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GeoHot is confident he can defeat Sony's effort in court -- and he has a new haircut.  (Source: The Feed)

Anonymous has created a boycott against Sony over the lawsuit.
Sony tries to choke out would-be jailbreakers of its console

Sony's harassment of the infamous young iPhone hacker George "GeoHot" Hotz continues in the wake of his posting root keys to the Sony Playstation 3 via an Android Phone hacking process.  The hack, which gets around the PS3 scheme for verifying "authentic" apps, was authored by GeoHot and his German friends at fail0verflow, who developed the initial portion of the hack.

I. Federal Government Hands Sony Hacker's Accounts Without Pause

In Californian federal court in San Francisco, a federal magistrate, Joseph Spero, gave Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) the right to subpoena the paypal records of GeoHot.  Writes [PDF] the magistrate "documents sufficient to identify the source of funds in California that went into any PayPal account associated with for the period of January 1, 2009, to February 1, 2011."

Ostensibly the subpoena is to determine whether GeoHot received donations for the hack from people in California for the hack as Sony claims.

SCEA wants to sue GeoHot in San Francisco, near its home base.  By contrast GeoHot is trying to force the company to sue him in New Jersey -- his home state.  Donations for the hack could determine which region has jurisdiction.  SCEA is claiming people in northern California sent GeoHot donations, so the case would be under the local San Francisco court's jurisdiction.

GeoHot says, however, that he received no donations for the hack, which only went one day live before Sony aired its lawsuit.

If GeoHot has any secrets they will surely be exposed, given the permissiveness of the federal court system.  They have thus far had Sony access to the Twitter; YouTube and Google [PDF]; and the IP addresses of visitors [PDF] to his website.

An attorney for GeoHot criticized in a court letter [PDF] Magistrate Spero's decision to grant the subpoena, saying they were "overly broad" and commenting, "I think the these subpoenas, the information they seek, is inappropriate."

II. GeoHot Did Seek Donations -- For the LAWSUIT

We covered this story since the release of the leak, and feel its possible SCEA is a bit confused here.  We are unaware of GeoHot requesting/accepting donations when he posted the hack.  He did not include a donate link.  

Only after the lawsuit landed did GeoHot reach out to the community for donations for his legal defense.  Thus any donations after January 12, 2011 should be presumed to be from this effort.

Mr. Hotz has said SCEA is just bitter that their big bad copy protections were undone. 

In his initial post he even offers to help console makers secure their future consoles, writing, "if you want your next console to be secure, get in touch with me. any of you 3."

And on his homepage where he originally posted the hack -- which has since been revamped as a page on the legal defense effort -- he now writes:

What if SCEA tries to settle?

Lets just say, I want the settlement terms to include OtherOS on all PS3s and an apology on the PlayStation blog for ever removing it. It'd be good PR for Sony too, lord knows they could use it. I'm also willing to accept a trade, a legit path to homebrew for knowledge of how to stop new firmwares from being decrypted.

GeoHot clarifies that his hack has nothing to do with cheating in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3.

The page states that he has 2 lawyers, while Sony has 5.  His legal expenses have totaled $10k USD thus far.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) provided him legal support, according to the blog, though it was unclear if they were paying for one of these lawyers or just doing research to support his case.

It's possible GeoHot's legal representation team may be growing in size and approaching Sony's due to the success of the donations campaign.  In response to a successful round of fundraising he blogs, "Thank you so so much for all of your help, things are looking up money wise. Expect to see a few more lawyers on my responses!"

He says that any leftover money will be donated to the EFF.

And he says that if you can't donate, just spread the word about Sony's tactics.  He writes, "Let people know how you feel about what Sony is doing. Let Sony know how you feel about what Sony is doing."

III. Library of Congress -- No Love for the PS3?

Honestly, lawmakers often aren't aware of why people would want to jailbreak consoles and install Linux on them.  In fact they're probably, for the most part, not even aware people do such things.

Thus while smart phones received official endorsement to be jailbroken, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act seems to still outlaw jailbreaks on the iPhone.  Ultimately, these seemingly contradictory stances may offer the legal team of GeoHot grounds to challenge the legality of enforcing some jailbreaking provisions, but not others.

III. Why so Long Before a Hack -- Isn't the PS3 5 Years Old?

To better understand when it took five years for the PS3 to be fully cracked, you must understand that early in the device's life cycle Sony promoted openness and allowed users to install Linux on their consoles.  This made it the favorite console among many developers, hackers, and tech enthusiasts.

Then in Sept. 2009 Sony did an abrupt about face and banned Linux from its latest hardware refresh.

The effort to jailbreak the console was born out of the frustration of the company's users at this decision.

Sony's reputation is now in the dumps and is growing worse as they continue to attack GeoHot and threaten to sue anyone who posts the jailbreaking tools.

Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox 360 was hacked far quicker, and the company has since been waging war against the homebrew, modding, and piracy scene, banning users from Xbox Live.  While it's been criticized for that move, Sony has received even worse admonishment of late.  That's because, by contrast, Sony initially tried to appear "open" and now has slammed the door shut on enthusiasts/modders.

Members of Anonymous, the massive loosely organized collective of cheeky 4-Chan hackers, have proposed a boycott on all Sony products in wake of the lawsuit and Sony's tactics.

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RE: Consumer bans never work...
By AEvangel on 3/17/2011 1:56:38 PM , Rating: 3
Then you should have been way upset that that old lady took McD's to court over coffee being hot.

Ahh...the urban myth of the frivolous law suit...if you actually look it up she didn't get that much money and McD's was serving coffee way hotter then it needed to be, on top of that all the lady initially wanted was her medical bills paid.

Liebeck sought to settle with McDonald's for $20,000 to cover her actual and anticipated expenses. Her past medical expenses were $10,500; her anticipated future medical expenses were approximately $2,500; and her loss of income was approximately $5,000 for a total of approximately $18,000.[14] Instead, the company offered only $800. When McDonald's refused to raise its offer, Liebeck retained Texas attorney Reed Morgan.

RE: Consumer bans never work...
By Baltar on 3/17/2011 2:42:24 PM , Rating: 3
AEVangel: Actually, according to the wikipedia link you provided in your post, she proceeded to sue McDonalds when they would only compensate 800.

The end result is what I will paste:
They [Jury] awarded Liebeck US$200,000 in compensatory damages, which was then reduced by 20% to $160,000. In addition, they awarded her $2.7 million in punitive damages. The jurors apparently arrived at this figure from Morgan's suggestion to penalize McDonald's for one or two days' worth of coffee revenues, which were about $1.35 million per day.[5] The judge reduced punitive damages to $480,000, three times the compensatory amount, for a total of $640,000. The decision was appealed by both McDonald's and Liebeck in December 1994, but the parties settled out of court for an undisclosed amount less than $600,000.[19] [/Quote]

She got over $800, but it was less than $600,000.. I'd say it isn't much of a myth.. is it?

RE: Consumer bans never work...
By someguy123 on 3/17/2011 3:06:45 PM , Rating: 2
The myth was that she sued just because they spilled some coffee on her lap.

The reality was that it actually caused quite a bit of injury due to how incredibly hot the coffee was above McD's normal standards, and that they declined to pay for the damages it caused, instead trying to shoo her away with 800 dollars.

If they dropped something that sounded a little more dangerous than coffee, yet at the same temperature, people wouldn't have batted an eye. People just misconstrued the suit as frivolous because of the headlines.

RE: Consumer bans never work...
By JasonMick on 3/17/2011 3:33:54 PM , Rating: 3
The reality was that it actually caused quite a bit of injury due to how incredibly hot the coffee was above McD's normal standards, and that they declined to pay for the damages it caused, instead trying to shoo her away with 800 dollars.

If they dropped something that sounded a little more dangerous than coffee, yet at the same temperature, people wouldn't have batted an eye. People just misconstrued the suit as frivolous because of the headlines.

And neither of you have mentioned the reason *why* McDonalds was heating their coffee so extremely hot.

It was due to the fact that they were cost cutting and using poor quality grounds and too little of them, so were heating the coffee to much higher temperatures than competitors in order to produce the correct aroma out of the weak brew, tricking the customer into thinking they were getting a decent cup of joe.

Regardless of how you feel about the lawsuit, McDonalds was doing something unusual and the truth was pretty embarassing when it came out.

Hence all McDonalds efforts to advertise its new "premium" coffee and repair its image.

RE: Consumer bans never work...
By adiposity on 3/17/2011 10:56:20 PM , Rating: 2

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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