Geohot Vs Sony: Round 1

The legal battle between George Hotz and Sony is just beginning to heat up. Hotz filed his defense with the Court today, in which he rebuttals several of Sony’s claims. Of note: Hotz points out that he never accepted any form of payment through Paypal related to his PS3 hacking efforts. Additionally, he alleges no association or involvement with the fail0verflow hacking team.

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Zimmerman2836d ago (Edited 2836d ago )

Say an individual fiddles with hacking electronics for a hobby. This individual, after much effort, manages to find a way to develop games for his console of choice. Now lets say that this method also allows for games to be pirated, just by chance. (sound familiar?)

Being an awesome achievement for an individual, he naturally desires to share a game he has created with his friends. In order to get this game to work on their consoles, he teaches them how to make the necessary changes. All of them use this method honestly, and do not pirate any retail games.

Has anyone done wrong in this situation?

I'm not implying anything, I'm just curious to see what everyone here thinks.

I myself believe that no, they have not done wrong. The individual has pursued a hobby and he and his friends are reaping the rewards of hard work.

IMHO, it is only after an individual decides to pirate(steal) a game that a wrongdoing has occurred. Up until then it is harmless fun.

Having said that, it would still be irresponsible to distribute this method to others who are likely to use it in dishonest ways. The creators and inheritors of the method would therefore share a responsibility to NOT distribute it wildly, for they KNOW that it will often be used for ill-gotten gains.

Similarly, you would only tell a secret to someone you trust. If instead you tell everyone EXCEPT the person who is not meant to know, whose fault is it when word spreads so far that it cannot be contained?

Regardless of what the law says, these groups(Geohot included) have acted irresponsibly and are in the wrong. It is known that people will pirate games given the chance, and the only ones who could have prevented this have chosen to do the exact opposite, nullifying any honest endeavors in the process.


If a woman seduces a man she knows full well is married using recreational drugs, would you maintain that she is completely blameless?

I would say that this situation is much the same. The lure of such a massive library of free games will be very tempting to some, especially when partaking threatens no foreseeable consequences. The people who peddle this method are akin to the seductive woman, tempting otherwise honest people with an offer they cannot refuse. Both those who distribute and those who partake are in the wrong.

Edit: Sorry to type such a long rant. I don't usually have much to say, but when I do it tends to expand with every keystroke 8D

yewles12835d ago

"All of them use this method honestly, and do not pirate any retail games."


Zimmerman2835d ago

Haha I know, it is a bit of a stretch. Sadly, that is the point. These guys should know that people are going to pirate games, which means they are actively facilitating thievery with full knowledge of the fact.

DigitalRaptor2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )


It's like an animal protection campaigners releasing dangerous animals from an enclosure, to set them free with good intentions. Only for them to roam free and kill innocent humans.

What's the phrase? "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

fail0verflow2835d ago

they want it or not, they're responsible for enabling piracy, and huge loss for Sony

inveni02835d ago

Sony isn't charging them with pirating games, they're charging them with pirating PS3 code that they know will facilitate piracy and further copyright infringement.

altimako022835d ago

so if a car manufacture makes a car and people speed and kill someone it is the car manufacture problem because the manufacture did not make the car to do only the speed limit

Christopher2835d ago

***so if a car manufacture makes a car and people speed and kill someone it is the car manufacture problem because the manufacture did not make the car to do only the speed limit ***

Actually, car manufacturers are already limited to specifications to make their cars "street legal". It's the state and federal laws that determine what they can and can't make.

But, in doing so, the car manufacturers do not find and openly distribute the IP of others, thereby allowing the loss of business or worse of other companies.

The question here isn't what GeoHot and others do with their machine, it's what they did with someone else's IP. They own the hardware and can modify it as needed, but once they found obvious data that is the IP of Sony and modified and distributed it, they stepped over a line.

And, furthermore, any hacker knows that nothing is 'unhackable'. So, the concept that hiring these hackers would prevent their future products from being hacked is ludicrous.

altimako022835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

your opinion on crossing the line is YOUR OPINION . and car manufactures do allow ther products to be open to all who purchase it

Spitfire_Riggz2835d ago

Yeah that is bullcrap. I have visited some of the hacker forums just to see what they thought (they all hate sony by the way) and I noticed that on ever post 3/4 of the comments ask when backup managers will be possible. Doesnt sound honest to me.

HolyOrangeCows2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )


Exactly. GeoNotz is illegally distributing copy-protected code, with obvious intent to extort ("Quickz! Copy itz becaze Sony is restricting!").

pimpmaster2835d ago

this site really needs a geohot section at this point.

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FailOverHero2835d ago

I summon the power of Wall of Text!! Seriously though, that was quite wordy. You should write articles. In fact I think that comment may be longer than the actual article.

Acquiescence2835d ago

He formatted it perfectly and *gasp* used paragraphs.

RustInPeace2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

Wow, nice passive approach to be a douche and bash someone who just stated fact. We all know where you stand on this situation. In fact, I've never even seen your name until all these hacking articles rose up. But anyhow,on topic, I really hope that these scumbags get severe sentences (that is if they end up losing) since not only were they publicly gloating about what they were doing, but when the hammer was about to fall, they released the tools publicly to continue this work.

I get that hackers want to tinker with just about any electronics, but why is it that these "smart" people are sharing this information with ANYONE else? If I were a hacker myself, any information I ever gathered would either stay with me ONLY or just my "team", not some random people using it for malicious purposes.

Wouldn't it be better for a hackers ego to just do whatever they do and just keep it for their personal use (in this situation, just keep your hacked PS3 to yourself until you have someone around to show off what you've done. Making it public just makes/made them a target for attention.)

2835d ago Replies(1)
jerethdagryphon2835d ago

yes if at anypoint he altered of changed another personals data to acomplish this he violates copyright and if at anypoint he simply bypassed something he violates some fraud laws

regardless of reason its against the law most companys will ignore it if its done soley to something that cant hurt them for instance buying a prius and dropping a 12 liter lamboghini engine in there it does no harm to toyota theres nothing specifically secret or sensitive as the haynes manuals detail everything.

but in electronics data that is not made publisc is at best private or classified seeing someones code or similar security detials is a violation of there rights

Lord_Doggington2835d ago

it's not illegal to hack a GUI, FYI

jerethdagryphon2835d ago

in that case add unl;ess otherwise permited to my post

specialguest2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

Well said and written my good man. My brain cells are miraculously regenerating after years of losing brain cells from reading idoictic comments on N4G over the many years.


I saw a post the other day and it made it very clear...

If you know find out the code to my house alarm and have no bad intentions there is nothing wrong with that but the moment you walk down my block yelling it out you are...the moment you give access to something like the PS3 code to anyone who wants it then you are partially at fault for if games get pirated thus you should serve time in jail.

Thank you Zimmerman for you great post bubbles to you good sir :)

Lord_Doggington2835d ago

XMB is a GUI and unfortunately it's not illegal to hack a GUI, closed or not.

And as long as it's not for profit, it's not illegal to distribute code for a GUI because it's simply not illegal. The same goes w/ the iPhone OS. Geohot won that case, if you didn't know.

The defense will most likely bring up the case of OtherOS which was on the PS3 for YEARS. This clunky version of Linux was able to run emulators. The defense will probably mention that this is a form of enabling piracy, leaving the judge to surmise that the company is just as guilty for the crime they are accusing Geohot of committing.

And before you mention that XMB is a closed system. That doesn't really mean anything at all...

travelguy2k2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

If all GeoHot wanted to do was tinker with the GUI, he could have made a theme and submitted it and possibly made some money.

This does not really have anything to do with the XMB, but with the security of the hardware.

Lord_Doggington2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

The tinkering of the GUI is one of the charges that Sony is bringing up against Geohot.

The security keys of the software is another issue, however. Unfortunately for Sony, Geohot has already won this case w/ the hacked security keys on the iPhone:

"allow iPhone owners to use their phones with applications that are not available from Apple's store, and to unlock their iPhones for use with unapproved carriers."

That application portion is what they will base their case around. If they cite the results from that case in this case, it will be no problem for Geohot to sidestep this whole thing.

The only speed bump that Geohot will hit is the fact that he broadcast it over twitter/youtube which MAY prove intent. It's a longshot and the California court will probably take his youth into consideration. The idiot is only 21 years old. Barely old enough to drink.

If they were being prosecuted in Texas or something, then they would probably throw the book at him. But they're prosecuting in California, where they're willing to listen/consider different angles. Could be good for Sony, could be bad.

Either way this is a stupid move for Sony. The damage is done. It's out there. There's nothing they can do now. They're only feeding the ego of a 21 year old kid who will easily cite his recent win against Apple and walk away a free man w/ notoriety.

joeorc2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )


we have gone on over this's not just a GUI they are Hacking!

for everyone claiming the suit he won over for the Iphone, that was not the same thing as this...Hack

for everone who keeps claim it..please read that case an it's exemptions!

the_best_player2835d ago

Geohot won last time with Iphone

Lord_Doggington2835d ago

yup, which will make it so much easier to win against Sony.

mantisimo2835d ago

cell phones are treated differently in law.

UnwanteDreamz2835d ago

Thinking he will win because Apple couldn't make their charges stick is folly.

Go ahead and assume he will walk away a free man. I'll wait and see because you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

Did do anything with the Iphone that would have allowed free phone service? If not then this isn't going to go the same way.

darx2835d ago

Sony is not going to win this case.

ropelli902835d ago

"Did do anything with the Iphone that would have allowed free phone service? If not then this isn't going to go the same way."

@ UnwanteDreamz

Actually he did something that allowed free games on iphone. How is that not going to go the same way?

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UnwanteDreamz2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

I read Sony's filings the abridged version.

Geo really screwed himself when he mentioned working for Sony (can be looked at as an attempt to extort for employment.

18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(7)(B) – Intent to Extort

18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(4) – Intent To Defraud And Obtain Value

He then really screws himself to no end in admiting that this can be used for piracy and then still releasing the info.

18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5)(B) and (C) – Intentional and Reckless Damage And Loss

This shows that he knew that this could cause harm to Sony business and he still released they keys.

This wont end up good for him. I can't comment on failoverflow because I am not sure what law Sony wants to accuse them of breaking.

Proxy2835d ago

Anything which facilitates illegal activities should itself be illegal. This includes PS3 hacks, guns, cars, and pick axes. I still haven't decided if writing utensils should be illegal - but they are very sharp...

UnwanteDreamz2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

Straw Man Fallacy

You are twisting the argument into something else to win it. No one is saying all things that could be used illegally should be illegal. So try to stay on topic.

Let me try your tactic

Did you know you can be charged with manslaughter for over serving an individual alchohol if that individual then kills a person while driving drunk? Alchohol is legal and legal to serv.

Proxy2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

It's clearly illegal to over serve alcohol.

Hacking is not clearly illegal (as case rulings are all over the place). In many cases hacking has been ruled legal. Thus the PS3 hacks are a legal activity which can lead to illegal activity. Similar to legally selling a gun which enabled illegal activity. If your within the law, your not responsible.

Versus over serving alcohol which is illegal activity leading to more illegal activity.

To my knowledge the Sony papers are not alleging piracy.

Anon19742835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

"Has anyone done wrong in this situation?"

Yep. The second the first guy tried to circumvent copyright locks and security in place on the console. That's illegal.

That's really kinda the thing about the law. As citizens, we aren't really supposed to be deciding which laws we agree with and which ones we choose to follow. You might not think circumventing copyright protection on a system is a big deal and might choose to ignore the law, but that doesn't mean it's any less illegal than the guy who thinks it's ok to knock over liquor stores because "those guys have insurance" and decides to knock over a liquor store.

Zimmerman2835d ago

I touched on the point you have made in a comment on another article, actually.

While anarchy would ensue if everyone suddenly decided to do what they thought was best, it is still our job as a society to COLLECTIVELY decide which laws should be followed. That is the true idea behind democracy, albeit the mechanics do function a little differently in the real world.

Blindly following laws simply BECAUSE they are laws is a potentially dangerous thing. Good laws should not clash with the whole of society, though they are bound to clash with different individuals.

"Yep. The second the first guy tried to circumvent copyright locks and security in place on the console. That's illegal. "

Does illegality equate to wrongdoing? Many laws are in place to prevent the opportunity for wrongs to occur, such as the one you are citing. Because they have circumvented copyright lock and security, they have enabled piracy.

However, it is not the actual act of circumvention that is wrong, it is the piracy. Had they kept this a secret amongst themselves and enjoyed it honestly, nobody would have been hurt.

It bothers me that people seem to think that illegal IS THE SAME as wrong, even in a moral sense.

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Balt 2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

So, let's see here --

A) It's perfectly alright to buy your games used from Gamestop and Amazon and from various pawn shops. And let's face it, most of you probably live mere blocks away from some right now.


B) You think hacking a console is wrong because it's taking money away from developers.

Shut the **** up!

P.S. George will win this case without even showing up. Wait and see.

FailOverHero2835d ago

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit?
CG is right, lets not get all lawyered up and start trailing each other, won't change a darn thing. Best we can do is wait and see. I for one am tired of playing devil's advocate

dragon_rocks2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

Lets analyze your used games argument. First to buy used games, people must pay the price and get the used game. So it means it is still keeping financial transaction active and hence keeping some jobs alive somewhere thereby contributing to economy (not everywhere people can buy/download online). Sure its hurting the developers since less new copies of games are being sold but companies can try to attract buyers by offering one time usable codes for additional content like costumes, special guns, extra levels etc. etc. which will be missed out in used copies.

Now if you try and equate this to piracy, lets see, people just sit at home and at very low expense of electricity and net fee, can download games and play them from their hard drives etc. Or maybe someone downloads the games, burns them to disk and then sells them ILLEGALLY to others for low price. You see here, they both are not the same. The piracy aspect not only affects publishers/developers but affects economy in other ways as well.

Nitrowolf22835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

the huge difference is this.

Buying a used game means developer already got their money for it.

So say 5000 People bought Cod used. Thats already 5000 Copies sold and devs made money from.

5000 bought used = around 5000 used copies (returns also are considered used someplaces)

Now say 5000 People pirated that game. Here what it means.
1 user who bought the game legit can upload his copy to the net, so in this case
5000pirated version could = 1 sold copy only that was put up for download.

there is a big difference between buying used and pirating. I don't understand how devs can say that buying used games is almost as bad as pirating when in fact it could be far off, with the example i showed you.

even if people returned the games, there are still going to be copies sold with used compare to pirated copies

kindi_boy2835d ago

if 5000 copies were sold that means the developers got the 5000 worth of copies.

so if the buyers sell their 5000 copies and they become used, and other 5000 people bought those.

there are 10000 people played the game.

so how much did the developers get ? still 5000 worth of copies.

so 5000 people still STOLE 5000 copies FROM the developers EVEN IF THEY STILL paid, why because they paid someone else and not the publisher.

it doesn't matter 1 = 5000 copies stolen, they are BOTH WRONG and considered stealing.

"but but but we are still supporting the developer because we bought used games they still got their sweat worth"...ya right 5000 copies short, what a bunch of hypocrites.

Nitrowolf22835d ago

wow, devs are still loosing more money compared to used.
Even with your example devs would be better off with the used copies, even if they don't profit off it.

i don't recall anyone saying that devs are still being supported with used copies, but when you show it like i did its more better for devs to have user buy use then pirate.

And no selling used games is not wrong since it's your property, infact a case about someone buying a used software from a garage sale ruled that its allowed for people what ever they want except back it up and distribute that back up.

Would you rather have $60 and have 5000 nonprofitable copies

or would you rather have $300,000 with 5000 nonprofitable?

UnwanteDreamz2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

@ Bait

Wow you don't have any idea what you are talking about kid. If he doesn't show up he will be in contempt of court and a warrant for his arrest could be issued. He could also lose by not appearing.

The rest of your comment is just as ignorant.

NexGen2835d ago

Never been sued before? Lawyers file motions to dismiss charges before trial begins. A dismissal is a win, and is typically done without the defendant present. As in: win without showing up.

kindi_boy2835d ago

I actually agree with you on this.

They don't see it because they don't want to.

if 5000 copies were sold that means the developers got the 5000 worth of copies.

so if the buyers sell their 5000 copies and they become used, and other 5000 people bought those.

there are 10000 people played the game.

so how much did the developers get ? still 5000 worth of copies.

so 5000 people still STOLE 5000 copies FROM the developers EVEN IF THEY STILL paid, why because they paid someone else and not the publisher.

"but but but we are still supporting the developer because we bought used games they still got their sweat worth"...ya right 5000 copies short, what a bunch of hypocrites.

Exquisik2835d ago

Please read Nitrowolf2 post.

Thank you very much.

Nitrowolf22835d ago

read my reply to your post above

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ChristianGamer2835d ago

Let's just all take a breath and not pretend we are lawyers. There's really no use in us battling it out here, won't change whatever outcome this will have. That said, I don't think Sony's got a chance here, the law is pretty clear on this and ah ah ah ah, I got you! I was just kidding on that last part.

Call_me_Ishmael2835d ago

his name is George?????lol wtf

anyways,i hope this win goes out to sony,ive had it with this guy,he was the sole reason sony removed other os

FailOverHero2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

Compelling. Like the way you laugh at his name, George, lame right? I mean yeah, what kinda stupid name is that? Who names their kid that amarite?? Yeah no totally wtf is exactly what I thought too. Because I thought his name would be something awesome like Budakai or Logan or Ishmael or something else cool like that right?

Call_me_Ishmael2835d ago

whats wrong with you man,lol you butthurt???
ive seen you before on the other articles defending hackers and fail0verflow,you a fan of him,what,do you let him bang your mom too?

RSPproductionz2835d ago

I take it your George Hotz then? Hot by name but not by nature

GodsHand2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

Curious George always gets into trouble, have you never read any of his books?

NatureOfLogic2835d ago

"ive seen you before on the other articles defending hackers and fail0verflow,you a fan of him,what,do you let him bang your mom too?"

same can be said about all you butthurt sony fanboys, and seriously, laughing at someones name grow up.

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Acquiescence2835d ago

It's like calling a kid Alfred or Herbert for heavens sake!

mantisimo2835d ago

Rather suspect that BALT calls him by his christian name when everyone else calls him Geo?


Call_me_Ishmael2835d ago


dude,when did i ever laugh at his name,fact is i was laughing cause instead of using the name george(whis is my brothers name for a fact)he chooses to use a stupid name like geohot
and i respect any feeling and opinions that you would like to express on n4g but please keep the fanboy name calling to a minimum.

Captain Tuttle2835d ago

So apparently Sony sent GeoHot a $1 donation via Paypal on his iPhone hacking site as proof that he is taking money for his PS3 hack.

R_aVe_N2835d ago

I don't think he has a different site for the PS3. If he was dishing out code on that site yes all it would take is 1 dollar to get him in trouble I think. I got in trouble in the past for taking donations on a fansub site for anime for the same reason. It wasn't even fansubs that I made it was for hosting of the site.