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Sony sues Hotz, hacking group over PS3 hacks

By Ed Oswald, Betanews

Sony has filed suit against George Hotz — more commonly known for his work in jailbreaking iPhones — and a hacker group called “failoverfl0w,” accusing both of copyright infringement and other related charges over their work to circumvent Sony’s PlayStation 3 copyright protection.

The Japanese game maker is partially at fault here, having failed to use properly secure cryptography in order to ensure that pirated software can not run on the console. Hackers discovered the private key, and now can allow copied versions of games to run on the console without any issues.

Hotz and the others are being charged with breach of contract, several copyright infringement charges, as well as violations of copyright law in the state of California. Sony seeks both injunctive relief and punitive damages.

“Hackers will succeed in their attempts to ensure that pirated software can be run on the PS3 system, resulting in the destruction of SCEA’s business” unless the court takes actions, Sony argues in the suit.

While failoverfl0w only published a video showing proof that the crack was possible, Hotz himself actually released a modified version of the PS3 hardware allowing for the running of non-signed software. It should be noted that originally hackers were looking to run Linux on the console, but it could just as easily be used for less than legal purposes as well.

Hotz seems not to be concerned about the legal action against him. “I would expect a company that prides itself on intellectual property to be well versed in the provisions of the law, so I am disappointed in Sony’s current action,” he told the BBC. “I have spoken with legal counsel and I feel comfortable that Sony’s action against me doesn’t have any basis.”

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court of Northern California.

Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2010

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