Sony Wins Subpoena For Geohot’s PayPal Records

It has been reported that Sony has been given permission to subpoena the PayPal records of GeoHot in the ongoing PS3 jailbreak court case. Geohot’s argument is that as he is a resident of New Jersey, the federal court in Northern California does not have the authority to try him.

Sony say otherwise, and this subpoena covers “documents sufficient to identify the source of funds in California that went into any PayPal account associated with [email protected] for the period of January 1, 2009 to February 1, 2011.” Any relevant information can then be used to prove GeoHot does indeed have ties to Northern California.

Source: The Register



  1. Sorry are certainly on the ball with this. They’re getting into any of GEOHOT’s nook and crannies (no sexual pun intended) they can to make a big example for him, and it with the recent testimony from a hacker saying the PS3 appeared refortified and they weren’t interested in cracking it, it seems to be working.

    • *Damn spell check, that first word should be ‘Sony’… obviously.

    • Erm What Sorry?

      • It was a quote from Alan Partridge but right as I posted it I realised how obscure it was! Soz

      • An Alan Partridge reference obscure? Why I never.

      • Ohhh, ok. Had a bit of a panic there for a momen, Ha!

      • Not that obscure, I got the Partridge reference!

      • Smell my cheese you mother!

      • Jurassic Park!

  2. As I have said before, I hope Sony Crush him as piracy on any console sucks big time.

    Piracy is Fork Hunts.

    • +1 to this. I dont care if he says that he has the right to mess with the console because he owned it. The fact he released the keys is why hes going down as an example that in the real world no court would back him up.

    • What so special about piracy on a console?

      So is piracy alright for Books/TV/Movie/Music etc?

      • I’m pretty sure that your comment is irrelevant here. This article/site is about consoles, therefore talking about piracy being bad for consoles makes sense. At no point in the comments above does it suggest that any other form of piracy is ok.
        I’m not trying to bait an argument here, it just seems like a fairly weird take on a reasonable response from foxhound.

      • Sony Wins Subpoena For Geohot’s PayPal Records.

        Take note of the title and the use of the name “Sony”

        Sony do sell Books/TV/Movie/Music items. As such it very relevant.

      • All I’m saying if we’re going by the title here, is that this article is in reference to the ps3. Yes all piracy is bad and shouldn’t be overlooked. I apologise if I have misunderstood your comment somewhat I just thought it seemed as though you thought foxhounds comment was blinkered towards consoles.

      • Don’t feed the troll.

    • As my 2nd sentence states!

      Piracy is Fork Hunts! Not Consoles Specific and nothing else piracy. Piracy!

      Piracy of any kind is fork hunts!

      • Yes that’s what I attempted to point out to him. At least it’s not just me that read his comment as being a bit harsh.

  3. Sony wants there cake and eat it. They want you to buy you PS3 and tell you what you can or can not do with afterwards. This dosn’t happen anywhere else. I buy a PC with Windows, I can install Linux/QED/AROS etc on there, the manufacture or mircosoft do not have a problem with this.

    But Sony do have rightful right when comes to there works, ie there OS for PS3 (firmware). If take that and change it an create derivative you have breaken the law as Sony own the copyright to that firmware. But it is not as black and white as that. If you need something from firmware ie encripion codes to create new firmware of your own then that should be alowed. As was designed to need that in first place.

    Never forget Sony did make massive mistake with encription in the first place. And wasn’t Sony who found this out and they have the source code.

    I am not pro-piracy or any of that but I would say that I am not a saint ether. I did use Napster years ago ;)

    • Not if said custom firmware allows piracy, hacking and ruining other peoples online gaming experiences it shouldn’t. Which is what GeoHot’s work did. Which is illegal. It’s not as black and white as you make it out to be. When you buy a PS3 you buy the console, not the firmware as you said. Sony are entitled to do what they want with the firmware and their online service which is why you can have custom firmware but no PSN access. In buying a PS3 you agree to these terms and conditions so you cant complain. You can feel free to open your PS3 up, use it as a processor, throw it down the stairs to see if it can withstand the shock, convert it into a combined games, toaster and kettle machine, whatever you like. What you are not allowed to do is manipulate the software or hardware in order to allow piracy, which is illegal. As with anything, there are limits.

      What’s more, just because sony made a mistake in the encription does not give anyone the right to exploit it, just as no one would have the right to take the money out of some old dears purse that she left open and on display. You could, but it’s wrong.

      • Hear frickin’ hear!

      • When I buy a car, I am not allowed to use green diesel.
        Because that would be illegal. Simple as.

      • You are very ill informed….Geohots “Patch” which was not a custom firmware did nothing to enable piracy, it was what came after by other people that enabled piracy, since Geohots “Patch” blocked the back up mangagers and whatever they needed to work.

        If you are going to have a discussion please try to get informed instead of spreading what is actually slander.

      • Whilst you’re correct that GeoHot’s released firmware didn’t specifically enable piracy, it’s also fair to say that his techniques (along with failoverflow) DID enable others to develop tools for piracy (backup managers etc).

        Also it would be slander, it would be liable. If you’re going to make emotionally charged accusations about another TSA user at least get your legalese in order.

      • ack *wouldn’t!

      • exactly, and as I said ‘work’ I though I was making it clear that he wasn’t the only factor but a major contributing one. I never said GeoHot created a patch I only refer to his work, so next time you decide to have a go, throwing innacturate (and might I say hypocritial) comment about legalities around, may I suggest that you take the time to properly read the comment at hand? Thanks.

    • @ amiga_dude:

      “Sony wants there cake and eat it. They want you to buy you PS3 and tell you what you can or can not do with afterwards. This dosn’t happen anywhere else. I buy a PC with Windows, I can install Linux/QED/AROS etc on there, the manufacture or mircosoft do not have a problem with this.”

      Except it does happen somewhere else. Every console, including Microsofts, stipulates the same thing. Technically, you are correct, if you could use the hardware in some other way, WITHOUT circumventing the protection that is there to protect the security of GameOS then you would be entitled to do that. However, that’s not the case for any of the PS3 hacks.

      “…If you need something from firmware ie encripion codes to create new firmware of your own then that should be alowed. As was designed to need that in first place.”

      It’s not a matter of should be allowed, it ISN’T allowed. The DMCA specifically prohibits circumvention, and more importantly, the distribution of that circumvention. GeoHot did both. He didn’t have to agree to any terms and conditions to be bound by that, it’s law (in the United States) and ignorance or blatant disregard (as is the case here) for said law is not a viable defence.

  4. How bad would it be if it was revealed he was being paid by Microsoft.

  5. I don’t know what Sony is trying to achieve here. Do they want to sue him for millions of Dollars? They probably just want to make an example out of him and scare off others. I don’t think it will have the effect that they are hoping for. They should put the money they invest into this in R&D to build a better, more secure system. Putting one hacker behind bars is not where I want Sony to spent it’s money…

    • Hackers think they are invulnerable and the law won’t touch them. Geohot wants celebrity status in the hacking world. He should be used to show peoplewhat can happen if you hack. Although if it backfires and he gets away with it, it will make hackers feel stronger.

      • That’s what I was thinking. If Geohot manages to escape Sonys’s grip somehow it would be pretty embarrassing for them.

    • Very good point!

  6. Damn, he’s getting F’d in the A!

  7. Does this mean when he begged for donations, everybody in Northern California that donated to him has actually helped Sony by tying him even more to the state?

    That would be sweet irony.

    • Haha, that would indeed be sweet irony!

    • I wish i’d read your comment before posting mine.. oh well great minds.. :)

  8. Hacking & pirates aside, I’m finding it increasingly worrying just how easily Sony are achieving these sub-peonas.

    This case completely aside, there’s a massive infringement of Data Protection going on here and it worries me that if this sort of behaviour is condoned at this scale, how far away are we from governments etc demanding such information from companies such as Paypal for “democratic reasons”?

    Scary, scary biscuits.

    • PS That is NOT a crack at Sony BTW. More that I’m worried how civil liberties are being over-ruled left right & centre when profit is involved.

    • I thought the same thing when reading the article.

      • Cheers KeRaSh. The best example (in the UK) of something similar was how the Criminal Justice Act managed to sneak/force through. That still bothers me a lot.

  9. Oh yeah baby.

    Gonna have a six pack while cheering this!

    Good job Sony!

  10. I say screw the guy. I used to love using the other OS feature. I actually learned to use Linux (yellow dog 6.2) for Kevin Butlers sake! I know it’s a dream, but one day I’d like to be able to use other OS again on all PS3s not because we’ve all grown up emotionally blah blah blah, but because Geohot will be proof that if you’re a hacker (i.e unemployable programmer) then Sony’s legal team will snap you in half.

    Nail ’em up I say! :p

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