Sony takes legal action over PS3 hacks
Sony has filed a restraining order against groups and individuals distributing a toolkit that allows anyone to run their own software on the Playstation 3 console.
The electronics company says in the temporary restraining order that the tools are in violation of U.S. copyright law and allow users to play pirated games on the console.
"Defendants George Hotz, "Bushing," Hector Cantero, Sven Peter and "Segher" (collectively, "Defendants") are computer hackers. Working individually and in concert with one another, Defendants recently bypassed effective technological protection measures ("TPMs") employed by plaintiff Sony Computer Entertainment America LLP ("SCEA") in its proprietary PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system ("PS3 System"). Through the Internet, Defendants are distributing software, tools and instructions (collectively, "Circumvention Devices") that circumvent the TPMs in the PS3 System and facilitate the counterfeiting of video games."
George Hotz, who is listed in the order, said he never intended the code to be used for piracy and does not think that Sony is on solid legal ground.
"I have spoken with legal counsel and I feel comfortable that Sony's action against me doesn't have any basis," he told the BBC.
Hotz and another group that received the restraining order, fail0verflow, have posted the legal documents regarding the case on their Web sites.
On its Web site, fail0verflow's administrators laid out their case in the following bullet points:
- Our motivation was Sony's removal of OtherOS.
-Our exclusive goal was, is, and always has been to get OtherOS back.
- We have never condoned, supported, approved of, or encouraged videogame piracy.
- We have not published any encryption or signing keys.
-We have not published any Sony code, or code derived from Sony's code.
OtherOS was a feature in previous versions of the Playstation 3 that allowed users to install other operating systems such as Linux on their gaming consoles. Sony removed that feature from all Playstation 3 consoles in April.
Members of fail0verflow showed off the toolkit in question at the Chaos Communication Conference hacker convention in Berlin late last month.
This is not the first high-profile move from Hotz or fail0verflow. Members of the same group that presented at the conference have been credited with cracking Nintendo's Wii to allow gamers to put their own games and software on that console as well; Hotz is well known for unlocking the iPhone in 2007 at the age of 17.
| January 12, 2011; 10:10 AM ET
Categories: DRM, Gadgets, Gaming, Linux
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