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GeoHot begins asking for donations to fight Sony lawsuit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 22 Feb 2011 0:30 User comments (12)

GeoHot begins asking for donations to fight Sony lawsuit Infamous hacker George "Geohot" Hotz has asked the world for donations today, in an effort to pay for a legal team to fight against Sony's lawsuit against him.
The company sued Hotz last month after the hacker used a master signing key to create a custom firmware for the PlayStation 3 that can run homebrew.

I will post the entire post here, which Hotz wrote this morning and has since updated to thank donators who have apparently already given enough to pay for his legal team.

Media, I need your help. This is the first time I have ever asked. Please, if you support this cause, help me out and spread the word.I want, by the time this goes to trial, to have Sony facing some of the hardest hitting lawyers in the business.Together, we can help fix the system. Donations here are for legal defense ONLY.

Sony are bullies
Sony doesn't care if what you did was legal, if they don't like it, they sue. Sony tried to sue a guy for getting his AIBO to do non Sony approved tricks, making it apparent that they don't really care about piracy, they care about control. In (Sony v Bleem), Bleem was the winner on all counts, but the high cost of a legal defense shut them down. Fortunately, that suit helped set precedent on the legality of emulators. I would hate to lose this case due to resource starvation, and with the support of the masses, I won't. Lets turn the bully back on itself. This case has the ability to set a huge precedent for consoles and all closed systems to come. The other two should be begging Sony to back off.

Sony sued the wrong guy
I am an advocate against mass piracy, do not distribute anyone's copyrighted work but my own, do not take crap lying down, and am even pro DRM in a sense. For example, I believe Apple has every right to lock down their iPhone in the factory as much as they want, but once it's paid for and mine, I have the right to unlock it, smash it, jailbreak it, look at it, and hack on it. Fortunately, the courts agree with me on this point.
My PS3 goal has been to provide users a legitimate path to homebrew, which by the standards of all previous cases (or, in reverse), is 100% legal. Sony does not even try to allege piracy or copyright infringement in this case, they allege I did things like play "super mario world, an unauthorized game" on MY PS3. And access MY PS3 in an unauthorized way. Who are they to authorize what I do with my taxed and paid for property?
fail0verflow's goal was even nobler than mine. They wanted to give you back a feature Sony illegally stole, Linux on your PS3. It's shameful on Sony's part that they are being sued at all. If you have a problem with pirates, sue them, don't sue people who point out your shortcomings.

Why should I care about your personal legal troubles?
You shouldn't. For example, if I was taken to court for sex crimes in Sweden, I would never ask for donations. But this case isn't about me. Clearly I am not being sued because of something I have that Sony wants, I am being sued in order to send a message that Sony is not to be messed with. But if I(and all codefendants likewise) actually win this, we have the power to send a much stronger message back. That consumers have rights, and we aren't afraid to stand up for them.

Why should I trust you? I just saw you trying to rap battle Sony
My attempts at humor aside, I do take this whole matter very seriously. Again, it's not about me, I was on the verge of quitting this stuff last June, and I would hate to be the one who sets a reputation for hackers that all a company has to do is sue us and we back down. In fact, I want the opposite reputation set, that the more a company tries to abuse the legal system, the harder we rally back. I will be the first person in line on the launch date of the Xperia Play, and itching to get my hands on the Next GEOHOT Project.

Why did you wait until now to set this up?
I didn't want to be trigger happy, and thought the suit might go away quickly. Also, I had to consult with my lawyers about how to do this. It's been over a month, and it looks like this is going to be a drawn out case. I am in this for the long haul. I am very serious ethically when I take donations, for all iPhone work I only accepted after the fact, here after the fact is too late. Now I am pot committed so to say.

How much should I donate?
Put it this way, Sony has 5 lawyers, I have 2. I'd like to level the playing field, and really get some hard hitters in there. I have already racked up over 10k in legal bills; donate whatever you feel like. Leftover donations at the end of all this will be donated to the EFF.

What if I want to donate more than I feel comfortable sending through PayPal?
I'm excited! Email me, we'll figure it out.

Why doesn't the EFF fund this?
Ask them. They have offered to provide some legal help though, which is much appreciated.

Donate to help you, you're the reason I can't play Modern Warfare now…
No, I'm not. Kakaroto explains this really well here. I have never played PS3 online ever. Frankly I'm amazed by the apparent ease with which these cheats were created, security 101, why is the security in the client anyway? I had no idea this would happen, and am in full support of the cheaters being permabanned from PSN.

I'm a poor college student, what can I do to help?
I feel you, don't worry. Spread the word. Let people know how you feel about what Sony is doing. Let Sony know how you feel about what Sony is doing.

What if SCEA tries to settle?
Lets just say, I want the settlement terms to include OtherOS on all PS3s and an apology on the PlayStation blog for ever removing it. It'd be good PR for Sony too, lord knows they could use it. I'm also willing to accept a trade, a legit path to homebrew for knowledge of how to stop new firmwares from being decrypted.

Why isn't SCEA trying to settle?

You can follow the case here:

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12 user comments

122.2.2011 1:58

Hotz, not "Holtz" :-)

222.2.2011 2:58

He stopped accepting donations as of yesterday. - Guides written by me. - Join us Live on IRC!

(Kudos to Ripper For The Beautiful Sig!)

322.2.2011 11:36

donations...? I guess he loss the lawsuit?

422.2.2011 13:15

Really, how come?

522.2.2011 16:19
Unverified new user

Xaznboitx you edited by ddp he needs more money to even out the odds. Because they have 5 lawyers he has 2..

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Feb 2011 @ 22:44

622.2.2011 17:47

He deserves to go to jail just for his arrogance...maybe that will teach him not to be so.

722.2.2011 18:13

Apparently the playing field is even now. So time will tell how this goes.

822.2.2011 19:20

Originally posted by stealitall:
Xaznboitx you edited by ddp he needs more money to even out the odds. Because they have 5 lawyers he has 2..
who cares, either way he asking for donations to pay for more lawyers and if he loss he still has to pay Sony and ask for donations either way...
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Feb 2011 @ 22:44

922.2.2011 22:43

stealitall, watch the name calling, post edited.

1023.2.2011 3:47

He can have all the lawyers he likes.

But under DMCA he's already guilty so he has to prove that he hasn't hacked the PS3.

Pretty hard when you've just bragged about doing that for the last 12 months.

1123.2.2011 6:30

And the shills come out to defend Sony's abuse of customer rights AGAIN...


1225.2.2011 11:32

Seriously, what I wanted to know is how much donation the guy get? My guess is not much... Leeches and hypocrites, when comes to money, they withdraw themselves... You know what I'm talking about, like those bravely shout "how can I send money to him/her, I want to help, I want to send an message."


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