Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Judge Lets Sony Access GeoHot's PayPal Account

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the sweet-of-him dept.

PlayStation (Games) 288

An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from TechDirt that says "Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero has awarded Sony a subpoena that grants the company access to the PayPal account of PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George Hotz, also known as GeoHot, for the last two years. Emil: Spero ruled that the Japanese console maker may acquire 'documents sufficient to identify the source of funds in California that went into any PayPal account associated with geohot@gmail.com for the period of January 1, 2009, to February 1, 2011.'"

cancel ×

288 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Shocking! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35523844)

You mean they're looking at the bank records? OH NOES! This is completely within precedent and a routine part of the discovery process.

Re:Shocking! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35523894)

I wish there was a -1 Insightless moderation.

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35523948)

Slashdot would be a more fun place if you could name your own moderation tag.

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524098)

I think "-10 Blatant Moron" would be quite popular.

Re:Shocking! (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524232)

The most popular is the -1 Checked the Anonymous Coward Box As If Anyone Gave A Shit About Their Cleartext Handle one.

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524312)

Knowing /. coders you'd cause a buffer overflow and crash the server for days.

Re:Shocking! (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524046)

we now know what kind of fool you are, paypal is not a bank

Re:Shocking! (2)

TheyTookOurJobs (1930780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524092)

paypal is not a bank

They certainly try to act like one when it suits them!

Re:Shocking! (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524240)

It is in Luxembourg.

Regardless, financial records is financial records. If the court says Sony can look as part of discovery, then that's what they can do.

Re:Shocking! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524364)

Hamm [wikipedia.org] would probably be a bank in Luxembourg..

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524656)

we now know what kind of fool you are, paypal is not a bank

Yeah, the kind of fool who doesn't waste time quibbling over pedantry?

If you insist on a change to "financial records" then ok, go for it. Consider it edited.

Oh wait, that's not foolish at all.

You're the fool trying to make a big deal out of nothing.

Looks like they'll have my name... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35523858)

I donated $50.

Re:Looks like they'll have my name... (5, Informative)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#35523914)

I donated $50.

Not if you donated to his legal fund. The legal fund donations only started AFTER Feb 1st.
This time period only covers donations made during the time period is was actually working on the hacks.

Re:Looks like they'll have my name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35523996)

Good lookin' out. I donated February 20th, 2011. Looks like I am good. :)

Re:Looks like they'll have my name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35523920)

me too!

Re:Looks like they'll have my name... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524064)

I donated $50.

I'd be worried if I were you: Sony is eventually going to try to claim you're guilty of "funding a conspiracy to commit electronic economic terrorism" or something. Then if a certain cable news network gets on board, who knows where you could end up?

Re:Looks like they'll have my name... (5, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524188)

I don't think so. Their PR is bad enough as it is, and it's pretty clear that judges are getting exasperated with the trend of corporations suing thousands of individuals at once for eleven billion dollars and a lifetime prison sentence.

Their move is an obvious effort to get people to stop donating. The only sensible response from people is to donate more, to show them that it won't work and to make sure the number of people on the list is too large to arrest all of them without resulting in public outrage and that greatest of legal offenses, pissing off the judge.

Re:Looks like they'll have my name... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524390)

The only sensible response from people is to donate more, to show them that it won't work and to make sure the number of people on the list is too large to arrest all of them without resulting in public outrage...

You first.... :)

Re:Looks like they'll have my name... (2)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524480)

it's pretty clear that judges are getting exasperated with the trend of corporations suing thousands of individuals at once

That's not how law works. If there are 100 identical cases and the first one has a certain decision then, unless appeals are involved, the rest basically inherit the same decision by precedent. There's no point at which a judge can get tired of doing his job and change his mind on the verdict. And you could really only argue abuse of process if the plaintiff is losing every time; if they're winning then what are you even talking about?

Re:Looks like they'll have my name... (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524766)

Their PR is bad enough as it is

Haven't you noticed that for transnational corporations, "bad PR" is the new black? They just don't care how bad their PR is, because they're going to get your money one way or the other.

That's the beauty of being a transnational corporation. You can get your hands in so many pies that there's no way not to be their customer. Whether you play a PS3 or watch a movie or listen to the radio or tv or have a company that uses heavy equipment. Government contracts, supplier contracts, intellectual property. Even if you think you're boycotting Sony, you're giving Sony money somewhere, somehow. And even if you manage to be so well-informed, so well-organized that you've managed to live your life without buying anything that's made by Sony or one of their "strategic partners", there's all the patents and copyrights that they can use to sue the companies that you do buy stuff from, so your money goes to them that way.

This is where "free markets" break down. Once a corporation has reached a certain point, there is no marketplace any more. How you gonna "boycott" Haliburton, when just by driving a car you're putting money in Haliburton's pocket. Just by heating your house.

The whole world is a company store now, and we all owe our souls.

To paraphrase a Buddhist proverb, If you meet John Galt walking on the road, kill him.

Sony (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35523860)

What fucking right do Sony have to pore through his finances? Surely that's a matter for law enforcement and the courts (I know, naive, right?).

Re:Sony (5, Informative)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524248)

Since it's a civil suit, law enforcement doesn't really have a right to go through his financial records. There is something called "Discovery" though, where each party in a case can petition the courts to force the other side to turn over pertinent records that they believe could help make their case. Discovery is what gives Sony the right, since they managed to convince a judge that the information there could be constructive to their case.

Re:Sony (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524566)

can geohot ask to see Sony's and the judge's bank records?

it would be interesting to compare them.

Re:Sony (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524694)

Geohot's lawyers should.

Of course, the judge is probably going to rule that "irrelevant" and deny it. That Sony-logo'ed swimming pool that magically appeared in his backyard is of course completely unrelated to any judicial rulings...

Re:Sony (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524258)

When you're suing someone, you are law enforcement. You don't have a right to barge in and demand the records, but you can petition the court to allow you access to them.

Conversely, the defendant here can request a look at all kinds of things Sony might be hiding.

Re:Sony (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524266)

It comes from getting the privilege of writing the law.

They are a big corporation, therefore whatever they say is the law to you. Just be thankful they didn't buy the order to compel everyone who PayPal donated to them to show up in court or be jailed for contempt.

That $50 could cost a few months worth of pay, while their lawyers depose you with zealous interrogation tactics, until you crack... and by "crack" I mean make a mistake and say something inconsistent, that lets them declare you one and the same as the pirate.

Who do you think the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act was really named after?

Simply Put (1, Insightful)

DontLickJesus (1141027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35523876)

Oh hell no, they're going to arrange to not only him but anyone he sold to? This man did nothing illegal, and they're going to go after the funds he has made from his work. Sony, rot in hell. I will never buy from you again.

Re:Simply Put (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524060)

They are already rotting in hell. Radioactive hell.

Re:Simply Put (5, Informative)

stating_the_obvious (1340413) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524074)

you should dig a bit deeper. SCEA is seeking this information in order to argue that the case should be argued in California rather than New Jersey. So far, this has nothing to do with "the funds he has made from his work' -- and it likely never will. As to whether Geoot did anything illegal, that's what the whole case is about... if we're lucky, Geohot will prevail.

Re:Simply Put (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524730)

...if we're lucky...

Too late. This should have been thrown out on the first day. It's only because of the corruption that we need luck to deal with something so clear cut.

Re:Simply Put (1)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524116)

This is simply part of the on-going saga to "prove" that California is the correct venue for legal proceedings. The legal atrocities haven't even BEGUN.

Re:Simply Put (4, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524224)

Don't mean to stop the two minutes hate, but this is being done to determine if California would be an appropriate venue for the lawsuit. The defendant is from New Jersey and obviously wants the case tried there, where as having it there would be more costly for Sony. Sony is arguing that because the defendant may have received money from people residing in the state of California, it would be an appropriate venue. They want the records to see how many people from California sent him money. So far this has nothing to do with charging anyone else and it may be impossible to do with the data they get from this.

As far as I know, what he did may have been illegal. Circumvention of copyright protection has been illegal in the US, although recently some of these restrictions have been eased. It's possible that in this case the court will decide the laws are unjust or don't apply. That's how the system works. You're stuck with a bad law until it gets repealed or overturned in court.

In my opinion Sony shot themselves in the foot by removing the other OS feature. I think that really made developers work towards hacking the console more than anything else. To be perfectly honest, there have already been plenty of other reasons not to buy from Sony. This is the straw that broke the camel's back for you? Either way, I'll let you get back to overreacting.

Re:Simply Put (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524788)

The defendant is from New Jersey and obviously wants the case tried there, where as having it there would be more costly for Sony.

What do you mean by "more costly for Sony"?
Sony does business in all 50 States. Getting a team of lawers in/to NJ isn't an issue for them.

Sony wants this case heard in California because of the favorable Judicial climate there.
In that sense, allowing the case to be heard in NJ would be costly, but only because it lowers their chances of winning.

Re:Simply Put (0)

matt_gaia (228110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524366)

Nah, nothing illegal except breaking the DMCA (which is still, btw, a law). You may not agree with the law, but the fact of the matter is that he willingly broke said law. That, and with what can be construed as extortion with the "you should hire me if you don't want your systems hacked" BS.

Sony could have handled it a lot better, PR-wise, but they didn't force him to share the keys with the world. At least fail0verflow had the common sense to not make them widely known. When they were discovered. And hey, had GeoHot not run his mouth, you would probably be running your CFW in peace right now.

It's a sideshow to distract from the CAS (5, Interesting)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524386)

Oh hell no, they're going to arrange to not only him but anyone he sold to? This man did nothing illegal, and they're going to go after the funds he has made from his work. Sony, rot in hell. I will never buy from you again.

Your sentiments are appropriate; I've also been involved in negative word-of-mouth advertising for Sony. Pass the word.

However, this is Sony's effort to prove GeoHot did business in California, where Sony wants the case held. Fishing? Perhaps a bit of that too, I wouldn't put it past them.

The real story, however, is the class action suit (CAS) against Sony for their removal of the OtherOS functionality in update 3.2.1. This is the update that GeoHot's mod reversed.

It's clear to me that Sony wants to muddy the waters as much as possible. The lawsuit is an absolute monster, I wouldn't be surprised if they had to re-brand afterwards. Look to Groklaw.net for clarity, there's a huge amount of detail there.

Corporate rape (2)

supertrinko (1396985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35523884)

The courts are really letting Sony utterly rape everything about GeoHot aren't they? Not commenting on whether or not he deserves it.

Re:Corporate rape (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524710)

That's what happens when the judge is on the corporate payroll.

Who's surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35523918)

If our legal system has allowed Sony to act as they have up until this point, why are we surprised that it would let them go further? (That said, nothing could be better than this case going all the way and ending up in a ruling that is not against GeoHot.)

But it's OK (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35523928)

Because Sony "donated" to the judges bank account, right?

I am tired of Sony getting their way with pure bribery.

It is expected with American conglomerates, but Sony is Japanese!

Re:But it's OK (1)

pookemon (909195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35523978)

Yeah - Japanese - They've never done anything evil...!

WTH is your point exactly? Oh and your tin hat is slipping, my satellite can see you.

Re:But it's OK (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524016)

He apparently has some kind of romanticized view of Japanese businesses, which is hilarious, given the last hundred years.

Re:But it's OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524054)

They never dropped an atomic bomb an anyone?

Re:But it's OK (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524286)

Who, the Japanese? No. They did this one time conduct a long-distance aerial bombardment of a tourist trap, but they were forgiven for that, eventually, after the people they attacked dropped an atomic bomb on them. And there's that business with the death marches and such.

Currently they're trying to nuke themselves, in between forming chirpy girl groups and dressing up like comic-book characters.

They're also, per capita, the wealthiest people on the planet.

Interesting folks.

Re:But it's OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524290)

No, they preferred to rape all 300,000 in Nanjing individually, before bayoneting or decapitating them.

Re:But it's OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524392)

They had plenty of warning and time to not have atomic bombs dropped on them and refused to surrender. Ever hear of the Potsdam Declaration and the Japanese response to it?

Is this a fishing expedition or what? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35523984)

What are Sony trying to find out? Surely the legal question is whether or not Geohot had the right to hack a PS3. This can be established without determining who has seen the video, donated money.

Seems bizarre, and also weird that the judge is letting Sony get away with this. I can only presume that Geohot's lawyers aren't bothering to put up a serious defence because it makes so little difference.

Re:Is this a fishing expedition or what? (5, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524100)

There are two things here.

1 - Sony wants the case fought in California where their offices are, because it is cheaper and more convenient for them there. It is also more expensive for GeoHot in California, and it less likely he can afford to go to trial. By running him out of legal defense funds and keeping the case in California, they might force him to settle. Unless there is a smoking gun, such as the majority of the donations coming from California, this really shouldn't keep the case there.

2 - Secondly, Sony wants to sue others, not just GeoHot. They're trying to get info via discovery to do precisely that.

Re:Is this a fishing expedition or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524416)

well the easy answer is torch their office in California they aint got no claim then have they tossers like sony need to be played hardball style no nicey nicey pussy footing in first make it count make it hurt make it impossible form to work around .
  but then non of yous ther got the balls to tackle them so what can you expect

Re:Is this a fishing expedition or what? (5, Interesting)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524596)

The cost of fighting in CA vs NJ is immaterial for a company like Sony. Corporations use venue shopping all the time to find favorable jurisdictions, and this is almost certainly why they want the case tried in the northern district of CA. This becomes crystal clear when you look at the history of decisions by this particular judge, both in this case and others (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/321_Studios_v._Metro_Goldwyn_Mayer_Studios,_Inc. [wikipedia.org] ).

Re:Is this a fishing expedition or what? (1)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524738)

Mod parent up! That's exactly why sony is working so hard to keep it with this particular media-friendly judge, who is giving them one heck of a lot more lattitude in discovery than is normal, or even really legal.

But what you gonna do, take her out back and shoot here (in joke from Groklaw).

Haven't been a sony customer for either hardware or media in some decades. See no reason to change that now.

Sony is dead to me (4, Interesting)

Sean (422) | more than 3 years ago | (#35523990)

I will never buy anything from them again, and I will do my best to persuade others from doing so.

You're kidding me!? (4, Insightful)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524002)

I donated to this guy to help support his legal fund.
What the FUCK is the judge doing on this case? Seriously, this is becoming a complete and utter clusterfuck.

I am a cynical fuck and I'm still surprised, this is just utterly incredible. Geohot has no fucking chance in this, with the way this is being handled.

Utterly ridiculous, his privacy is just being completely ignored.

Re:You're kidding me!? (4, Informative)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524260)

They wont have access to your record as the date range Sony is requesting predates his legal fund. I donated $25 to his legal fund. We're both fine.

I imagine what Sony is doing is trying to prove that his motivations are backed by money or something, and they're going to either find Sony competition or something donating large sums of money to him, or some large piracy groups interested in seeing him succeed, and the judge actually thought it was worth looking into.

I think this is bogus to be honest. They should focus on the real problem at hand: did he have the right to modify his PS3?

Re:You're kidding me!? (1)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524634)

They should focus on the real problem at hand: did he have the right to modify his PS3?

Believe me when I say that is absolutely the LAST problem Sony wants considered by the court. Insofar as they are concerned, their EULA expressly forbids such modification, and by coming within 50 feet of a PS3, he agreed to that. There's enough legal precedent for modification that it's possible such things could be permanently eradicated, and if they inadvertently open that Pandora's Box, Sony would be in hot water with all of the copyright holders' associations as well.

Re:You're kidding me!? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524820)

Their eula may have also said he owes them his firstborn. Just because it's in the eula doesn't mean it's enforceable. Too many people have this kneejerk reacction when they hear "eula". And businesses WANT you to believe that of course.

Look in ANY eula and you will find something along the lines of "and if any part of this is unenforceable, it doesn't affect the enforceability of anything else". That's because all eula are littered with unenforceable agreements. Some points you are agreeing legally to, and others should be taken as more of a "and we really don't want you doing this but can't stop you so we're going to try to scare you into not doing it". The problem is of course sorting them out. If contract law didn't allow that "granular exclusion" they'd stop the scare tactics because they'd have something to lose if you could find something absurd in the eula. But they have nothing to lose and so they do it. (as is so often the reasoning in big business)

I watched someone get out of a cell phone contract because they changed his unlimited data to limited. They pointed to the contract he'd signed and of course nowhere in the fine print does it remind you that "if one party changes terms of the contract, the other party can void it". They never tell you your rights. They always tell you your limitations, plus a few things they'd like you to do, and call it all part of the "agreement".

Re:You're kidding me!? (-1, Troll)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524288)

Geohot had no chance because he openly posted what he had done, took credit for it and distributed it to other people. In pretty much every country in the western world, he has committed an offence and now he has to face the consequences.

Geohot is about to be given a lesson in being a grown up and accountable for ones actions. Personally I'd lead a class suit on that arse on behalf of every honest PS3 owner in the world who has had to waste time downloading updates and had their enjoyment of a console and games they worked hard to pay for utterly ruined by the tool this tool has created.

Re:You're kidding me!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524680)

Personally I'd lead a class suit on that arse on behalf of every honest PS3 owner in the world who has had to waste time downloading updates and had their enjoyment of a console and games they worked hard to pay for utterly ruined by the tool this tool has created.

You mean all zero of them? It's a tool, it didn't push out a single PS3 update and it didn't ruin a single gamer's enjoyment of their PS3.

Re:You're kidding me!? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524308)

Geohot did something that is probably illegal, and the court is letting the plaintiff discover the facts.

You sue someone some day, and you'll get the same legal right. And you'll be pissed if you didn't.

Re:You're kidding me!? (3, Interesting)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524770)

His privacy ain't all -- how about everyone he's ever done business with (paypal) or communicated with, or who even commented on the same blog as he did?

Way, way, far, out of control. Should be, and probably is, completely illegal for them to do that. Where's the constitution when you need it? Oh....forgot, last few administrations have been using it for toilet paper.

Sony is not a neutral party to this case (3, Insightful)

jonfr (888673) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524008)

Sony is not a neutral party to this case. As they are not cops. They have direct involvement into this case. With this a due process is being bypassed and that is illegal in the U.S court system.

This decision by the judge should be sued or somehow protested by GeoHots lawyers.

Re:Sony is not a neutral party to this case (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524118)

Discovery works both ways. GeoHot also has a right to find out what information Sony has, and how Sony plans to attack him legally.

Believe it or not, this is fairly normal for our legal system.

Re:Sony is not a neutral party to this case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524144)

Then yours and any other legal system like it is garbage. These things should be handled by neutral parties. I mean, sure, even that isn't certain to be out of reach for corrupt people with money, but it decreases that chance at least.

Re:Sony is not a neutral party to this case (2)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524304)

And what, exactly, would the point of "neutral parties" going through the information? Are you going to let them determine what is and is not germane to the defence or prosecution of the case, and only pass along what they deem relevant? While I don't see the point of Sony's move, it is legal, and it's surely not immoral either. Whatever comes after might be immoral though. I'll save my outrage until they start suing people discovered during this inspection.

Re:Sony is not a neutral party to this case (3, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524214)

Discovery does work both ways, but the problem is that those that have donated or otherwise given him money during that time period don't have the ability to fight this. We don't know exactly what they're up to, but I wouldn't put it past Sony to find a reason to drag them into it, with or without cause.

Re:Sony is not a neutral party to this case (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524322)

They can't drag them into it without cause. You have to put the cause on the piece of paper you use to get the court to do the dragging.

Re:Sony is not a neutral party to this case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524252)

So you're saying Geohot has the right to find out every single person who has contributed to Sony? I want to see those records brought into the case. If it works both ways let's see who's funding Sony's interests in this case. Every single Sony purchase.

Re:Sony is not a neutral party to this case (2)

yoshac (603689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524172)

Sony should also be required to show that any PayPal payments received from California residents were for the purposes of the PS3 circumvention.
i.e. not any other payments to GeoHot, for example relating to other perfectly legal* activities such as iPhone jailbreaks.

* as defined in sections 2,3 of http://www.copyright.gov/1201/2010/Librarian-of-Congress-1201-Statement.html [copyright.gov]

Re:Sony is not a neutral party to this case (4, Interesting)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524348)

They just want to find persons in California that has payed to his account so they can say that he got connections to California so the case can be tried there.

Re:Sony is not a neutral party to this case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524228)

I'm still holding out for a SOoCS to strike and this end up with Sony making a major punitive payout and ruling that Sony needs to actually respect peoples' rights.

It's a dim hope.

hmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524014)

Congratulations Sony. Massive Microsoft win.

Another case of big corporations raping someone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524058)

Except the fact that it got even worse, nothing new here.

Is it too late? (1)

pookemon (909195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524082)

HD-DVD anyone?

I really wanted Bluray to win because HD-DVD was from the Microsoft camp. Not that I'm anti-M$, (I'm closer to being Pro-M$ - esp. since I started developing in Netbeans - ew) I just didn't want them to win (for a change). But I've got to say this whole episode makes me think that now I wish it had gone the other way. Someone does something that DOESNT allow piracy, that allows people to have a better chance of using THEIR hardware the way they choose to, and Sony bend him over backwards and rapes him. Sony just doesn't realise that the whole "Warranty is void if jail broken" is incentive enough for most people to not tinker with such things. And for the die hard tinkerers that want to play with this stuff it's a case of a few more people using Sony's product in ways they haven't before. Big deal. But this crap is just making even the staunch Sony fans rethink their allegance...

Wake up Sony...

Re:Is it too late? (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524374)

You've failed to establish that Sony's license permitted users to use what GeoHot did.

I'm sure GeoHot will be trying to establish that. But you didn't.

And unless you or GeoHot can establish that, your argument doesn't hold any merit.

Sure, turning off formerly-blessed OS functionality is douchey. But if the license permitted Sony to do that and prohibited users from circumventing Sony's code, then tough.

Unless somehow GeoHot can convince a court to void Sony's license terms. Until then, this is going to look a lot like a court case, including all kinds of legalisticky things like discovery and deposition and idle threats.

Re:Is it too late? (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524502)

Ahahahaha. You actually believe that the "License" between users and Sony is actually enforceable.

Re:Is it too late? (4, Informative)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524620)

You might want to read the plain-text court transcripts on this case over at www.groklaw.net. PJ's work there is commendable, and the actual court transcripts are there to back up what she says.

The license really didn't permit Sony to do that.

The class-action suit against Sony regarding removal of OtherOS, and whether their license actually did permit that behaviour, or whether their use of warranty to claim the right, makes for some truly fascinating reading (I read the lot yesterday). I'd suggest popcorn, at the very least.

It's one hell of a class-action suit against Sony and it does not paint them in a particularly favourable light. What's more, the outcome of that case may well directly affect that of their case against GeoHot. Is it illegal to circumvent an illegal action, or is it self-defense? Tune into Groklaw. As the news arrives, you'll find the court transcripts there. That stuff's definitive, not mere opinion.

Look for "The Sony Class Action's First Amended Complaint, as text - Updated"

Re:Is it too late? (1)

matt_gaia (228110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524580)

He also failed to mention that while the hardware is yours, the OS (and by extension PSN) still belongs to Sony. If you don't want to play by their rules, don't expect to them to welcome you with open arms. Geohot knew completely well that what he was doing would promote piracy, which is why fail0verflow was relatively mum on the whole issue.

Where's . . . (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524124)

a good tsunami when you need it. If Sony Computer Entertainment had only been located in Sendai maybe one small good could have come out of that disaster.

Re:Where's . . . (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524400)

Try that again, only this time without equating the deaths of thousands of Sony employees with the inability of some pimply suburban kid to surf for pr0n and warez on his game console...

Time for encrypted currency (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524142)

it's time for an encrypted flying-dutchman currency exchange.

Re:Time for encrypted currency (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524428)

It's not possible to transact electronic currency outside the normal banking system (PayPal's own bank account suffices as its inside avatar).

You can't just throw bits with ascii '$' codes at banks' modem ports and expect them to know from whom to debit the credit you're trying to deposit.

To make it work, you'd have to hack the banks, or the clearinghouses.

Re:Time for encrypted currency (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524816)

Ever hear of BitCoin?

Basically the idea is, if I withdraw money from my bank as cash, then hand that cash to GeoHot, there's no paper trail. (Maybe even more accurately, I buy gold and send him the gold, so nobody can trace the serial numbers on the dollar notes.) What we need/want is an electronic cash equivalent. Something like BitCoin, where I would buy bitcoins with my dollars (using paypal, a check against my bank account, or whatever), then send the bitcoins to GeoHot, then he sells them for dollars. The key element is this is not a transaction between my bank and his bank, possibly mediated by e.g. paypal, but an actual currency equivalent in the middle. And the banks/paypal don't need any particular complicity, they just handle payments to buy and sell this alternate currency same as buying and selling any other good.

AIUI, Bitcoin itself actually doesn't work for this, because all transactions are broadcast on a P2P network, so anyone could watch all transactions, and see that the bitcoins I bought are the ones that got transferred to GeoHot. (There's no "BitCoin Inc." for Sony to subpoena documents from, but there are/could be businesses whose sole purpose is to log all BitCoin transactions and sell the info to anyone who wants it later.) For an electronic currency to be properly untraceable, it must in fact be stealable -- if there's no way of tracking it, there's no way of proving I own it if someone else gets on my computer, copies, and spends my e-currency. I don't know of such a system in existence, perhaps because nobody thinks "stealable" is a design criterion, much less an advertising point.

Of course, if such a system does develop, about the time it becomes widespread enough to be useful, expect congress to pass an "anti-money-laundering" law to effectively ban it and/or paypal to explicitly forbid it in their TOS, the same way they restrict nicotine vaporizers, laser pointers over 5mW, and everything else that (one presumes) certain entities in government ask in exchange for leaving their bank-that's-not-regulated-as-a-bank status alone.

Cyberpunk (0)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524158)

Soon public opinion of programmers and engineers will be portrayed as suspicious. I would not be surprised that in a few years in the US or in the UK that opening hardware up is grounds for terrorism investigations.

I look forward to our new government/corporately owned network infrastructure. We'll be the last remnants of the free society who refuse to be dominated by abuses of technology...

If you're a computer geek and you write abuseive software for/on behalf of companies like Sony, you should be so ashamed. Intellectual dishonesty to the extremes.

It takes a lot... (1)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524174)

...for me to actively wish bodily harm upon someone. That magistrate is on thin ice.

This has to stop (5, Insightful)

U8MyData (1281010) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524246)

Last time I looked, you *buy* equipment, not rent it. It's like a car company telling you you can't put the latest glass pack exhaust system on your car, those shinny spinning rims, or ground effects because it isn't in the EUDA (End-User Driving Agreement). Or worse yet, what about making improvements to your house, oops, I mean the bank's house. Where does this stop? If you buy it you buy it unless they specifically want to come out and say what they appear to really mean, you don't own anything. One sure way to crater the economy further is to take away peoples rights to personal property. All in the name of "unrealized" or unearned profits. I wish I could do that :S...

Re:This has to stop (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524376)

You rent it! Also, you misunderstand. It's not wrong if you tinker with your own property. It's only wrong if you tell others how to tinker with their own property in ways that could be 'abused'!

My cotton swab argument (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524546)

The box says "Do not insert into ear canal". Should everybody who uses one to remove earwax have legal action taken against them?

bestes creatin (1)

calzone1 (2019750) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524256)

everybody can touch this !

countdown to public backlash? (2)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524298)

How long do you think it will take before someone like 4chan goes after SONY and slams every one of their products, stores and services with negative ratings across the Amazon, Yelp, Google Products, etc landscape?

Re:countdown to public backlash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524422)

Exactly, public backlash. Anyone supporting geohot's jailbreak should stop buying the tons of game they were purchasing before. Sony won't know what him them.

Re:countdown to public backlash? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524772)

Sony won't know what him them.

A speck of dust landing on your sleeve is not very painful.

remote possibility (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524324)

It's possible that the judge wants sony to find a good, solid reason to keep it in CA, so that he can rule against them later on. If he shines it on to NJ, he loses control of the case.

PayPal (5, Interesting)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524370)

If that cash went through a real bank, would the outcome be the same?
PayPal's weird semi-bank-state allows for legal action I never heard of otherwise.

Whats the email account? (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524452)

I want to send some more money to him but to the account they are trying to get records for. Maybe if we get 1000's of people donating a few cents it'll make it a pain in the ass for Sony.

Re:Whats the email account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524670)

Sony only has rights to look up until February 1st 2011. Adding 1000's of ppl donating pennies wouldn't accomplish shit to cause a PITA for them.

Read before you write.

You guys are hillarious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524478)

Its funny to me waching everyone here give their armchair legal advice as if they were a member of the supreme court and spent their lives studying america law. All you guys saying this and saying like your actual lawyers or judges is damned hillarious. Fact of the matter is 90% of you dont even have a clue what your saying, it just sounds plauseable and reasonable in your head so your passing it off as actual legal banter that is fact.

The rest of you are just jumping on the bandwagon mentality that sony is the big bad evil corporation suing someone for nothing, they are bending the law and basically hitler incarnate in lawyer form. You guys are worse just because your on the bandwagon for hating sony since its the cool thing to do now. Everytime someone is big and lots of people love them its only a matter of time before those people turn on what they once loved and look for any petty excuse to come up with any desperate reason to out them. Its also fashionable to hate the big corporation for no other reason than being a big corporation.

Re:You guys are hillarious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524518)

WTF ?

Re:You guys are hillarious. (2)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524732)

...Everytime someone is big and lots of people love them...

Woooo! Astroturf and Godwin Too!!

Think it'll work?

Re:You guys are hillarious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524746)

Just look at Mettalica's popularity since bringing down Napster. Pretty much speaks for itself.

Haven't bought Sony in a while... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35524688)

...continue to recommend to my clients to never buy it.

Lol sony... you're missing out. Nerds are trusted by many for technical advice. Piss off enough nerds, and they stop recommending your product. Some to very large customers.

We're not helping his cause by doing this... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35524736)

Now that we have placed the email address geohot@gmail.com on the front page of slashdot, all 12 people who still read this site - and many, many, many, more bots that automatically scan it - have seen it. That poor email address is about to be so inundated with spam that its rightful owner will never be able to read anything on it again.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>