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Posted at 10:25 AM ET, 01/28/2011

Court approves Sony's restraining order against George Hotz

By Hayley Tsukayama

A California court has approved Sony's restraining order against George Hotz, who distributed a way to allow Playstation 3 users to put any operating system on their consoles -- an action that Sony claims opened the door to game piracy. PSX-Scene, a Playstation community, had the pdf files of the documents first.

Hotz has been ordered to take down all links to the hack and turn over his computers. He 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 had hit a snag in getting the temporary restraining order when Judge Susan Illston expressed reservations over whether or not her jurisdiction extended to the case.

Hotz has become something of a cult hero in the hacking community, and the hack is readily available through mirror sites across the Internet.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 28, 2011; 10:25 AM ET
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How can the government say, you can only use this one way and no other? How is this different than me taking a Dell and installing Ubuntu, Chrome, or Linux instead of Windows?? Will Microsoft get a restraining order on me if I instruct others how to do this? Will I go to jail if I show others how to watch a dvd with pics on their dvd player if one of them chooses to watch a pirated movie? Honestly, is there nothing better for our courts to deal with? Wasting tax money on the courts to deal with this, is the real crime.

Posted by: acacia052 | January 28, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Microsoft, Apple, Sony, and Nintendo all do similar things. The gaming systems are "locked". The theory behind it is that if you need service, parts, or CS you will have to contact the respective manufactor or someone who is "licensed" to do the work. By doing this you can keep your customers coming back.

Once someone "hacks" one of these systems, the first reaction is to patch the system. If they don't, they run the risk of someone making their system better or in some cases worse. Each outcome has its own problems. If Jane made her's better, then whatever company doesn't see a dime or the credit. If Johnny makes his worse, the company may get a bad represention of their product.

However, usally when a "hack" makes a system better. In the past the companies usally offer employment to the person. There are plenty of cases where XBOX and Windows hacks have caused MS to hire the person.

In this case, it appears someone thought this would be a good idea. However, Sony saw its doors being opened up and didn't like the outcome.

As to why aren't the average PCs "locked". In a way they are, you need to do some work to install Leopard on a non-Apple and Windows on an Apple. However, if we could go back in time and someone had this idea of "locking". Trust me they would have done it. I think this is why MS's help desk always faults your PC above its software.

Linux, Red Hat whatever you want to call it is the only company well known for making it users particpate in making the OS software. Open source is nice, but when you have millions making something, there tends to be a few people who just don't have the skills for making something. Hence, the problem in that arena. Alot of software for Linux doesn't work or fails on the big picture.

Now, my personal opinion is that if you buy a product and bring it home. You should be able to do anything you want to it. Your not reselling, your not claiming that you were the original builder. You just customized to your own tastes.

But sadly, big brother/sister always fears that you are stealing its limelight if you tend to post your wonderfuly customize verisons and how to do it. Sometimes, they are exteme so much, you may wish you were an only child at times.

The E-World is a beast and we deal...

Posted by: DP72 | January 28, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The Judge was born in Japan.Did her family have a connection to Sony?

Posted by: fpmBrooklyn | January 28, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

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