Court Order Against Playstation 3 Hacker Delayed

ps3Console maker Sony felt a blow Friday, January 14, when a California-based District Judge ruled against issuing a court order for a Playstation 3 hacker due to jurisdiction issues.

“I’m really worried about the jurisdictional question,” said Judge Susan Illston.

The case is that Sony is demanding hacker George Hotz (codenamed Geohot) to surrender the technology and/or code to root access to the PS3 into using software (including pirated and homebrew software) not approved by Sony. Hotz then used Twitter and YouTube to distribute the code in the Internet. An allegation was also made that he used PayPal to receive donations for the hack.

Sony then filed a lawsuit in California saying that the case can proceed since Twitter, YouTube and PayPal are all based in the state.

The 21-year-old Hotz, however, is from New Jersey and thus the hacking is believed to have occurred and have started there.

The California judge then said that if she were to accept Sony’s arguments then “that would mean the entire universe is subject to my jurisdiction, and that’s a really hard concept for me to accept.”

However, Sony countered by stating that the terms-of-service agreement for the PS3 stipulates that legal disputes shall be settled in a California federal court.

The judge then said that she would make her ruling another time.

Hotz stresses that he did not do anything wrong. Sony is saying that he breached the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Last year, the US Copyright Office made hacking or jailbreaking iOS-based devices (so that it can run applications not authorized by Apple) as a lawful activity.