updated 04:15 pm EST, Wed January 12, 2011
Sony sues Geohot and fail0verflow over PS3 cracks
Sony on Tuesday quietly accompanied its restraining order attempting to silence the discoveries of permanent PS3 jailbreaks by filing a lawsuit against its discoverers. Both the Fail0verflow team and George Hotz, better known as original iPhone unlocker Geohot, were accused of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's rules against bypassing locks. It further accused the two of contributing to copyright infringement and breaking both the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as California's Computer Crime Law.
The San Francisco-based lawsuit also made claims that were unlikely to be legally enforceable, including violating the PSN's Terms of Service agreement, interfering with other PSN members and trespassing on Sony's "right" to own the PS3.
Sony hopes to prevent the jailbreak from being distributed and would permanently confiscate any computers and devices that had the code.
It's expected that the targets will contest the lawsuit and could rely on the Electronic Frontier Foundation or a similar advocacy group for legal defense. They may rely on a recent Library of Congress ruling that cleared jailbreaking for fair use. Sony would likely dispute any such argument and insist that the hacks were used only for piracy.
Those launching the hacks only felt them necessary after Sony artificially removed the official option of installing an alternate OS such as Linux. It claimed to be shutting down the option for security but is widely known to have done so to close off an easy piracy conduit. Simultaneously, though, it shut out legitimate alternate uses such as a NASA computer cluster.