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  • California Court Grants Sony Restraining Order Against Geohot


    The Washington Post is reporting this morning that a California court has approved Sony's restraining order against Geohot.

    Less than three weeks ago, the consumer electronics giant Sony proceeded to file the order against jailbreaker extraordinaire George Hotz, aka Geohot. Hotz and his team were in Sony's legal line of sight for allegedly bypassing "effective technological protective measures" in PlayStation 3 firmware version 3.55. Earlier this month, Geohot released a controversial jailbreak which enables PlayStation 3 hackers to run custom packages on the console.

    [Hotz] maintains that he never intended the hack to aid game piracy and, in fact, told the G4 network show "Attack of the Show" that he took measures to keep the code from being used in that manner.
    Sony has previously encountered some resistance in its pursuit of a temporary restraining order when Judge Susan Illston "expressed reservations over whether or not her jurisdiction extended to the case." The California court, however, ultimately sided with Sony. And the rest is now history.

    According to published reports, Sony's temporary restraining order (TRO) requires Geohot to stop putting hacker-related information and instructions on the web about the PS3 hack. Hotz has all but 10 days to comply with the court order and fork over his computers to the PlayStation maker. But as the Post notes, Geohot's hack is "readily available through mirror sites across the Internet." And Sony's restraining order is powerless to change that reality.

    So what is Sony trying to accomplish? Without question, Sony is trying to make an example out of Geohot. But will it work? As tech reporter Hayley Tsukayama observed in her Washington Post coverage, Hotz has "become something of a cult hero in the hacking community." Sony persecution will likely serve to only increase Geohot's celebrity status.

    Washington Post
    This article was originally published in forum thread: California Court Grants Sony Restraining Order Against Geohot started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 71 Comments
    1. staterunner180's Avatar
      staterunner180 -
      I don't think you all understand. If Hotz has ANYTHING to do with the PS3 jailbreak again, it will be in direct violation of his restraining order, and he will probably go to jail for it. Do you really think Sony's lawyers overlooked the fact that he could just put the jailbreak on a jump drive and put it on his next computer? Or that he could simply download the jailbreak from one of the many mirrors? They wouldn't have. If they get even an inkling that Hotz has something to do with a PS3 jailbreak, they will have him in court with charges pressed before he can even say a word.
    1. Forgoten Dynasty's Avatar
      Forgoten Dynasty -
      He better apply for an appeal.
    1. Italia411's Avatar
      Italia411 -
      Yea if he jailbreaks a PS3. Just for clarification I don't own any Sony products anymore and would hope Geo would not do anything to jeopardize his freedom. I do however hope this will not prevent future work on other devices.
    1. davidcarswell's Avatar
      davidcarswell -
      I was in court last week with a friend who has a tenant problem here in SF. The tenant actually is someone who he let stay temporarily and conned his way via the landlords. My friend was royally pissed and slammed some doors and called him names-well the tenant filed a restraining order - I went to court as a witness. It was thrown out of court because the law in CA states that to issue a restraining order a person must PROVE beyond doubt that their life is in danger and/or undue extreme mental stress and a history of violence and disorder. We watched 15 cases before ours came before the judge. Only one (1) restraining order was issued. I do not see how this could possibly go far once it goes before the judge-to say the judge was pissed (about people wasting her time) is an understatement. She said in between several cases the requirements as stated above. Slamming doors, name calling, and even breaking dishes is not a reason for police or for courtrooms as she stated if a life or mental health is not endangered -YOU WILL NOT GET A RESTRAINING ORDER!

      This was in San Francisco Superior Court too.

      I am kinda puzzled as to how this took place. Although it is my understanding if you are the defendant and do not appear in court a temporary restraining order will be issued and the plaintiff must then prove their case at the given trial date according to the law even if the defendant is not present at that time.

      Does anyone know if he appeared in court?

      Also to note - one case was about a protest picket group outside a hotel where the hotel owner claimed her life was in danger and they were protesting / picketing outside the hotel and her father's home - the judge did not issue a restraining order due to first amendment rights (freedom of speech) - she told the plaintiff to adapt, get use to it and to should her life actually be in danger or if she were assaulted to refile, reappear and re-plea provided those accusations could be proven.

      -david
    1. cheesehotdog's Avatar
      cheesehotdog -
      Geohot FTW!
    1. santacruzlocal's Avatar
      santacruzlocal -
      I would delete all the info off my HD, Then pull an office space on it with a sledge hammer and then hand it over to sony ... oh oh even better when they plug it into their network release a virus that would bring down their entire company ... oh oh or pack some C4 in there so when they turn it on ... Nevermind That last one wouldn't work, you couldn't pack enough C4 in there ...

      I'm kidding people ... about the last one

      I'm going to ask a lawyor buddy of mine, but I would think that turning over your computer with your personal files has to be some sort of violation of your privacy, however turning over the files would be a different story.

      Forget donating for a new computer lets all donate money so we can get him Johnny Cockeran (How ever you spell it)
    1. jonnyraincloud's Avatar
      jonnyraincloud -
      Ive been boycotting sony since the lik-sang.com incident
      If Sony is so hungry for money, maybe they don't deserve mine anymore.
    1. Italia411's Avatar
      Italia411 -
      That's a good question! Does Geo have a high priced lawyer or a public pretender? We should start a fundraiser for Geo if he needs a good attorney. I also think Microsoft or someone should hire him and help pay his legal bills. I knew a guy who hacked into IBM back in the day and got a job out of the deal.
    1. ronfin44's Avatar
      ronfin44 -
      Ef Sony. I hope this makes more hackers decide to screw with Sony now! You poke a hornets nest, you get stung!
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Quote Originally Posted by steeda763 View Post
      I don't understand what turning his computers over to Sony is going to accomplish. What's to say he can't delete information? Or copy it all to his next computer?

      With his budding celebrity status and the empathy of millions in the community, I'm sure he'll have no problems in receiving donations to build a new computer...if Microsoft doesn't bribe him with a new rig, that is.
      this is the part that i find ridiculous, they probably want his computer to help find items that will beef up there security. but geohot seems to be able to jailbreak nearly everything
    1. awesomeOo7's Avatar
      awesomeOo7 -
      Bummer :/