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Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 01/18/2011

Sony hits snag in case over PS3 hacks

By Hayley Tsukayama

Sony may have to delay taking legal action against George Hotz and others who published a way to allow users to run any software on the company's Playstation 3 console.

According to reports from the industry site, Sony is arguing that the case should be tried in California. As Ars Technica reported, the PlayStation Network's terms of use state that the company can pursue those who violate it through the California court system. Sony also argues that the hack was distributed through California-based companies Twitter and YouTube, and Hotz reportedly received support through PayPal, which is also based in California.

The problem is that Hotz did not use the PlayStation Network either to breach the system or to distribute the code. He cracked the console from his home in New Jersey, and put the code up on his own Web site.

That leaves only the argument about Twitter, YouTube and PayPal, which gave San Francisco district court judge Susan Illston pause. The judge is delaying the case while she considers the question of whether or not her court has jurisdiction over the case.

"If having a PayPal account were enough, then there would be personal jurisdiction in this court over everybody, and that just can't be right," she said. "That would mean the entire universe is subject to my jurisdiction, and that's a really hard concept for me to accept."

Sony wants the code Hotz designed removed from its hosting sites, unspecified damages and for Hotz to turn over the equipment he used to crack the system. reported that the hack is still downloadble, including from a site run by Carnegie Mellon computer science professor David Touretzky, who has defended Hotz and the legality of his actions.

"Free speech (and free computing) rights exist only for those determined to exercise them," Touretzky wrote on his Web site. "Trying to suppress those rights in the Internet age is like spitting in the wind."

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 18, 2011; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  DRM, Gaming  
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This is like a car company suing you for modifying your car right?
And how is this different to jailbreaking your iphone – which is legal?
It’s George’s PS3 he should be able to do what he wants with it. If he posts what he’s done online, what’s wrong with that? If others want to do the same, there’s nothing wrong with that either.
Sony should take a reality check and be more customer friendly. If George wants to run a C64 game emulator on his PS3, Sony should say “hey this is cool – other customers might benefit from this too” – value add style, rather than money-hungry lock-down it’s Sony or we’ll nail you to the wall big-brother nasty style. No wonder people hate you Sony. Great products, but you have no class.

Posted by: scarglobal | January 18, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

This is coming from a company that loaded a rootkit on anybody who played one of their music cd's on their computer?

Sony is complaining about damage to them because they had an incompetent security system in the PS3? What? I'll say this...they've sure got b*lls.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | January 19, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

So then does the Federal Gov't have a different Terms of Use since they've stripped out the Playstation OS for awhile? Hell they're looking at purchasing 2200 of them for a rendering farm. Customs and Boarder Protection agency uses PS3s to decrypt passwords, because it's more productive and cheaper than a powerhouse type server.

Posted by: HellRazer_inDC | January 19, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

this is a product of winning the console wars.

sony is winning.... and despite their best efforts.

sometimes, sony makes a really good product, and manages to NOT screw it up.

Posted by: docwhocuts | January 19, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Mocrosofy started this crap with their XBOX. When I buy the product it belongs to me! I ahev the right to throw it away, modify it, or whatever I want to do with it, just like I do with my Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. When I buy a motorcycle I am held acountable to the regualtory agencies in my operations of my motorcycle. If I want to change the exhaust pipes, electronic ingintion for a better one, and better carburator or any thing else I want ot do wioth MY own stuff I buy. Playstation ad Microsoft need to wake up and smell the coffee. Perhaps if we leave their junk on the shelves and quit playing with it, they will get a clue. Companies have sprung up repairing XBOX products that Microsoft refuses to repair at a fair price,now Playstation is acting the same. See if I care. I leave the junk in the store and PS can fel good about that. NO SALE here.

Posted by: patmatthews | January 19, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I paid for a ps3 that ran linux. I've since replaced it for a slim after repairing it twice over a YLOD. I think what I do with it is my own damn business. I would like to be able to save all the games I play regularly on the HD. How much is this to offer? Cut me off at twenty, but don't make me hack you and treat me like a thief.

Posted by: SLBear | January 23, 2011 4:47 AM | Report abuse

BS. No mention of california in the terms of service.

Posted by: los3213 | January 25, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Underscore where the spaces are in the link above.

Posted by: los3213 | January 25, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

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