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Encryption Sony The Courts Your Rights Online Games

Sony Wins Restraining Order Against Geohot 397

tekgoblin writes "The courts have just issued a temporary restraining order against George Hotz (Geohot). Sony filed this lawsuit because they were unhappy that Geohot had released the Playstation 3 decryption keys so other people could play unsigned games on it. [Geohot is prohibited from] 'offering to the public, creating, posting online, marketing, advertising, promoting, installing, distributing, providing, or otherwise trafficking' in any software or methods for circumventing the PS3's protection methods. No longer can he 'provide links from any website to any other website' relating to such matters, or publish any information obtained by hacking the PS3. And more to the point, he can no longer 'engage in acts of circumvention of TPMS in the PS3 System to access, obtain, remove, or traffic in copyrighted works.' Pretty much he can't talk or think about the PS3 for some time."
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Sony Wins Restraining Order Against Geohot

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  • by seebs ( 15766 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:18PM (#35025288) Homepage

    So other people will invite him to work on their products, which he'll do, and that'll generate buzz and excitement for those products. And they'll win, and Sony will lose. This is awesome! I really have to say, I am amazed at the skill and precision with which Sony has managed the PS3. They've got some kind of dream team working on this. There's a cycle. First, identify the largest clearly identifiable remaining demographic. Second, piss them off. Repeat.

    PS3: Buy it for the Other OS feature, keep it because no one will take it off your hands. (No, really. I have a launch 60GB which I bought entirely for the Other OS feature. It's now useless for playing games because games require "updates" that disable the only functionality I got it for, but no one's gonna buy the old loud monster to play video games...)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:52PM (#35025720)
    I want the "Other OS" feature back that was stolen! 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
  • by Saxophonist ( 937341 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @06:55PM (#35025756)

    So now companies just have to put in minimal protection and the rest is legal protection?

    Yes, it's been that way since 1998. See this [] and, more generally, this [].

  • Re:This makes me sad (Score:5, Informative)

    by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @07:06PM (#35025910) Homepage

    It's not as if Geohot makes his living hacking PS3s to run pirated games (which is all the restraining order prevents him doing). This is costing him his hobby, and only temporarily if what he's doing is determined to be legal.

    That would be true if the TRO didn't have an order of impoundment attached:

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that within ten (10) business days of this Order, Defendant Hotz shall deliver...for impoundment any computers, hard drives, CD-roms, DVDs, USB stick, and any other storage devices on which any Circumvention Devices are stored in Defendant Hotz's possession, custody, or control. []

    ...and I'm pretty sure that those devices are his trade tools which means this TRO places a significant and disproportionate burden on him as the defendant.

  • by areusche ( 1297613 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @07:15PM (#35026024)
    Depends on the law broken. If you crossed state lines in committing the act, then it falls under the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Trust me you don't want this to happen.
  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @07:54PM (#35026446)

    Why does it matter? It's not the job of the Central government to ration how much wheat you can grow on your OWN property. It is the job of the Member State Legislature (per the 10th).

    About 5 years earlier the Supremes made a similar ruling, where they said the Congress has no authority to tell a chicken farmer how much he can charge his customers, since said farmer only sold locally to New Jersey residents. i.e. INTRAstate commerce does not fall under the Union government's jurisdiction.

    âoeResolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes â" delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government;
    --- and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force
    --- that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party:
    --- that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers;
    --- but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.â - 1799

    Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (both of whom were threatened by Dictator... I mean, President Adams with imprisonment for issuing this document).

  • by Mad Leper ( 670146 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @08:41PM (#35026880)

    I see this question come up quite often by people who haven't taken the time to actually read up on the jail-breaking exemptions.

    Here's a list of the exemptions granted for jail-breaking your devices. Could you please point out the one that would allow breaking the encryption on the PS3 to play cracked games or add functionality?

    Thank you.

    - Computer users may now bypass external security devices if they do not longer work and cannot be replaced..

    - Phone owners may break access controls on their phones to switch to another wireless carrier.

    - It is now allowed to break video game protections to investigate or correct security flaws.

    - Allow college professors, film students, filmmakers and producers of non-commercial videos to break copy-protections on DVDs for educational purposes, criticism or commentary.

    - Allow blind people to break protections on electronic books so that they can be used with blind-suitable software.

  • by KeithIrwin ( 243301 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:35PM (#35028280)

    I agree with most everything in the parent post and would also like to add that it's pretty clear that the ECDSA signing keys do not, in fact, compromise a "circumvention device or technique". Suggesting that a set of secret numbers, unto itself, forms a device or technique is stretching the meaning of the words past the breaking point. Further, the part of the order which requires him to turn over to Sony all computers, hard drives, etc. which contain circumvention devices presupposes that he actually has software which would legally be considered a circumvention device. It is not at all clear from the publicly known facts that he possesses anything which would qualify. All of the stuff which he has released has been about gaining access to the hardware without gaining access to any of Sony's software, firmware, etc. The PS3 is not, itself, a copyrighted work. The best that they can argue is that the firmware and OS which run on the PS3 are. That is a silly, but potentially successful legal argument (as the courts have previously held the communicating with running copyrighted software or firmware is a form of "gaining access to a protected work" in several cases, including the Bnetd case despite that being an idiotic interpretation of the language of the DMCA). So that would work as an argument, unless, of course, the keys you've released are the keys used to sign boot loaders and bypass loading any of Sony's firmware or software at all, which, as it happens, are exactly those keys which Geohot released.

    So the question is what happens if he complies with the last part of the order by giving them an empty box and saying "I don't have circumvention devices"? Presumably, more legal fun would ensue. I'm curious if that's the tack he'll take. I probably would in his case, since turning anything over to them is tantamount to an admission of violating the DMCA.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Friday January 28, 2011 @07:13AM (#35030198) Journal

    I may be wrong, but I seem to remember that first growing in popularity after the release of the miniseries [] of the same name. Since it depicted an America ruled by a cold Soviet style control and now we are seeing more and more that same control only in the hands of the megacorps that now pretty much rules this country (just look at how many laws are written by the corporations and just rubber stamped by elected officials, such as DMCA and endless copyrights) I assume some would see it as appropriate.

    Me personally the way the corps run the country reminds me of the late great philosopher/ comedian Bill Hicks and his take on things [] which is sadly probably even more true now than when he did it 20 years ago. The fact that the courts can take away his right to speak because it would impact a corps bottom line is frankly disgusting to me.

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