Sony files legal action against PS3 jailbreakers


12 Jan 2011

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Sony has filed for a temporary restraining order against a number of people who jailbroke PlayStation 3 consoles, in order to remove information on what they do from the public.

Sony filed the legal action specifically against George Hotz and members of fail0verflow, Hector Cantero, Sven Peter, “Bushing” and “Segher”.

On PlayStation 3 consoles, there is a protected number which signs PS3 games in order to verify they are genuine.

However, once the key is discovered, it can be used to sign in any software. This allows users to run unofficial software on their consoles, including pirated games.

According to the legal document, the individuals accused bypassed protection measures on PlayStation 3 consoles and made them public.

Sony states that this violates numerous laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, along with copyright infringements for its proprietary code.

As a result, Sony is asking that the court prevents the individuals from accessing its protected data and from distributing the information on jailbreaking PS3s.

The group fail0verflow and George Hotz both posted information on the legal action against them. Fail0verflow states on its site “(we) never condoned, supported, approved of, or encouraged video-game piracy” and said it did not post any encryption or sign-in keys online.

The group notes its motivation for jailbreaking the console was to get Sony’s OtherOS back, which was an early feature on PlayStation 3 consoles allowing other operating systems to be installed.

While Hotz did post the information online, he, too, states he does not condone video-game piracy.