updated 05:00 pm EDT, Mon March 28, 2011
Defendant trying to keep case out of California
Lawyers defending PS3 jailbreaker George Hotz have responded to Sony's latest court filing with a scathing rebuttal that rejects nearly all of the company's accusations. The attorneys continue to fight Sony's request for a trial in California, arguing that the PlayStation hardware and firmware is produced by the company's Japanese division rather than the California-based Sony Computer Entertainment of America branch.
Sony recently accused Hotz of registering the PSN account name 'blickmaniac,' despite the defendant's assertion that he had not registered an account. His lawyers suggest the PlayStation serial numbers do not match, while someone else has claimed ownership of the same account.
The debate surrounding PSN accounts is viewed as significant, as many of Sony's arguments center around the allegation that Hotz accepted the PSN terms of service. The lawyers further claim that the TOS refers only to software, while it was allegedly created after the time-frame in which Hotz was accused of opening an account.
"The sole way SCEA attempts to demonstrate that 'blickmaniac' is Mr. Hotz is an unauthenticated and hearsay blog posting where an individual attempts to sell an unlocked cell phone -- which is not unusual and major product retailers like Amazon.com sell," the filing reads. "Curiously, a search for 'blickmanic' also yields a hearsay blog posting where an individual using the name 'eepog' claims that he is the owner of the 'blickmanic' account and states 'the PSN account was created by me!!!'"
Hotz' attorneys argue that SCEA cannot justify pushing for jurisdiction in California on the basis of download locations. The team suggests the trial should be pursued in New Jersey, as Hotz is a young individual without the resources of a large corporation.
"SCEA filed this action, claiming jurisdiction over Mr. Hotz is proper in California. SCEA then flooded the docket with affidavits from its lawyers and employees, offering ambiguous and misleading information. SCEA then indicated that it would undoubtedly confirm that jurisdiction in California is proper for Mr. Hotz through jurisdictional discovery," the lawyers argue. "Now, after Mr. Hotz's computer hard drives, and a graphing calculator have been impounded, and Mr. Hotz' discovery responses have been timely submitted, SCEA still is unable to present evidence to refute the jurisdictional challenges asserted by Mr. Hotz. Instead, SCEA has only continued to flood the docket with dubious information, such as irrelevant hearsay blog postings filed under seal, and misleading affidavits from enigmatic employees with no explanations of the source of their personal knowledge."
Sony is further accused of serving a "slew of premature and abusive discovery documents," along with "numerous frivolous subpoenas to harass Mr. Hotz." Aside from the core accusations regarding DMCA violations, the company's recent filings accuse Hotz of removing parts from hard drives involved in the case and departing to South America to interfere with the discovery process. [via Groklaw]