge that most of those who listen will misuse it to commit illegal acts, and even those using it legally would be just as well served doing said legal activity on any number of other platforms.

Yes, those are two things. Specifically the first is exercising your property rights. The second is exercising your free speech rights.

Re:if there was ever a time for a fully informed j (1, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884588)

Jury nullification works both ways.

Don't do it.

Re:if there was ever a time for a fully informed j (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885022)

A restraining order is equitable relief; juries do not decide equity claims.

Saw this one coming (5, Insightful)

genfail (777943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884390)

And so apparently did George Hotz. This the best case you could have against an Anti-Circumvention suit. Really he could argue that all he was doing was restoring features Sony removed from the PS3 (after many customers bought it) and the fact that he took several anti-piracy stances on his website only helps. I hope it goes all the way to the supreme court.

Re:Saw this one coming (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884630)

That argument won't work.

He should have sued them for taking away the functionality he paid for when he bought his box (if he bought it before they locked it down).

Even if he loses this case, he should still be able to sue them for that.

In fact, he should be using that as a bargaining chip: Drop your suit and let everyone use my code, or I'll counter-sue you and win and you'll have to compensate everyone who owns one of your boxes.

Re:Saw this one coming (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884922)

They'd accept that deal in a heartbeat: they'd rather destroy him and keep a victory that lets them deploy more DRM-friendly stances in the future. I can't see a class action suit in this case as being anything more than a slap on the wrist.

Re:Saw this one coming (5, Informative)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884992)

There is already at least one class action suit against Sony for dropping the OtherOS feature.

Before using a firmware release to disable OtherOS, Sony has said [ozlabs.org] :

Please be assured that SCE [Sony Computer Entertainment] is committed to continue the support for previously sold models that have the "Install Other OS" feature and that this feature will not be disabled in future firmware releases.

IANAL, but I believe the fact that geohot was using the exploit to re-enable OtherOS will be a vital part of his defense against charges he violated the DMCA. My understanding of the current case law is that if you circumvent a security measure for the sole purpose of violating someone's copyrights then you are liable for prosecution under the DMCA. But if you circumvent a security device in order to exercise a "fair use" then you are safe. A recent example of this was the announcement by the US Government (I forget which department) that is was legal to jailbreak iPhones in order to change carriers.

This then takes us back to the 1984 Supreme Court decision in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc [wikipedia.org] where they ruled that "making of individual copies of complete television shows for purposes of time-shifting does not constitute copyright infringement, but is fair use". The idea was that if there were valid (fair) uses of video recorders then video recorders were legal even if they could be used for infringement.

IMO (IANAL), geohot's exploit has fair uses, such as restoring OtherOS, and other uses that would infringe copyright (pirating games). Without the fair uses, geohot might have been in trouble.

Re:Saw this one coming (1)

nick357 (108909) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884708)

According to this [arstechnica.com] article his anti-piracy postings may be canceled out by the fact that he was apparently soliciting for donations on his website. So he was actually trying to profit from his work.

Re:Saw this one coming (2)

Filter (6719) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884982)

you mean this quote from the article you linked to

"Mr. Hotz expressly tells people on his website not to give him donations for his efforts," Kellar explained. "Even more harmful to Sony's personal jurisdiction argument, the only evidence put forward of Mr. Hotz' PayPal account appears to be a transaction initiated by the plaintiff."

Why would you say what you said when the link you posted as evidence says the opposite?

Re:Saw this one coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884750)

I find it funny that Sony is even trying to launch a case against Mr. Hotz. From what I have seen, they have no case.

All they are trying to do at this point is intimidate the community. They cannot however. They removed support for installing an OS... they brought this upon themselves. Instead of doing the RIGHT thing and restoring the functionality that is SUPPOSED to be within the ps3, they are throwing a worse tantrum than my 3 year old niece.

gg sony, way to throw money away on a useless case.

This whole thing is completely absurd to me. (1)

MotherErich (535455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884650)

According to another article [threatpost.com] on Threat Post, it sounds like Sony is essentially saying that this is a problem because it allows for people to run pirated games to be run on a jailbroken PS3. I may not be a legal expert or have read the Digital Millenium Copyright Act cover to cover, but what's illegal about that? Jailbreaking and Pirating are two completely different things. Trying to nail someone for Jailbreaking on the grounds that it leads to Pirating sounds like more of a PR ploy than a legal action to me.

I understand why they don't like it. I just think its absurd that they're taking any action other than trying to make the system more secure.

And for the record, if you ask me, once you buy something, you should be able to do whatever you want with it so long as you're not directly infringing on copyrights (I know as I write this that that's a pretty muddy statement). But there's a clear difference between buying a car and using it to model, reproduce and sell the patented parts vs everything from giving the car a new paint job to installing a nitrus system and sliding into a smooth Tokyo drift.

Streisand effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884722)

By suing him, they are only asking for more news stories about the broken PS3 security. This may make jailbreaking a more common thing.

Speaking of Streisand effect: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c3/Barbrahouse1.jpg

Oh you fool! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34884810)

The code sought to be restrained will always be a Google search away.

Now they're going to seek injunction against Google. (Yes, I DO think they're THAT RETARDED.)

This has broader implications (2)

Pahandav (245033) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884872)

Judge Ilston is rightfully concerned about Sony's argument here. If she were to accept their argument, it would be possible for someone to sue you in California if you use PayPal, or have a Twitter account, or a YouTube account, or any other kind of computer account in California. It would effectively create a kind of universal jurisdiction based solely on the fact that you use one of those Internet services. The Federal courts in California are already back-logged enough with just the personal jurisdiction already allowed.

Vroom (5, Informative)

jam244 (701505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884886)

Imagine taking in your car for an oil change and having the manufacturer remove your car's air conditioner, radio, and half its horsepower because of fears that other hypothetical individuals might abuse their vehicles.

Awesome, Hotz' attorneys used a car analogy in their press release.

How can jailbreaking a PS3 be illegal... (1)

Heretic2 (117767) | more than 3 years ago | (#34884984)

...if the Library of Congress has already rules that jailbreak an iPhone is indeed legal? Since jailbreaking the iPhone doesn't violate DMCA, how can jailbreaking the PS3 violate the DMCA?

Doesn't seem like much of an uphill battle against Sony to me. One last incompetent, flailing grasp at a reality that could never last for them.

Guess they don't plan to take Geohot up on his offer to help secure the nextgen consoles ;)

Plan B (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885034)

Ya know, there's nothing stopping sony from filing exactly the same complaint in new jersey and then proceeding as planned.

Re:Plan B (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885190)

GEE I BET THEY NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT.

Of course that's what will happen, and GeoHot would much prefer that, because now he can show up at the courthouse in his own county to mount his defense instead of having to fly to California.

They could learn from MS (1)

mclemme (1976876) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885160)

They should have done as MS did in the WP7 jailbreakers/hackers case, they started a dialogue instead of throwing lawsuits left, right and center. I guess they're just scared the PS3 will end up like their handheld console(s?) where piracy is the norm. They should hire some new geeky PR people http://brajn.org/comic/meanwhile-at-sony-hq [brajn.org]
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