Over the last couple of weeks we have heard quite a bit about GeoHot and FailOverflow’s hacking exploits on the PS3 and how they have pretty much cracked it wide open for Homebrew applications and subsequently pirates to exploit.
When the BBC asked him about a possible lawsuit he had the following to say
I am confident I would win since what I released was just a number obtained by running software on the PS3 I purchased
But that isn’t entirely true in the eyes of the law.
Today Sony filed suit against GeoHot and FailOverflow on the following counts
18 U.S.C. Â§ 1030(a)(2)(C) – Confidential Information On Computer
18 U.S.C. Â§ 1030(a)(4) – Intent To Defraud And Obtain Value
18 U.S.C. Â§ 1030(a)(5)(A) – Knowing Transmission of Code
18 U.S.C. Â§ 1030(a)(5)(B) and (C) – Intentional and Reckless Damage And Loss
18 U.S.C. Â§ 1030(a)(6)(A) – Trafficking in Password
18 U.S.C. Â§ 1030(a)(7)(B) – Intent to Extort
Now I’m no lawyer but that looks like a scary list of easy wins for Sony that could put GeoHot out of the hacking game permanently.
Specifically the one I highlighted which was added to the law books as part of the infamous Patriot Act basically means if Sony can prove that his publication of the code caused them harm and he knew it would then he is guilty.
Sony’s going to be throwing everything they have at these guys and while it seems monumentally unfair I do think that GeoHot crossed the line by releasing the code publically knowing full well that it will result in a string of piracy on the console.
FailOverflow do seem to be a more innocent bystander on this occasion from my current point of view.
Here are the legal documents currently being hosted on Geohots site
Last Updated: January 12, 2011