PS3 Hacker Has To Give Up His Computers

Sony is taking famed hacker George Hotz to court, claiming his contribution to jailbreaking the PS3 is breaking the law. As part of that case, the court gets access to all his computers.

Yes, as part of the case, Sony has been granted a temporary restraining order, which is common in situations like this. It's intended to basically freeze everything in place from the time of the allegation, so not only does Hotz have to take down all links to his PS3 work from his sites and cease working further on the effort, he has to hand all his gear in, everything from USB sticks to discs to entire workstations.

Seeing as his work is already popping up on mirror sites all over the internet, it makes you wonder why Sony even bothers, particularly given his "cult hero" status among the only people who will ever know this court case went down.

[PSX-Scene, via Make]


    A lot of people who know about this court case don't regard him as any kind of hero, cult or otherwise...

    Out of curiosity, is this just a purely civil matter between Sony and him? Or is it a criminal issue? I.e. if the court rules against him, is the potential there for actual jail time, or just financial compensation/penalties?

      Sony is suing Hotz is it is purely a civil matter of either a restraining order or financial compensation. Don't know about American law but maybe you serve Jailtime if you can't pay up?

      Whilst what he did has created opportunity for malicious activity, his sole reason for this was to re-enable customization. Something that sony promised and used to sell their console. Poor guy's now going to get buried for standing up for the modding community.

    I think they will do anything to try and stop this from getting around, and even if it doesn't work they are happy to cause him as much grief as they can. I'm sure they aren't above revenge.

    I guess there becomes a point with a company where you can't ignore the problem anymore, they pretty much let it go until it got to the point that the PS3 was busted wide open, and just about anyone can 'jailbreak' their PS3 with nothing more than a guide and a USB flash drive.

    I'm guessing it is the old 'send a message' thing, to try and put people off hacking their gear as they will come after you.

    It really is a bit of a no-win for Sony either way.

      except this all came about because sony decided that they wanted to remove the Other OS feature

      so in a way they bought it on themselves

        No, Sony removed the other OS when Geohot and others were using it to hack the security on the PS3.

        And seriously, taking away a half-arsed, crippled linux OS is no justification.

    Is he allowed to buy another computer for himself?

    all i have to say is.... well played by this dude... and not well played by sony, i realise they are pushing the court case simply to prove a point, however hasnt the precedent already been set by the iphone jailbreaking case? it played out that once the product has been purchased it has nothing to do with the manufacturer as to what we do with the firmware/software/ even the hardware... and again we see the same thing happening to a student who was modding 360's in the US (for non profit) each of these cases has been shot down because they arent actually doing anything illegal... once they start to sell the software then they enter dangeous waters, but till then its fair play. sure sony claims that it could cost them up to $50 million (or some such ridiculous number) but really im just surprised that the console hasnt been jailbroken sooner...

      That was to do with iPhones and specifically in the US where they are locked in to specific carriers only (AT&T until recently was the only option.) Besides locking down a phone can be argued that it is going against the consumers main interests. But a gaming console? That's just reaching for straws now. You knew what you were getting into when buying a PS3 it's not like anyone ever thought "Oh boy I bet I can play some shitty homebrew on this." No, you buy a gaming console, you don't expect to do anything much else besides gaming and watching movies. People should stop with all this entitlement bullshit.

        Apparently the thousands of people who make and download homebrew like it. Yes thousands, there's hits on my Wii Homebrew manager.

    yep, a dumbass bad-PR move by them. not to mention stifling free development of the their tech by fans.

    Is he allowed to buy another computer for himself? I'm assuming he won't get them back.

      He will at the end of the criminal proceedings.

        I mean court proceedings*

    If douchebags like him make it easy to hack games and ruin online gaming for people then screw him I reckon

      LOL, maybe if developers created proper networking architecture it wouldn't be a problem, like with pretty much every PC game released in the past 10 years.

    I won't lie. I'm still sandy with Sony over the Lik-Sang incident.

    Zico, douchebags like him are usually the kind of forces BEHIND most of the great online games.

    Modding and homebrew communities have been the start of some of the worlds now biggest franchises.

    A good company that actually understands the gaming community will try and work with that, foster it, and make their game or consoles accessible.

    Im damn sick of being told were all thieves, if I buy a product I expect a little respect. Im not a thief, I pay through the teeth for games, and are constantly having to make my way through DRM and being treated like a criminal.

      But there is no shortage of legal ways to make 'homebrew' games now, you don't need to hack a console to do so.

      Between Apple's Xcode and XBLA and the PC, there are plenty of ways to make whatever game you want to, and get it published or publish it yourself.

      I wish the consoles were open in the way the home computers of the 80s were, like the Atari 800 and the commodore 64, but the truth is that the home computers *are* still open, you can write anything you like for Windows, OSX or Linux and publish it more easily than you ever could before. The consoles are relatively closed, but they always have been, it was never *easy* to make a game for the Atari 2600, the megadrive, the SNES, the dreamcast etc. With XBLA you can actually write homebrew games for the consoles too.

      Sure, you can't make certain types of apps or games for the consoles within those frameworks, but you are free to on computers.

      I think it sucks that you can't, but it in no way justifies cracking the systems. Apart from XBMC on the original xbox, there hasn't been much that is dazzling, most homebrew is just ports of the same old SNES emulators and so on.

      I too am sick of the DRM, but I don't know what other option they really have, both to protect the sales of games and to protect online gaming from cheats.

    if he goes to jail he can always "jailbreak"

    just take a look at this kid. if he goes to jail theyre gonna make a playground out of his ass on the first day lol

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now