back to article Sony wins subpoena for PS3 hacker's PayPal records

A federal judge in San Francisco has given Sony permission to subpoena the PayPal records of George Hotz, the hacker being sued for jailbreaking the company's PlayStation 3 game console. Tuesday's order by US Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero said the information subject to Sony's subpoena “shall be provided on an Attorneys' …

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Stop

I Fail you Sony

Wow, Sony never changes.

How long until they lobby congress to make it the law that you need DRM implanted in your head?

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Never mind

Has Sony stopped stealing(allegedly) techs from LG yet?

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FAIL

They weren't

LG had to pay a very large fine to Sony for wasting everyones time and money in the Netherlands. Of course lots of sites didn't bother to report that in their one-sided reporting system..

As for this, clearly Sony are looking to see if GeoHot accepted any donations for opening the PS3 to piracy, if he did, (which is likely, as he is not just cocky, he is also greedy ) then it's pretty much good night...

I find it incredible that the less intelligent individuals here seem to blame Sony for removal of OtherOS (despite the chances of them actually having used it being slim to none), when infact it was removed AS A RESULT of GeoHot using it to try and break the system....

Selective memories methinks...

Downvote away freetards.

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Anonymous Coward

Mickey Mouse Implicated in Irrelevant Title Shocker

" when infact it was removed AS A RESULT of GeoHot using it to try and break the system...."

Yeah, now that they've closed that door the horse can't bolt again.

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WTF?

How does this stand in court?...

...Surely any money paid in to that PayPal account is a "gift", and cannot be directly linked to his PlayStation hacking site??

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Stop

Can we have the argument that hacking kills babies again?

Sony don't own one and never will.

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Objection!

Mr Hotz only started looking at the PS3 recently.

I object to private conversations which have nothing to do with Sony being released to them.

There will be a lot of very confidential information relating to other projects. Why has the judge allowed Sony access to this?

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FAIL

No Ties

Now that is just plain stupid. I unfortunately have to use eBay when buying/selling stuff on eBay, and the sellers or buyers may be all over the world but that does not mean that I "have ties to" wherever they may be. These are just one-off purchases/sellings, the only "ties" I have are in my home town in the UK.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Confused

I'm sure it's technically within the law, but I find it strange that a judge in California can sanction poking into his private affairs in order to determine if he can be tried in California. By allowing this the SF court has already decided it can. A bit circular.

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Paris Hilton

Well Done Sony - That Cost You A LCD TV and Blu-Ray Player...

I hope someone from Sony's reading this, because their sheer, utter bastardry in this matter actually changed my purchasing decision for a top of the line LCD TV and Blu=Ray player. I WAS going to get a Sony, but have opted for a SAMSUNG instead.

This is the only way large, idiotic companies like Sony learn. They act like prats, people don't buy their stuff. Sure, I'm only a single person and they wouldn't even miss my individual purchase as it probably doesn't even count as a rounding up error; but multiply my decision by, say, a thousand, and you have a six figure loss. Multiply it by more and then, and only (sadly) then, do companies like Sonly "get it".

Paris, because she has more brains than the whole board of executives of Sony.

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Unhappy

I haven't....

knowingly purchased a Sony manufactured or badged item since they 'root kitted' folks using CDs/DVDs on their PC's.

I will continue to boycott Sony Kit.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find alternatives to the products/services manufactured/supplied by these amoral companies. I include here MS, Google and Apple. I keep looking though.

I'm sure they don't consider themselves amoral but that is their corporate freedom and FoS allows me to believe and say as much, at the moment....

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Coat

I spent a short period...

...working for Sony in their Weighbridge unit a decade or so ago.

I bought a CD and tape walkman from the staff shop (discount was laughable) and the performance was lousy. I think the CD walkman is still in a drawer somewhere (my mobile phones have had MP3 players for ages) and the tape walkman was binned never having had a tape run through it from beginning to end ... I previously had a brushed metal tape walkman from another brand and loved it; but when it was stolen I couldn't find a replacement that lived up to it. (thief caught, did 100 hours community service and as he denied nicking the player I never saw it again)

Now... tape is dead ... and I haven't bought Sony for years. They've been on my no-buy list for ... oh ... more than a decade now.

I hear of friends who have problems with their new Vaios and then have problems claiming on the warantee (most of them are tightening hinge problems that eventually buid up so much tension that the screen cracks)

My TV's are Toshiba and Samsung; good quality at good money. My laptops are normally Toshiba.

As an amateur photographer I keep looking at the Sony kit but there is so much priorietary stuff going on with them; memory sticks, hot shoes, that Sony is a world of compatability pain that I don't really want to enter it.

Some of my friends are long term Sony fans from being in the film industry, but it seems that the shine is wearing off for more than a few of them; they realise that as consumers the level of support they get is a completely different world from the support they get as media professionals. The days when Sony were the technological kings have long gone; and it doesn't look like those are coming back.

They haven't really introduced anything that has really turned my head; only turned me further towards the off switch. The Win7 Xp compatability bios farce, they were the biggest ones to get hit with the CD rootkit scandal which shows exactly what they think of their customers, there was the PS3 Other OS removal, the vaio designs where the hard disk was located directly beneath where the user rests their hands without putting adequate structural support there, I mean, as a company I just ... don't like it.

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Yup

I've traded in my PSP, my PS3 has been exiled to my girlfriend's apartment in Denmark and I can safely say I've bought my last bit of Sony kit.

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Coat

Next up...

Pyrrhic victory?

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PS3 Hacker sued by Sony for cracking their software

A federal judge just told Apple that it was not illegal to jailbreak your iphone in order to unlock features or download other apps. Judge said once you purchase the item you can do what ever you want with it, including the software.

Interesting to see how this works out. What is even more troubling is the judge allowing Sony to view his paypal records, twitter accounts, etc.

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But....

In reality, it's 'OK' to jailbreak the phone beause doing so does not require you to do anything that breaks the DMCA, Jailbreaking the iPhone is not done through breaking encryption keys and re-distributing hacked firmware. Rooting a phone and installing custom firmware, on the other hand, would be actionable. Simply unlocking the phone isn't a major issue as long as you don't circumvent digital protection methods such as encryption and/or distribute copyrighted information.

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DMCA

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Giving power back to America's Corporations since 1998!

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WTF?

WTF!

How the f*ck does someone paying money into an account translate to a enough of a connection to sue him? Surely they need some evidence that Hotz actually knows the person making the payment?

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Anonymous Coward

@DavidD

It's an uniquely American thing. Unlike many other countries in the US different states have different judicial systems. This is compounded by the fact that the US is so large which makes travelling between places difficult and potentially very costly.

This causes the problem as shown here in that it is beneficial to be able to pick and chose which jurisdiction the case is tried in. Firstly it is best to have a jurisdiction that has proved itself to be sympathetic to your view rather than the other party's and also it is better to be able to work out of your own office, sleeping in your own bed and using your own, local law savvy lawyers.

Now, the reason for this subpoena is to see if Hotz actually does sufficient business in the contested jurisdiction. If he does (and particularly if state taxes are paid on that business) then the state has a very good argument to claim jurisdiction.

You can view it I suppose in the same vein as MS vs the EU. Because MS does plenty of business in the EU it is acceptable for the EU to claim jurisdiction regarding monopolistic behaviour etc.

Hope that explains things.

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P J

good luck with the door to door

If they want to know who in California donated, I think SONY are going to be busy knocking on quite a few doors.

Something Anonymous Coward said earlier though...

"...clearly Sony are looking to see if GeoHot accepted any donations for opening the PS3 to piracy..."

Is it possible SONY are trying to accuse him of taking monies from another large company such is Nicrosoft or Mintendo to throw a spanner in SONYs works? and therefor they are saying he would have been doing it for profit and not for his own personal use, which would then take the link to the iPhone jailbreak ruling out of the equation?

I donated when the legal fund request went up. Im just glad I dont live in the US.

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FAIL

It's hard to take sides

On one hand, I'd love to see Sony get sued out of their living daylights by LG. On the other hand, LG crossed the line when they tried to barge into homes in the Netherlands to confiscate consoles people paid for out of their own pockets.

I wish there was a third option - like the iOS compromise.

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Linux

Just another reason

Just another reason to not give Sony another dime of my money.

What scum.

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Pirate

Poor bastard

Looks like someone, maybe the EFF should provide a "how to hack without getting sued" kit for hackers intent on unlocking the full potential of their lawfully purchased hardware. (Big) Business uses lawyers to prepare for or avoid lawsuits, before they commit to an action. I'd suggest the rest of the world - at least the "civilised" , developed bit - should consider it as well.

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Thumb Up

Good

Nice one Sony. Now how many post are we going to get with people saying they should be able to do what ever they want with there consoles just because they own then ??? If u own a knife does that give u the right to stab people ? If u own a baseball bat are u allowed to smack people in the head with it ? If u own a sports car are u allowed to drive down the motorway at 180mph ??? No one has ever been allowed to do what they liked with something JUST BECAUSE THEY OWN IT. So why do people think it should be any different when it comes to the PS3 or the Iphone for that matter ????

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FAIL

Logic fail

Every example you provided directly results in injury or harm to another person, with the exception of driving over the limit on a motorway. That is considered wrong because we as a society have deemed that the potential risks at anything over 70mph are not worth the gain in speed.

There is no direct damage from "jailbreaking" a PS3.

The only argument that /might/ hold is that it /can/ be the first step towards piracy (still no proof of damage here, for every study put out the the copyright holders there's 2 contradicting ones from independent/consumer interest groups).

The analogy you were probably going for:

jailbreaking = owning a knife = owning a baseball bat

piracy = stabbing someone = beating someone (seems extreme, and we know how well those completely false "you wouldn't steal a car" adverts went down)

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Stop

There isn't enough facepalm in the world.

If you can't see how utterly idiotic that argument is then there's absolutely no point trying to reason with you.

Please (try to) get an education before they allow you to vote for pity sake.

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Grenade

Bad analogy

Better analogy: You buy a car and are not allowed to replace the lousy radio/cd player inside!

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Silver badge

Sir

So, troll-tard, by your reasoning, if I were to kick someone's head in with my trainers on, then Nike can sue me and obtain all my financial details and personal communications since I was born?

Please delete yourself and raise the average IQ of the site by several points will you?

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Paris Hilton

Ohhh the Epic fail in logic...

@Brian 6

Owning a knife and stabbing someone is inflicting physical pain on another human (horrible comparison) the same can be said for your Baseball bat comment as well. If I own a sports car and I drive it down the public motorway I am more often then not given a speeding ticket by the authorities. that being said if I own a sports car and I modify it Ferrari doesn't come after me and try and sue me for doing so.

Now lets flip this into an even simpler example. Your PC fan breaks down in your main machine. Now as a technically inclined El Reg reader you want to replace it. You then notice that there is an annoying little seal on the back of your machine with a nasty note from the manufacturer stating that if this seal is broken then they will refuse to support the machine. Based on your logic that company should then be allowed to sue you for opening and modifying their original hardware....(That last paragraph took effort for me to type the logic is so flawed and so ass backwards I don't know where to begin)

You Buy it. You own it. You can do with it as you please.

Paris because even she know's you're an idiot.

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I'm one of the people that believe

If you buy something you own it. You don't rent it or have to use it 'the way the manufacturer wants you to.' If I buy a knife and kill someone with it, I don't expect to be sued by Kitchen Devil. Fender did not sue Jimi Hendrix for playing his guitar upside down or for setting it on fire. It was his to do with as he wished. I'm sure there are many videos out there showing these illegal acts. Sony may not be happy, but tough shit, sueing is just stupid. Guess what, I opened my PS3 to see whats inside and I have put custom firmware on it. I'm quaking in my boots waiting for Sony to kick my door down for not using it 'Their Way'. Sony do not own me or MY property.

Note to Sony: This is last Sony product to enter my house, ever.

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Flame

Its a games console...

Its a games console. Thats what it is. Thats why u bought it. Are Sony trying to stop u playing games on it ??? Your surprised that an illegal mod that would allow u to run pirate games on your PS3 is upsetting Sony. Your seriously surprised that Sony (who make all there money from the software cos the PS3 is actually sold at a loss) want u to buy genuine games. That doesn't surprise me at all. @Every one who missed my point... If u were to illegally modify your Ferrari u would indeed be in trouble, Kicking someones head in wearing Nike trainers would not exactly please Nike either. My point was a cheap PC runs Linux better than a PS3. Sony wants u to get your games from a shop not a torrent site.

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Woah there Skippy

"Its a games console. Thats what it is." Nice opening statement from someone who was trying to compare it to a deadly weapon in his previous post. One thing that you've missed is that hacking a console != piracy. Some people have an interest in encryption systems and enjoy poking at the holes in things to see what happens. It's called curiousity. Merely inspecting and testing an encryption system does not automatically turn you into a freeloading pirate but in fairness, this fact seems to have escaped Sony, so I'm not too surprised it's gone over your head as well.

Oh, and for the love of all that is holy, would it really kill you to use some proper grammar, punctuation and spelling in your posts? It's really taxing having to translate "speekurbrainz" into English.

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WTF?

Illegally modify your Ferrari?

Such as adding an RPG launcher to the bonnet (to clear those pesky slower cars out of your way :o) ???

You CAN modify your Ferarri in any way you see fit - the question is whether or not those modifications allow it to be used legally on a public highway, which is another thing altogether...

Either way, Ferarri will not be taking you to court over your modifications.

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Stop

@Thomas 4

I wasn't comparing the PS3 to a "deadly weapon" I wasn't even saying that a knife is a deadly weapon. What I was pointing out was that mere ownership does not give u the right to do what u like with something. It never has done, nor should it. "Merely inspecting and testing an encryption system does not automatically turn you into a freeloading pirate." You really think thats the reason people were downloading these mods ??? Seriously ?? Just testing the encryption for Sonny were ya, sure m8. And just for the record there were no spelling mistakes in ma last post so my English is obviously better than yours.

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WTF?

Why is this being allowed?

Not understanding the legalities, how can this be allowed to happen?

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FAIL

What the fuck?

So in addition to getting the names and details of everyone that's visited his website, twitter feed, facebook page and heaven knows what else, they're now giving a company a free reign to go through his personal bank accounts?

I've never really cared too much about the whole jailbreaking thing (unless you count the unwarranted removal of OtherOS) but this has convinced me that I've bought my last Sony product, ever.

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Dead Vulture

Sony is going too far

Sony has gone too far....

RIP GeoHot

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FAIL

Well Sony

..Shouldn't they be helping their own people just about now instead wasting tons of money on useless lawyers?

Or they don't care about their home land?

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Anonymous Coward

Homeland

I think their CEO is Welsh isn't he?

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And?

Point still stands.

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WTF?

Forced him to sign a consent form.

As he obviously doesn't give his consent then how the fuck can he be forced to sign a consent form?

That elevates taking the piss to a whole new level.

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Anonymous Coward

Pay me now or pay me (more) later

If they can't sue in CA they'll file in NJ. It doesn't really matter as he's going to be convicted.

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Hackers!!! go get 'em Sony!

i hope Sony get everyone one of the hackers and bans the lot of em.

The way i see it is that one of them hacking swine owes me forty quid. they smashed up MW2 so that i was the victim of a hacked lobby that completed ALL of the challenges and emblems for me thereby taking away MY GAME!!

i can still play it of course but now with NO reward system cos some clever sm@rt@rse sussed out how to inflict THEIR game rules on me!!

I wish the hackers would stop insulting the majority of games console buying punters collective intelligence by making a stand for breaking into proprietary software under the banner of 'my hardware, my choice' when the first thing that happens is that innocent people get affected by their selfish decision.

if people want to jailbreak their devices then the very first thing that should happen is that they be competely excluded from going into network environments where non-hackers are. Its a juvenile power trip to inflict the hacks onto people that dont want anything to do with it.

like i say i hope everyone who has played a hacked game BY CHOICE gets banned for ever. and ever.

so there.

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Unhappy

Yeah but no

The people who hack games and ruin it for others online: yes, ban them.

But you don know that these cheaters are not the same people hacking/jailbreaking the PS3, right? These hacks have been around well before all of this, and can be through modded save files or switches.

Be angry with cheats, not legitimate hackers.

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Megaphone

Your an Idiot

@Brian 6

If you bought a sports car and wanted to fit new fat alloy wheels to it would you think it wrong if the manufacturer said you couldn't ? If you wanted to remap the ECU is it not the same as circumventing their software to make it go faster so how is it ok to do that ? If you own a knife and wanted to grind the end down and use it as a screwdriver is that ok? Finally if i owned a baseball bat i would seriously want to smack you round the head with it, he owns the console and if he wants to mess with it or throw it out of a 10 storey building wtf has it got to with Sony ?

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Sony, the Nazis of the digital era

Doesn't the Sony Libel Machine ever stop?

Surely making an example of one person will motivate a hundred more to pick up the batten once he's forced to drop it.

Sony are a multi billion dollar entity and are only punishing George Hotz because they can

No Sony products in my house either. Oops I lie, I have a PSP, but that's being used to keep a skew table level.

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grrrr

@Hugh_Janus

you may have missed the point... its fine to mess with whatever you own. But dont go into public environments with your modified stuff.. To continue the car analogy, if you fit non-standard anything, your warranty is void.. No problem with that, but if your mods make it so your insurance is null and void, i hope you dont crash into me!! YOUR decisions will have a negative affect on the other people around you and they have no choice to NOT be hit by you, the uninsured, selfish driver.

Mod all you want, just stay off the road/PSN network.

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Stop

Not sure if he has tried to access the PSN Network

They are suing him for cracking the console. Not for trying to access PSN with a modded console.

Mod if you want but if you do you can't get onto the PSN. Simples

Don't have a console so just a innocent bystander here.

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FAIL

fnaaaar

@badexec

My car is modified, I take it into public environments, car shows, large supermarket chains, local roads.

My mods don't invalidate my insurance as mr insurance man knows I have mods(actually turned out slightly cheaper than stock).

I still fail to see your point

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ping pong

when you are a responsible car owner and recognise your decisions have an impact on the common area (the highway) i applaud you for taking your decisions to your insurance company so that they still offer protection to you and other users of that environment.

If Sony decide that people who have modd'ed their devices and then go into the public environment shouldnt be allowed then fair play to them. Are they not protecting the vast majority of users who would possiby end up being crashed into (like i was)?

When Sony saw the OtherOS options was a route to exposing most of its users to unscrupulous hackers (ref another post - what is a legitimate hacker anyway?) i think they did the right thing removing it.

i have no issue with a 'hacked' PS3 being used in the same way as an unhacked PS3 but the reality is that is not what happens., A PS3 is hacked so that someone can run pirate software in the PSN envirnment or get an advantage over non-hacked console players. Sony have a duty to its MILLIONS of non-hackers more than to a handful of focussed individuals that want to show the world how clever they are and inflict their prowess onto the rest of us.

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