PS3 hacker George Hotz fights back against Sony lawsuit


The fight between Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) and famous jailbreak hacker George Hotz (aka GeoHot) continued this week, reports CNet. But this time, the jabs came from Hotz’s camp.

According to court papers published on, Hotz’s legal team, led by attorney Stewart Kellar, filed numerous motions on Friday that argue that the lawsuit against Hotz should be dropped altogether.

The first reason given by Hotz’s camp deals with SCEA’s attempts to establish Northern California as the appropriate jurisdiction for the case. The obvious place for the lawsuit to be filed would be in New Jersey, where Hotz lives and works. But according to Hotz’s defense team, SCEA is trying to stack the deck against Hotz by filing the lawsuit in the US District Court of Northern California, known for siding with technology companies over individuals.

SCEA says Northern California is the rightful place for the lawsuit to be heard, since some of the people who downloaded Hotz’s PlayStation 3 jailbreak live in California.

The company has worked tirelessly to justify the lawsuit’s current jurisdiction, having successfully received access to Hotz’s PayPal, YouTube and Twitter accounts, as well as logs related to his website, where the jailbreak hack was originally published. Those logs include the records of anyone who’s visited that site since January 2009.

Second, Hotz’s lawyers dispute the legitimacy of SCEA having the right to file the lawsuit, since the PlayStation 3 is sold and distributed by Sony of Japan, a separate corporate entity.

SCEA argues that it does have the right because it operates the PlayStation Network (PSN), and it is the PSN End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) that Hotz violated by accessing the network with a jailbroken PS3. Hotz’s lawyers, on the other hand, say that Hotz never had a PSN login, and his EULA remained sealed in its original packaging, so he never could have violated it since he never agreed to its terms in the first place.

This round of battle comes less than a week after SCEA accused Hotz of “fleeing” to South America to avoid the lawsuit. Hotz maintains that he was simply on vacation.

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