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PlayStation (Games) Sony The Courts Games Your Rights Online

Judge Lets Sony Access GeoHot's PayPal Account 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 for the period of January 1, 2009, to February 1, 2011.'"
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Judge Lets Sony Access GeoHot's PayPal Account

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  • Sony (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:06PM (#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?).

  • Sony is dead to me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sean ( 422 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:20PM (#35523990)

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

  • 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.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:42PM (#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:Simply Put (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:44PM (#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.
  • by a_n_d_e_r_s ( 136412 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:57PM (#35524348) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • PayPal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zAPPzAPP ( 1207370 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @07:59PM (#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.

  • by Nefarious Wheel ( 628136 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @08:00PM (#35524386) Journal

    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 for clarity, there's a huge amount of detail there.

  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @08:23PM (#35524596) Homepage

    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.,_Inc. []).

  • by DCFusor ( 1763438 ) on Thursday March 17, 2011 @08:43PM (#35524770) Homepage
    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.

  • by Whomp-Ass ( 135351 ) on Friday March 18, 2011 @12:24AM (#35526168)
    Title 15, Chapter 1 captures most of Sony, RIAA, MPAA, behavior and declares it illegal with a $100,00,000.00 Fine. Hell, most mega-corps are guilty in some way of violating Title 15.1

    TITLE 15 > CHAPTER 1 > Â 1 []

    Â 1. Trusts, etc., in restraint of trade illegal; penalty

    Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

    Â 2. Monopolizing trade a felony; penalty
    Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

    Â 14. Sale, etc., on agreement not to use goods of competitor
    It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce, in the course of such commerce, to lease or make a sale or contract for sale of goods, wares, merchandise, machinery, supplies, or other commodities, whether patented or unpatented, for use, consumption, or resale within the United States or any Territory thereof or the District of Columbia or any insular possession or other place under the jurisdiction of the United States, or fix a price charged therefor, or discount from, or rebate upon, such price, on the condition, agreement, or understanding that the lessee or purchaser thereof shall not use or deal in the goods, wares, merchandise, machinery, supplies, or other commodities of a competitor or competitors of the lessor or seller, where the effect of such lease, sale, or contract for sale or such condition, agreement, or understanding may be to substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly in any line of commerce.

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.