PS3 Hacker Being Sued For "Making Sony Mad"

George "GeoHot" Hotz, the hacker who helped blow the doors off the PlayStation 3's copy protection system, is being sued by Sony. Why? Because, he says, he made them mad.

Appearing on G4's Attack of the Show, Hotz stands firm on his motivation behind hacking the console (he wanted to return the "Other OS" feature to the PS3) and also takes the opportunity to refute claims he's only interested in hacking so the PS3 can play pirated games.

"The way piracy was previously done [on PS3]doesn't work in my jailbreak", he says. "I made a specific effort while I was working on this to try to enable homebrew without enabling things I do not support, like piracy."

That obviously hasn't washed with Sony, who are taking both Hotz and the fail0verflow team to court. As the man says in the clip below, though, the courts set a precedent for allowing the jailbreaking of closed systems when he cracked the iPhone a few years ago, and there's little reason to assume they won't do the same here.

[thanks Geoff!]


    I hope they get off, and though I can see a perfectly just argument that hacking goes against the terms and conditions of the console and is illegal, I think they deserve to get off as well.

      If this hack leads to online play on PS3 being ruined by people cheating by using hacked versions of games, then I hope that Sony take him for everything he's got so he ends up broke and homeless and has to sell his arsehole to lonely, stinking, long-haul truck drivers at rest stops across the country just to avoid starving to death.


        Why should my online gaming be ruined because some spoilt brat wants to hack his machine and cheat.

        "Doesnt enable piracy" my ass! Stop pushing that tired and ridiculous line around GeoHot

          You read my mind good man.


          I think online play on PS3 already had it's issues. One of my work colleagues was talking about using an older PS3 to set up his hacks then he copies them to his pristine PS3 so he can run things like aimbots in Black Ops. I called him a Douche.

          Of note though he does get busted occasionally. He just starts up a new PSN account and does it all over again.

          Yup he's a total Douche.

        Who cares about online gaming! Its all about a media player....which the ps3 is lacking!

    My god!!! Not my precious online score. How will i live with strangers around the world not knowing how good i am at videogames.

    Sorry guys but EVERY piece of technology that comes out will be cracked, modded and exploited by anyone able to do it.

      yeah but for the same bloody reason. Why do hackers feel the need to enable hombrew on every single frigging console? They seriously need to get out of their parent house and go do something decent for humanity, instead of being a low life and being selfish trying to get everything they want. Make your own bloody console if its such a necessity or even better, why dont you use the pc?

        Hackers such as failoverflow and GeoHot fight for our right and capacity to use our possessions for our purposes, nothing more. Additionally by removing the barriers to producing custom and homegrown code for the PS3 more people become exposed to the system and can learn to write and create product for it.

        There are more applications available than simple piracy, and its obvious that GeoHot's primary driver is not piracy, afterall one would hardly crack an iPhone for its games catalogue. The discussion is about property and your right to do with it as you please.

          They fight for the rights of the less than 1% of nerds who actually care about homebrew, at the expense of the greater than 99% of owners who just want to play their games free of hackers, cheaters and without subsidizing the gaming of freeloading pirates.

          Sony gave the homebrew crowd the ability to write their own software through the OtherOS capability. Then those same homebrew coders abused it by hacking it. If homebrew was what this was about, they already had it and they threw it away. It’ll be very interesting to see if Sony indulge them again next time – I seriously doubt it.

          The fact that (he claims) piracy is just an unfortunate side effect of this is completely irrelevant – he still knows bloody well that that’s the main use it’ll be put to. This is people’s livelihood we’re talking about here. There are thousands of people out there who earn a living developing software for the PS3, and this tosser is quite literally taking the food off their families’ tables. I’d like to see him get up at somewhere like GDC and give his ridiculous speech and see if he got out of there in one piece.

          I’m a software developer myself, and I know if he came to my workplace and told us that half of us would be getting laid off but it’s OK because now some guy can write his own PS3 media player, he’d be leaving with fewer teeth than he arrived with.

    You know with this new firmware stuff I'd really like to see a good home brew media centre solution on the PS3. Something with full codec and file format support, it would be a real winner in my books.

    It's a shame that it will end up being used for some less reputable activities though.

      This, I would happily use a ps3 for this even if it did not enable pirated games

    I don't like Hotz, he's a bit of a dick, but I hope (and expect) he will get off.

    Everything is hackable all a person needs is time. I hope that jail braking ps3 becomes legal it would make me want one. I would love to see the type of programs that come out of the community.

      You can already see those games because they're already making them. On the fucking PC where they belong.

    Guys, just think about this... If people didn't hack consoles, we wouldn't have absolute gems like XBMC... Undoubtedly the best media center app ever. Started life on a hacked xbox and now look at it! Even been forked into a full retail product (the boxee box). So all you haters need to notice the good that can come from this stuff and stop looking at the negatives!

    There's always gonna be knobs out there using this stuff for cheating and piracy... That doesn't mean everyone is!

      Shame one git can ruin it for 10 other people....

    The problem I have here is that while perhaps this hacker guy made this hack for reasons such as homebrew, it just gives other people (the pirates) some more tools to set up an efficiently pirated PS3. Even if this guy took all the precautions he could to ensure it wouldn't allow piracy, someone could take his work and use it to pirate.

    One thing that made the PS3 great was that you couldn't play pirated games, and since Sony makes no money on the machines, games is all they have. And now, this guy's personal burning desire to run Linux and Homebrew on his machine has compromised that integrity and could result (worst case scenario obviously) in a games price rise. I hope Sony kicks his ass. If he wants to muck around with programing and what not, use a goddamn PC!

      @Tom The thing about it though is that the PS3 has an extremely powerful data crunching engine called the Cell broadband engine. It is the only easily purchased commercial product available that contains this technology. And it is interesting because of its computational power.

      It's also an extremely interesting chip to write code for. It's potential as a supercomputer is well known. There are more applications than simple piracy and I'm looking forward to seeing what the community can do with such a powerful and unique device. Incidently a colleague of mine is using his PS3 as a Live SQL Database Analytics processor. Its cpacity for processing massive amounts of data from multiple sources makes it an excellent candidate for database workflow management and analysis especially on data scales in the terrabytes region.

      It won't result in an increase in game prices - you're not going to sell more games by charging more. PS1 and PS2 prospered despite rampant piracy, so you'd assume lot of people will still do the right thing now just like they did back then.

      As far as piracy goes, I think you'll be seeing much more common use of online activation codes like those used by EA, so they can at least recoup SOME money from people playing pirated games.

      It'll cost Sony a lot of money in terms of lost game sales. But it's not just Sony - it'll also cost the competition, especially MS, a lot of sales, too. As things currently stand, the 360 now has to compete with a console that's basically offering free games - if Sony can't close the hole then you'll see a lot of potential 360 buyers purchasing PS3's instead. That won't help Sony much, since those people probably won't buy many (if any) games, but it'll certainly hurt MS.

    Yeah but guys look at it another way. what if the reason you bought your ps3 for was the "other os" option. then 2-3 years later they just remove that option?

    what if that was the only thing you used your ps3 for? you'd be pissed right?
    this has happened.
    pretty sure the us army had a bunch of ps3's that are looking useless now (providing they updated)

    you really could say sony started this by providing options then removing them.

    Hopefully he's smart enough to realise that if he publicises the hack as much as he did (as opposed to just releasing it anonymously or otherwise) then Sony had to do something, or else look like they don't care at all about anyone that tampers with their products.

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