Sony Hits Snag in PS3 Hacker Court Case

January 14, 2011 -

Wired reports that Sony's lawsuit against PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz hit a snag today when a federal court judge questioned whether California was the right jurisdiction to hear the case.

Sony sued Hotz on Tuesday, alleging that when Hotz posted the code to crack the PlayStation 3, he breached the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions. Sony asked the court to compel Hotz to remove any code he uploaded last week.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said she had concerns about whether or not the lawsuit should be tried in her courtroom. She also wondered if New Jersey, Hotz' home state, would be a better venue to try the case - after all, this was where Hotz' conducted most of his internet activities.

"I’m really worried about the jurisdictional question," the judge said from the bench during a 20-minute hearing - reports Wired.

Attorney James Gilliland Jr., representing Sony, argued the case should proceed in San Francisco because Hotz posted the hack using Twitter and YouTube, and that he had received donations via PayPal. Hotz’ attorney denied the allegation that he ever received donations.

By that logic, the judge countered, "the entire universe would be subject to my jurisdiction."

Gilliland countered that the PlayStation 3's terms-of-service agreement requires that all legal disputes be settled in federal court in California.

"Serious questions have been raised here," the judge said, adding that she would rule at a later date.

We'll continue to follow this story as it develops.


Comments

Re: Sony Hits Snag in PS3 Hacker Court Case

The PlayStation Network agreement stipulates this.  That's the entire basis for the jurisdiction argument, as I understand it.  This has absolutely nothing to do with the PSN.  Hotz didn't use any PSN code in his hack, and he doesn't even have a PSN account.  He never would have agreed to those terms at any point.  Sony is full of shit on this one, though that's not surprising.

Re: Sony Hits Snag in PS3 Hacker Court Case

Strange, I didn't know that corporations could dictate to judges whether they should be trying a case or not through paperwork the judge wasn't even aware existed. I thought it was about the jurisdiction under law, not what the Corporation wants, that defined these things?

Re: Sony Hits Snag in PS3 Hacker Court Case

My thoughts exactly. I can understand that clause in the user agreement working in Sony's Defense when someone sues sony, but how could it possibly work in favor of sony sueing someone else.

Sounds like a clause the RIAA would use to prevent poor people from being able to travel to mount a defense.

Re: Sony Hits Snag in PS3 Hacker Court Case

Part of the case probably concerns a breach of the EULA, and the jurisdiction clause contained within it would apply; and might allow Sony to make the claim in that jurisdiction. Essentially both parties have agreed to resolve any dispute in a particular jurisdction in the contract itself.

However, the claim under the DMCA would not be affected by the jurisdiction clause and that may be why the judge is nervous over taking that claim wihtout proof as to her jurisdiction in the matter.

Gus

Re: Sony Hits Snag in PS3 Hacker Court Case

I wasn't aware that the RIAA could do that, even though it makes sense.

 - W

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: Sony Hits Snag in PS3 Hacker Court Case

I can't say for sure that the RIAA lawyers have done this, they just came to mind, but it is a well known legal strategy, and it's been used LOTS.

You live in New York

Someone you want to Sue lives in Australia.

You sue them in the state of new york, knowing they cannot come to defend themselves.

 
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NeenekoI keep forgetting we even have forums.10/02/2014 - 11:48am
ZippyDSMleeA shame we can't have good convos in the forums, seems to me its time to nuke and restart fresh on them.10/02/2014 - 11:45am
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E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, No problem. In juicy conversations, key points of discussion get pushed off quickly.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
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Papa MidnightTo a point stated earlier, it very much is a form of indirect censorship. Rather than engage in rhetoric and debate, one side has instead chosen to cut-off opposing viewpoints at the knees and silence them via destroying their means of income.10/02/2014 - 11:28am
Papa MidnightNeeneko: the topic of Intel's dropping of Gamasutra is indeed part of this very ongoing conversation.10/02/2014 - 11:26am
NeenekoThis can't be good... http://games.slashdot.org/story/14/10/02/1558213/intel-drops-gamasutra-sponsorship-over-controversial-editorials10/02/2014 - 11:25am
Andrew EisenAnd there's also the consideration that the fact that a former IGN editor was one of the people who worked on the game's localization may be unknown (although in this specific case, probably not. Drakes been very visible at events IGN covers).10/02/2014 - 11:24am
Papa MidnightAlso, let's face it: people seem to believe that a conflict of interest can yield only positive coverage. Who is to say that Audrey Drake did not leave on bad terms with IGN (with several bridges burned in their wake)? That could yield negative coverage.10/02/2014 - 11:23am
Papa MidnightThat's a fair question, and it's where things get difficult. While Jose Otero may not have any cause to show favor, Jose's editor may, as may the senior editor (and anyone else involved in the process before it reaches publication).10/02/2014 - 11:21am
Andrew EisenWould such disclosure still be required if Fantasy Life were reviewed by Jose Otero, who wasn't hired by IGN until sometime after Drake left?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
Papa MidnightIn that case, a disclosure might be in order. The problem, of course, is applying it on a case-by-case basis; As EZK said, what's the cut-off?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
E. Zachary KnightAndrew, a disclosure would probably be in order as she likely still has a strong relationship with IGN staff. My follow up question would be "What is the statute of limitations on such a requirement?"10/02/2014 - 11:09am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, my hyperbole was intended to illustrate the difference and similarity between direct censorship and indirect censorship.10/02/2014 - 11:07am
Andrew EisenOpen Question: Former IGN Nintendo editor Audrey Drake now works in the Nintendo Treehouse. Do you think it's important for IGN to disclose this fact in the review of Fantasy Life, a game she worked on? Should IGN recuse itself from reviewing the game?10/02/2014 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, My thoughts on disclosure: http://gamepolitics.com/2014/09/25/what-your-gamergate-wish-list#comment-29598710/02/2014 - 11:02am
Sleaker@EZK - using hyperbole is a bit silly. I'm asking a serious question. Where's the line on disclosure as relates to journalistic involvement in the culture they report on?10/02/2014 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightSo a journalist reporting on general gaming news mentions a specific developer and their game involved in said news, and it is suddenly some nefarious conspiracy to hide a conflict of interest. I think someone is reaching for validation.10/02/2014 - 10:53am
 

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