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DRM PlayStation (Games) Sony The Courts Games

Judge Allows Subpoenas For GeoHot YouTube Viewers, Blog Visitors 306

PhrostyMcByte writes "Stepping up Sony's lawsuit against PS3 jailbreak developer George Hotz, this Thursday a judge approved multiple subpoenas which seek logs of all viewers and commenters to his YouTube video, visitors to his blog and website, and all information associated with his Twitter account."
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Judge Allows Subpoenas For GeoHot YouTube Viewers, Blog Visitors

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  • by intellitech ( 1912116 ) * on Saturday March 05, 2011 @09:54AM (#35388520)

    I really hope SCEA crashes and burns. I personally won't ever support their products again.

    • by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @10:03AM (#35388558)
      How did you miss all the other bullshit Sony has been pulling for the last decade and a half? Microsoft has a generally improving trajectory (from a low starting point no question), while Sony puts effort into finding new ways to lower the bar. I swore off them five or six years ago and haven't regretted it for an instant.
      • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <> on Saturday March 05, 2011 @12:04PM (#35389174) Homepage

        Back when the PS3 came out things looked a little different:

        PS3: Supported Linux, lets you replace the HDD, supports generic USB controller, supports generic Bluetooth headsets, supports USB webcams, supports Flash, SD, etc.
        Xbox360: No Linux, proprietary HDD, proprietary controller (including special security to lock-out third parties), proprietary wireless protocol, proprietary memory cards and a heck of a lot of red-rings.

        Basically the PS3 was extremely open for a mainstream console, far more so then basically anything else, Xbox360 on the other side was as locked down as possible. Sony looked to be on the right track with the PS3, what they hope to accomplish now with this witch hunt is beyond me, it won't put genie back in the bottle, but it goes a long way to ruin their image permanently.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Some third party controllers no longer work due to the updates either. In trying to block the jailbreak USB dongles they killed many composite devices including early Mad Catz controllers.

          Mad Catz offered a replacement if the 3+ year old device was under warranty, although in the UK you can still use the Sale of Goods Act to get a partial refund.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arth1 ( 260657 )

      At this point, I wish SCOTUS would crash and burn.
      They've lost all my respect, turning into corrupt politicos pushing their owners' agenda, and not unbiased protectors of the individuals that make up the nation and her constitution. If it wasn't for SCOTUS' bought and paid for decisions during the last 15 years, this would have gone nowhere.

      And I can't even vote them off the bench. Some democracy.

      • by yincrash ( 854885 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @10:48AM (#35388764)
        who are their owners, exactly? because they are not electable, they shouldn't have to answer to anyone. are you saying they get payouts? is there any record of this?
        • by netsharc ( 195805 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @11:15AM (#35388884)

          Here's one []

          Here's another one [].

          Is getting asked to speak at a mostly Republican event, and getting "reimbursed for the flight and hotel" enough of a payout for you? How about if it was a first class flight and 5-star Penthouse room with "order anything you want from room service.". Sure, no cash exchanged hands, maybe he just got lobster dinners and got it "reimbursed" because he was traveling to be a guest speaker, and he surely had to eat right? Is that still kosher?

          And Thomas' wife works with tea partiers and get money from them. OK, neutral much?

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Lobsters are definitely not kosher, according to Leviticus.

      • Don't forget state courts, systematically shooting down the results of various state referendums as unconstitutional.

        • That's their job. Just because the people voted for it doesn't mean that it's constitutional. Recently the idiots here voted by a simple majority to require a super majority in the future on measures to raise taxes. It's not constitutional and has already been ruled unconstitutional in other states, but because of people like you that say they can't or shouldn't do it, we're having to see crushing service cuts so that MS and the like can avoid paying their taxes.

          • The US Constitution has, outside of a few incorporated clauses and amendments, just about ZERO to do with the structure and procedures of state governments. States can have different numbers of congressional houses, different apportionment, different primaries, etc. etc. from the federal government. State laws and referendums/initiatives are judged, with rare exceptions, within the context of state constitutions. So saying that "[super majority for tax increases] has already been ruled unconstitutional in
      • by commodore6502 ( 1981532 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @11:45AM (#35389044)

        >>>unbiased protectors of the individuals that make up the nation and her constitution

        Where did you ever get the illusion the Supreme Court was "unbiased"??? That was never, ever, never the case. Even as early as 1805 Thomas Jefferson wrote, "You seem... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions --- a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.

        "Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.... Their power is the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the Elective control. The constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.

        "...But the Chief Justice says there must be an arbiter somewhere. True there must, but the ultimate arbiter is the People, as represented by their deputies in the State Legislatures. Let the States decide to which they meant to give power, and amend the constitution if necessary."

        Since the power of Judicial Review is not expressly granted to the Supreme Court by the Constitution, this power is "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people" per the Constitution's OWN words. It is not the Union judiciary's responsibility to protect individuals. It is the responsibility of the People and the States, standing-up for their rights against an overreaching central government-megacorp tyrant, and nullifying unjust laws whenever the occasion warrants.

    • My g/f needs a new laptop. A month ago I suggested she got a Sony VAIO. Now I'm telling her about how good ACER can be...
      • You might look into Asus as well. The hardware is nice, and you can sometimes get it without Windows. Just replace the Xandros adaptation they use with something that doesn't suck. I had a VAIO and it was a really nice machine, but that was many years ago and they had yet to do a lot of the dickish stuff that caused me to avoid paying money to them.

      • Acer? Acer has terrible ratings in reliability and customer service. Asus and Toshiba are far better brands.
      • Check out this link for reliabilities of various manufacturers : []
    • It's like being angry at the rope instead of the guy who tries to strangle you.

      Your rights to privacy and to free speech cost as much for you as you fight for it.

  • Well then... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Shouldn't we all view his video and leave a few choice comments about what a dirty little slut the prosecution's mom is?

    • You mean sort of a /. effect on the number of people the prosecution has to check into? We might still be able to do that to his blog but I doubt the video is still on YouTube. Of course, if we all posted links to 'Rick Rolls' & Goatse on his blog I'm pretty sure we could ruin someone's day.
  • Go for it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MonsterTrimble ( 1205334 ) <monstertrimble&hotmail,com> on Saturday March 05, 2011 @09:57AM (#35388532)

    I will watch the youtube videos just to make extra work for Sony - even if it's only a second or two of their time. I would love for them to come knocking - I don't own a PS3 (nor intend to), never owned a PS2 and my wife's PS1 is collecting dust in my basement. In fact, except for the PS1 only Nintendo has made it inside the walls of my house.

    Oh, and I'm Canadian. *flips Sony the bird*

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

      I don't own a ps3 either. But that wont stop sony from getting a subpoena and having the cops kick down my door looking for it, with no investigation first. Just the fact that you (may) have knowledge makes you a criminal and you will be treated as one. You will have your belongs destroyed, taken and your financial ( and perhaps professional ) life ruined as you try to fight for your innocence. And if you prove ou are innocent, you wont even get a 'oops, our bad'. you get to rebuild your life on your own di

    • by trawg ( 308495 )

      Which videos are they?! We're not encouraging the Streisand effect as should be required!

  • More About the Judge (Score:5, Informative)

    by BooRadley ( 3956 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @10:07AM (#35388570)

    This says less about Sony, and more about the judge in the case. According to several ratings websites, Hon. Joseph Spero is pretty new to the Magistrate bench, and has the reputation for being predisposed to siding with government and business 100% of the time. Hopefully there will be an injunction and appeal coming soon on this.

    • Don't bother calling him Hon. he doesn't deserve it.
  • by Kenshin ( 43036 ) <> on Saturday March 05, 2011 @10:24AM (#35388646) Homepage

    As much as GeoHot put himself in this whole legal mess, with his publicity-seeking and taunting of Sony, it's asinine of Sony to go after his YouTube viewers and commenters. I guarantee that 99.9% of the viewers are just bystanders who wanted to see what all the fuss is about. He created the content and put the video up, people who simply clicked "play" did nothing wrong. In fact, YouTube holds more guilt than all of them simply for making it available.

    • Dammit, did everyone miss the scary point? Now I know why we face the threat of the end of the world in 20 months in Dec 2012 - because we might have destroyed the internet by then and we can't go back to the land before internet-time now.

      View this either as multiplication, or set theory -

      (Huge Disastrous Precedent) * (Temporary Artificial Narrowing of Scope) = "Yesterday's News".
      Then because we are Dopamine-Junkies, "Yesterday's News" is never good enough! So then the (Temporary Artificial Boundaries on Sc

    • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @01:17PM (#35389630)

      The entire purpose of getting IP addresses is to establish that many people from California downloaded information. Why is this important? Because Sony wants to sue in California, instead of where GeoHot lives. That's the purpose of this exercise, determining where the case is filed.

      I think the judge should have required a neutral third party to analyze the data, instead of trusting Sony, but otherwise this is legitimate.

      • by DRJlaw ( 946416 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @03:37PM (#35390816)

        The entire purpose of getting IP addresses is to establish that many people from California downloaded information. Why is this important? Because Sony wants to sue in California, instead of where GeoHot lives. That's the purpose of this exercise, determining where the case is filed.

        Then it is not a valid purpose. Caselaw concerning the internet and personal jurisdiction has been clear for at least the last decade: you have to specifically transact with someone within the jurisdiction. Offering "static" information to the entire world does not subject someone to to personal jurisdiction within every court within the United States. Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King , 126 F.3d 25 (2d Cir. 1997). Sony has to show that GeoHot made a "purposeful availment of the benefits and protections" offered by California, not that he posted a video that even a horde of Californians viewed on YouTube. Bensusan; International Shoe Co. v. Washington , 326 U.S. 310 (1945).

        I think the judge should have required a neutral third party to analyze the data, instead of trusting Sony, but otherwise this is legitimate.

        An unsupported conclusion is no conclusion at all. Cite your authority.

  • by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @10:28AM (#35388672)

    Maybe they will ask Google for people who have searched for certain terms, code names, utt.? What's next, going after people who criticize this witch hunt from Sony?

    It is funny that some lawyer drones are capable to destroy everything company tried hard to build. It is time to require lawyers to have not only knowledge of law, but also understanding of common sense and intelligence. Otherwise modern society will slowly kill itself with such attitude.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 05, 2011 @10:44AM (#35388742)

    Haven't we learned yet that threats of legal action don't stop anything?

    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


    props to fail0verflow for the asymmetric half
    no donate link, just use this info wisely
    i do not condone piracy

    if you want your next console to be secure, get in touch with me. any of you 3.
    it'd be fun to be on the other side. ...and this is a real self, hello world
    although it's not NPDRM, so it won't run off the hard drive
    shouts to the guys who did PSL1GHT
    without you, I couldn't release this

  • What the hell (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Antisyzygy ( 1495469 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @11:01AM (#35388826)
    I fail to see how this is justified whatsoever. Someone visiting his twitter account, youtube account or web page does not mean they had anything to do with anything in the scope of this case. Plenty of people checked him out after they read about him in the news or looked at his website for other reasons. He has a ton of stuff on his sight completely unrelated to PS3 Jailbreaking. This is the most blatantly freedom violating ruling I have heard of in recent history. This basically amounts to a blanket big-brother subpoena. This judge is an absolute moron and should be disbarred from all justice and legal practice for failing to understand one of the most simple amendments in the Constitution.
  • We have just crossed over where mere curiosity or even an accidental landing can get you a visit by an attorney at best, or your home raided at worst.

    Never thought id see us dip so low in my life time. Gotta love a world run by attorneys.


  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @12:16PM (#35389236) Homepage Journal

    Regardless of my disagreement that using your own hardware as you like is a crime this has dangerous connotations.

    What if i decide i want to do research on a subject like the history of illegal drug use ( more of a black and white case )? Does that mean i get the feds beating down my door just because i did a search or read something? How about researching effects of child abuse? Am i now considered a contributor and can expect a visit?

    What if i write a book about something that is declared illegal later... am i now considered a criminal and everyone that bought my book?

  • Even now that they have the data, what are they going to do with it? They can't sue these people for anything, they can't even investigate all of them to find out if there is anything they can charge them with. Honestly, I think at this point lawyers are just being evil as a Pavlovian response, and aren't even thinking about what they're doing anymore.
  • Anyone got a link to the PS3 video. I wanna buy a used on off CL and Jailbreak it and I have several sites that I can post the video too. You know, to use it as I wish because its mine. Just like I use the radio control and servos from my RC car to control other things or is this kind of behaviour illegal now?

  • by KeithIrwin ( 243301 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @12:57PM (#35389458)

    I'd love to testify about how I used his Nuit Du Hack talk as part of the Hardware and Media Security class this semester and why I think it's perfectly legitimate and worthwhile security research.

  • How is this any different then forcing a library to turn over a list of what I read, what I listened to on CD and what I watched on DVD and Blu-Ray?

    What's next? Will they now say give us a list of all people that checked out Sony products at a library so we can get a subpoena to search the patron's home for a copy of whatever was checked out that originated from Sony. This ruling is beyond extremely dangerous.

    I've been boycotting buying any Sony labeled products since they pulled that rootkit crap a few

  • by Mashhaster ( 1396287 ) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @03:11PM (#35390576)

    I think it's high time for some civil disobedience.

    I propose we post the links to the contraband youtube videos, the blog this guy maintains, and his website, and slashdot them. Post them to 4chan, explain the situation, link back to this story, get Anonymous to hit them as well.

    Sony wants to subpoena "logs of all viewers and commenters to his YouTube video, visitors to his blog and website"?

    Well, good fucking luck with that, because there will be millions of 'em within a week, and the information will be endlessly redistributed and remirrored across the Internet, because information wants to be free, and the tech-savvy community (unlike the general public) still values our civil liberties enough to click on a few fucking links.

    The stupid thing is, by going after this guy they're just providing free publicity, as we've seen happen so many times before in such instances.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.