Geohot Contests PSN Account, Denies Knowledge Of SCEA

As the case of SCEA against George Hotz continues, the latest claims from Sony that Mr Hotz owned a PSN account, and knew that SCEA was based in California, have been contested.

Last week Sony claimed that a PSN account under the name of ‘blickmanic’ was tied to a PlayStation 3 console owned by Mr Hotz, and used at an IP address near where Mr Hotz lived.  Naturally, if this is true, it means Geohot agreed to SCEA’s terms of service at the point of registering a PSN account, and thus might give SCEA considerable more weight to get Mr Hotz tried in a Californian court.

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However, Mr Hotz’ legal team contests these allegations.  They say the serial number Sony say is associated doesn’t match that of a new PS3 that Mr Hotz purchased.  He also purchased three used PS3 systems, but those serial numbers haven’t been disclosed.

[advert]Indeed, a comment apparently from Geohot’s blog sugggests that even the IP match doesn’t necessarily mean anything:

“See, I live next door to George Hotz and we’ve always been good friends,” the comment reads. “At the time I bought the console, I was waiting to be connected to the internet by my ISP so I asked Hotz if I could use his for a while. Good neighbors, that’s all.”

Finally, the legal documents show that Mr Hotz denies any knowledge of the existance of SCEA, and believes the PS3 to be a product of Sony Japan (which he claims the boxes signify).  He didn’t even open the sealed manuals which were bundled with the new PS3, which would have stated SCEA branding.

In another document, Hotz testifies that he was not aware of the existence of SCEA, and that he believed the PS3 to be a product of Sony Japan, as indicated on the box and firmware installation. Hotz’ representation even provides photographic evidence that Hotz did not open the sealed manuals that came with the new PS3, which would have identified SCEA’s involvement with the system.

Via Gamasutra.

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52 Comments

  1. This is interesting – when the otheros was removed it was said that by merely opening the box you accepted all terms and conditions, now it seems dependant on opening the actual documents. Yes, i know this case is location sensitive but surely the same thing would apply in any region. Whicever way this case goes, i hope it will serve to highlight areas where EULAs and the law are not necessarily in agreement.

    • Next we’ll have to sign contracts before we’re allowed to leave the store with our products.

      I’m pro-Sony in this case, but it frustrates me that they are having such a hard time proving something that is very simple and known world-wide… Hotz circumvented PS3 security (thereby breaking laws under DMCA) and distributed said circumvention. These techniques lead, in turn, to further 3rd party tools enabling piracy.

      It’s staggering to think that all this legal poodle faking is still, essentially, about tying Hotz to CA. Failing that, Sony can still sue him in NJ and start this whole process again!

  2. I did not think ignorance of the law was a valid defence. If I have been caught speeding and I tell them I didn’t know the speed limit, I am still prosecuted for speeding. Not knowing something is illegal and being caught in the act of doing said illegal activity, leads to being found guilty.

  3. hope Sony wins simple as that for me.

  4. It all goes to whether the California courts have jurisdiction. If Sony pulled out the wrong serial number / PSN account, somebody screwed up big time!

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