If George (Geohot) Hotz even had the slightest clue he’d be in so much trouble with Sony, I’m sure the hacker would steer away from breaking the PS3 and releasing its root key on the internet for the world to see. But it’s too late because the suit’s well into play, and now, facing a judge order to turn over his tools and hard drives over to a neutral party, the famed hacker’s fled to South America.
That would be enough trouble for him, but Hotz also lied about not having a PSN account, putting him into even more jeopardy. Ah, George, I’d hate to be in the jungle with you now…
This official document filed by Sony reveals sheds much light on the situation, and Hotz dilemma.
“Though the evidence establishing personal jurisdiction is already overwhelming, SCEA has little doubt that there is much more,” it reads. “However, over the last several weeks. Hotz has engaged in a campaign to thwart jurisdictional discovery at every turn â€“regardless of whether the Court has ordered such discovery or not.
Most seriously, after Magistrate Judge Spero ordered an inspection of Hotzâ€™s devices and ordered Hotz to appear at a deposition in California, SCEA learned that Hotz had deliberately removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivering them to a third party neutral and that Hotz is now in South America, an excuse for why he will not immediately provide the components of his hard drives as requested by the neutral. Hotzâ€™s attempts to dodge this Courtâ€™s authority raise very serious questions.”
The filing also revealed that Hotz lied when he claimed he did not have a PSN account.
“On January 12, 2011, Hotz submitted a declaration to the Court (Docket No. 19-1) in which he made unequivocal statements on a number of topics. However, when it came to discussing the PSN account, Hotz equivocated, stating: â€œTo the best of my knowledge and belief, I do not have a PlayStation Network account.â€ Hotz also provided interrogatory responses that he has refused to verify, stating that he has not accessed the PSN. Bricker Decl. Â¶4.Hotz identified four PS3 Systems in his possession. Bricker Decl., Â¶4, Exh. C.
He explained that he had purchased one of these consoles new in February 2010 and provided the serial number for that console. Id. SCEA used that serial number to determine that on February 25, 2010, Hotz purchased the PS3 System at a Gamestop store just miles from his home. Law Decl., Â¶6; Bricker Decl., Â¶6, Exh. E. SCEAâ€™s records show that the same PS3 System was used on March 10, 2010 to create a PSN account under the user name â€œblickmaniac.â€ Law Decl., Â¶6, Exh. A. The IP address associated with the registration is located in Glen Rock, New Jersey, where Hotz lives.”
The filing also proved that the account Hotz registered on PSN with is also linked to phone jailbreaks etc, with a quick Google search unearthing the truth.
“Hotzâ€™s ownership of the â€œblickmaniacâ€ account is further supported by the fact that an Internet search of the user name â€œblickmanicâ€ reveals a posting discussing the jailbreaking of cellular phones â€“ Hotzâ€™s original â€œclaim to fame.â€ Bricker Decl., Â¶7, Exh. F (â€œJust curious what people would pay for exclusive rights to this solution. [Motorola] Tracfone W175g unlocked and debranded. PM me.â€) As discussed above, to create his PSN account, Hotz was required to first agree to the terms of the PSN User Agreement and thus he is clearly subject to personal jurisdiction in California. It is well established that a valid and enforceable forum selection clause operates as consent to personal jurisdiction in a designated forum.”
Adding: “Although Hotzâ€™s PSN account registration clearly establishes jurisdiction, even without it, SCEA has shown the necessary minimum contacts between Hotz and California.”
Lots of problems for Hotz, lots of problems indeed.