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Sony The Courts Games Your Rights Online

Sony Files Lawsuit Against PS3 Hacker GeoHot 508

Kayot writes "George Hotz, or, as he is known on the internet, GeoHot, has been served court papers. Shorty after Team fail0verflow discovered faults in the PS3's TPMs, Geohot and others figured out how to extract the long sought after holy grail encryption keys. Apparently Sony is not pleased and is very keen on defending their poorly defended system with the US legal system. The basis is that GeoHot released programs that allow the signing of homebrew which can be used to make PSN-like games out of normal PS3 games. However GeoHot has never supported any form of piracy and in fact has taken a constant stance against it."
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Sony Files Lawsuit Against PS3 Hacker GeoHot

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  • LOL, DMCA (Score:3, Informative)

    by millennial ( 830897 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @09:03AM (#34846956) Journal
    Again, the "enabling" provision of the DMCA pops up. It's like these lawyers have never heard of the phrase "necessary but not sufficient." Yes, GeoHot's tools can be used to enable piracy, but they're not enough on their own. You also need a computer. Maybe Sony should sue computer makers for contributing to the problem. Regardless, the lawsuit is over so far. They weren't seeking damages, just a restraining order over the information. GeoHot decided to put the information back up on his site, so we'll see what happens there.
  • Re:Sore losers (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @09:24AM (#34847138) Homepage

    From all that I have read and followed the ONLY reason it has not been cracked earlier was because OtherOS existed and removed the need to crack it from those that actually had the skill to do so. The second they removed "OtherOS" they gave a huge number of experts a reason to crack it.

    Sony did it to themselves.

  • by renek ( 1301131 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @09:24AM (#34847142)

    erk: C0 CE FE 84 C2 27 F7 5B D0 7A 7E B8 46 50 9F 93 B2 38 E7 70 DA CB 9F F4 A3 88 F8 12 48 2B E2 1B

    riv: 47 EE 74 54 E4 77 4C C9 B8 96 0C 7B 59 F4 C1 4D

    pub: C2 D4 AA F3 19 35 50 19 AF 99 D4 4E 2B 58 CA 29 25 2C 89 12 3D 11 D6 21 8F 40 B1 38 CA B2 9B 71 01 F3 AE B7 2A 97 50 19

    R: 80 6E 07 8F A1 52 97 90 CE 1A AE 02 BA DD 6F AA A6 AF 74 17

    n: E1 3A 7E BC 3A CC EB 1C B5 6C C8 60 FC AB DB 6A 04 8C 55 E1

    K: BA 90 55 91 68 61 B9 77 ED CB ED 92 00 50 92 F6 6C 7A 3D 8D

    Da: C5 B2 BF A1 A4 13 DD 16 F2 6D 31 C0 F2 ED 47 20 DC FB 06 70

    Sorry Sony, don't know how that happened. My cat jumped on the keyboard.

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @09:39AM (#34847274) Journal
    Not forgotten at all. The original exploit by Geohot was an awfully long way from producing something that was actually usable as a means of playing pirated games on the PS3. It was one of the small cracks that had appeared in the wall and as a pay-off for 5 years of effort, it was pretty poor. The nature of the attempts to break through the PS3's security barriers changed dramatically following the removal of OtherOS. I don't deny, however, that the sheer, brazen anti-consumerism that Sony manifested in yanking the OtherOS feature from all PS3s will have had a massive "red flag to a bull" effect.
  • Re:Come on Sony! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @09:49AM (#34847378) Homepage Journal

    The problem is that they may have picked the wrong person.

    What if the EFF or another firm helps him pay legal costs to fight this? He isn't pirating material, nor distributing pirated material. Sony advertised a feature and sold consoles under the guise you'd have that feature, and then removed that feature.

    GeoHot didn't hack the PS3 until Sony removed functionality.

    And while you can argue circumventing copyright measures is illegal for any reason according to the DCMA, this isn't a criminal case, and a federal judge has already opened the door saying jailbreaking an iPhone to get additional functionality (not piracy) is legal.

    Sony could actually hurt their own case by allowing a judge to rule against them.

  • Re:Come on Sony! (Score:5, Informative)

    by scubamage ( 727538 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @09:56AM (#34847452)


    erk: C0 CE FE 84 C2 27 F7 5B D0 7A 7E B8 46 50 9F 93 B2 38 E7 70 DA CB 9F F4 A3 88 F8 12 48 2B E2 1B riv: 47 EE 74 54 E4 77 4C C9 B8 96 0C 7B 59 F4 C1 4D pub: C2 D4 AA F3 19 35 50 19 AF 99 D4 4E 2B 58 CA 29 25 2C 89 12 3D 11 D6 21 8F 40 B1 38 CA B2 9B 71 01 F3 AE B7 2A 97 50 19 R: 80 6E 07 8F A1 52 97 90 CE 1A AE 02 BA DD 6F AA A6 AF 74 17 n: E1 3A 7E BC 3A CC EB 1C B5 6C C8 60 FC AB DB 6A 04 8C 55 E1 K: BA 90 55 91 68 61 B9 77 ED CB ED 92 00 50 92 F6 6C 7A 3D 8D Da: C5 B2 BF A1 A4 13 DD 16 F2 6D 31 C0 F2 ED 47 20 DC FB 06 70

    OMG! That's illegal! I'll use a quote to show everyone the thing that is illegal so they don't type it accidentally. Just doin my civic duty.

  • Re:Come on Sony! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Verunks ( 1000826 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @10:57AM (#34848100)

    GeoHot didn't hack the PS3 until Sony removed functionality.

    actually geohot is the reason why sony removed otheros, he was the first to discover a vulnerability exploitable from linux, then he disappeared only to come back a few weeks ago

    this is the news that geohot hacked the ps3 in january http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/01/25/0654253/PS3-Hacked [slashdot.org]

    and this is the removal of otheros from march http://games.slashdot.org/story/10/03/29/0227251/Install-Other-OS-Feature-Removed-From-the-PS3 [slashdot.org]

  • George Hotz's work has been mirrored by Carnegie Mellon professor David Touretzky [cmu.edu], known for his excellent work towards freedom of speech on the Internet through his publication of The Secrets of Scientology [cmu.edu]. Dave Touretzky has repeatedly shown himself willing to accept whatever the MAFIAA et al will throw at him.

  • Re:Come on Sony! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @11:29AM (#34848570) Homepage Journal

    That exploit was minor and didn't allow you to do much of anything. He published a small exploit that he saw. The moment Sony removed OtherOS GeoHot said he was motivated to fully crack the PS3 to enable custom firmware.

  • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dorkmaster Flek ( 1013045 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @11:30AM (#34848590)

    And I'm tired of people not bothering to read up on anything before commenting on it. The hacks that Geohot and the fail0verflow team performed were done on a similar timeframe to hacking the Wii/360, i.e. 12 months max. The reason it didn't show up for 4 years was because nobody was trying very hard, thanks to the Other OS feature allowing you to run your own code out of the box. The fail0verflow team very clearly made this point during their CCC presentation, which is in the link to their original story in the summary.

  • by Pahandav ( 245033 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @11:53AM (#34848944)

    I am not a lawyer (yet... hopefully next week, though,) so this isn't legal advice as much as a deconstruction of their complaint. In terms of mistakes, their first mistake was to sue the members of fail0verflow. It's true that one of them lives in the US, but three of them live in Europe, where the courts are extremely protective of their own citizens. They're gonna have problems with the fact they are trying to sue them under the DMCA (not applicable in Europe), service of process (to serve process on them will literally take months, and if they mess it up, the foreign court could ignore the judgment), proper forum (they say that the EU members have signed a TOS with SCEA, when logic would dictate, seeing as they live in Europe, that they signed one with SCEE, and so they should technically be sued in London or somewhere like that), and personal jurisdiction. They also have to contend with the DMCA exceptions.

    The first claim for relief involves the DMCA, which I never studied in law school, and so I'll defer to people who actually know that to explain why that claim wouldn't work. The second claim is where things start to slide into the realm of insanity. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act was a law designed to make it illegal to break into systems that the person DOESN'T OWN. Breaking into your own system (just like breaking into own house), is not supposed to be illegal. So, the only way that this claim would work is if Sony had an ownership interest in the PS3 that they sold you. The fourth claim is rather similar, just based on California state law. The seventh claim for relief is where they go into some strange parallel universe. There, they claim trespass. Trespass is when you invade someone else's property. But how could it be their "property" when they sold you the system? After all, the UCC's implied warranty of title gives any good-faith purchaser for value a clean title to the goods they have purchased. They did access the system, but they bought the system. This means that once you buy the system, you own what's in the system. Well, not everything, mind you, seeing as Sony still owns the actual copyright to the software on the system, but you get the point. What they are essentially claiming here is that the EULA that they require to sign before using your PS3 gives them back an ownership interest in the system sufficient for them to be able to raise trespass claims.

    Normally, this kind of thing is dealt with through an EULA (meaning, hacking is a breach of contract), but here they seems to be claiming that the EULA grants them an actual ownership interest in what they sold you. If they were to get relief on those claims, what's to stop others from including contracts included with what they sell you from saying that to use what they have sold you, that you must acknowledge them as the owner of what they just sold you? I dunno, this just seems like another chink in the very concept of private property. Oh well, discuss.

  • Re:Come on Sony! (Score:1, Informative)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @01:10PM (#34850106)

    What GeoHot and others did is in violation of the DMCA. Reverse engineering, removing copy protection and other security systems, etc. is strictly forbidden, with one very tiny loophole that doesn't apply in this case.

    And GeoHot was "hacking" the PS3 before the removal of OtherOS, he just didn't get anywhere.

    And of course, after the removal of OtherOS, GeoHot STILL didn't get anywhere! As for being against piracy, GeoHot has a fun little post on his blog where he openly condones piracy and says Sony deserves it for removing OtherOS.

    All GeoHot did was use Fail0verflow's work to extract a key needed to make piracy easier. And then he published it. If you haven't been paying attention, piracy on the PS3 has been available ever since the "jigstick" was stolen/leaked.
    Yes, it came from the inside. As did the original BluRay drive emulator and hard drive loader.

    The problem with the jigstick is that you had to insert the damn thing and go through the process to get to service mode every damned time you booted up. Getting the keys means we can make our own custom firmware, or even update packages that sit on official firmware. Getting the keys means you can go to custom firmware, install homebrew, and then go back to original firmware, and still have homebrew intact. None of this enables piracy beyond what was already available. GeoHot publishing the game level (metldr I think?) key means piracy is as simple as insert disc, copy via Wakinkoko's tool, return to GameFly/friend. Or download ISO, drag and drop to external hard drive. Or hell, since we have FTP programs for the PS3 already, you can just push that shit straight out to the PS3's internal drive. Essentially, PS3 piracy is as easy as Wii piracy.

    GeoHot contributed nothing to "the scene".
    He's going to pay for publishing keys because he's an attention whore.

  • by adolf ( 21054 ) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @01:20PM (#34850244) Journal

    A good analysis, but why the racism? a "chink" in your private property? Not cool. BTW, Sony is Japanese, not Chinese.

    chink [reference.com]

    1. a crack, cleft, or fissure: a chink in a wall.

When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.