California District Court Judge Susan Illston (San Francisco) denied Sony's request for "expedited discovery" this week, dashing the company's hopes that it could force technology companies to release information related to the George Hotz case. The company will have to wait until a hearing on March 11, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.
This means that, for the time being, Sony cannot send out any of the subpoenas to various tech companies such as Slashdot, Google, Twitter, etc. Sony had hoped to divulge the identities of hacking group Fail0verFlow's membership, which would allow it to add their names to the ongoing legal action against Hotz.
The court also granted George Hotz a hearing today to discuss the Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) - previously granted without a hearing. The issue at hand continues to be whether or not the court actually has jurisdiction because the actions of Hotz took place on the Internet and from his computer which physically resides in New Jersey.
Hotz wanted expediency for the TRO hearing because Sony was set to take posession of his property as ordered by the court. From court documents:
"If a hearing is not held by February 10, 2011, Mr. Hotz will be forced to surrender his storage devices to Plaintiff SCEA, and will continue to be restrained, without a hearing or consideration of the substance of the TRO Order. A hearing is also needed so that Mr. Hotz may limit the breadth and vagueness of the TRO."
The judge agreed:
"Having considered the Motion for An Order Shortening Time for Hearing Motion for Hearing on Temporary Restraining Order by Defendant George Hotz, the supporting declaration of counsel, and all papers and arguments, and good cause appearing therefore, the Court hereby GRANTS the Motion. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: Hearing on Mr. Hotz’s Motion for Hearing on Temporary Restraining Order shall be held on February 10, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. IT IS SO ORDERED."
I hope that we can bring you the results of that hearing later today. Stay tuned. In the interim, you can check out the court documents below: