Hacker denies fleeing to South America to avoid Sony lawsuit

24 Mar 2011

A hacker who is being sued by Sony for jailbreaking PlayStation 3 consoles has denied he has fled to South America to avoid legal action.

Sony Computer Entertainment America filed legal papers, expressing concerns that hacker George Hotz has “engaged in a campaign to thwart jurisdictional discovery at every turn.”

Within this, they said Hotz is in South America, which they claim was used as an excuse for not immediately handing over hard drive components to a neutral third party for the case.

They also say he removed “integral components” of these impounded hard drives before handing them over.

However, while Hotz said he is indeed in South America, he said it was not because he was trying to escape the lawsuit.

“Factually, it’s true I’m in South America, on a vacation I’ve had planned and paid for since November. I mean, it is spring break; hacking isn’t my life,” said Hotz in a blog entry.

“Rest assured that not a dime of legal defence money would ever go toward something like this.”

“I have been in contact with my lawyers almost every day; I would not let the case suffer. That said, I also won’t let this ridiculous lawsuit run my life either,” he said.

PlayStation 3 jailbreaking

The initial case was filed against Hotz and another group who jailbroke PlayStation 3 consoles.

In each PS3 console there is a protected number which signs in games in order to verify they are genuine.

However, once this key is discovered it can be used to sign in any unofficial software. Sony sued because it felt users could take advantage of this to play pirated games on PS3s.

The group fail0verflow said its motivation for jailbreaking the console was to get Sony’s OtherOS back, an early PS3 feature allowing other operating systems to be installed.

While Hotz posted the means to jailbreak PS3 consoles online, he, too, said he does not condone video game piracy.