GeoHot donates funds for Sony’s PS3 hacking lawsuit to EFF

By on April 18, 2011, 11:05 AM
PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George Hotz, also known as GeoHot, has donated the remaining funds for his legal battle against Sony to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). He also says the battle with the PS3 will continue with or without him as others will continue to crack the latest firmware and find workarounds for the console:

As promised, all left over legal defense money, plus a little to bump it to a nice number, has been sent to the EFF. Thank you all so much for your support, without it, things could have been much worse.

This money goes to the EFF in hopes that America can one day again be a shining example of freedom, free of the DMCA and ACTA, and that private interest will never trump the ideas laid out in the constitution of privacy, ownership, and free speech.

At the end of the day, something I take comfort in. The PS3 got OWNED. "Once the code works they'll never be able to take it away from us."

Two months ago, GeoHot asked for donations to help pay for legal defense fees in his fight against Sony. At the time, he noted that the EFF provided some legal help and so leftover donations will go to them. Now he has delivered on that pledge.

Last week, Sony and GeoHot announced they had settled the lawsuit, though the terms were not fully disclosed. As such, GeoHot no longer needs money to fight the company.

Sony's legal attacks against the hackers that released the PS3 root key and custom firmware began three months ago. The group known as fail0verflow was accused of posting a rudimentary hack in December 2010 after finding security codes for the PS3. It was refined by GeoHot weeks later when he independently found and published the PS3 root key. The resulting hacks allow homebrew apps and pirated software to run on unmodified consoles. Sony is still threatening to sue anybody posting or distributing PS3 jailbreak code, despite the fact that the company accidentally tweeted the PlayStation 3 security key.

Sony largely won the legal battle. The company succeed in getting GeoHot to hand over his hardware, even demanding two copies of the data, one in encrypted and one in decrypted form. A federal judge allowed Sony to obtain the IP addresses of everyone who visited GeoHot's personal website for a period of 26 months (since January 2009) as well as the account names of anyone who has accessed a PS3 jailbreak video on the 21-year-old's YouTube account, his tweets relating to the hacking on Twitter, information on people who posted comments to his blog on Blogspot, and information about his account on the PSX-Scene website. The same judge also later granted the company access to GeoHot's PayPal account for the last two years.

Sony's official stance remains if you crack your PS3, you'll get banned. GeoHot has meanwhile moved on. When asked "Will you be continuing your work on Sony products anonymously?" he answered: "Nah. As much as I don't respect the goons at Sony, I do respect the court."

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