01 February 2011
Hacker George Hotz, Geohot, Will Not Surrender To Sony. What’s The Significance?
There is an enormous battle taking place in the American Courts
between the now famous 21 year old, George Hotz and a corporate giant,
Its been followed in papers around the world yet for the average non-nerd its simply gibberish.
Yet its a story of a young man at who would have to be a computer
genius. By 17 years old he’d managed to hacked into Apple’s IPhone and
last year had cracked the security code for PlayStation 3 (PS3).
From a distance its a struggle to understand not only what it means
for consumers, nor the companies affected but what it means for hackers
The story began in 2009 when the young Hotz found himself in hot
water after courts heard from Apple that his ‘jailbreak’ into the IPhone
had breached the copyright laws.
Jailbreak? Hotz was able to crack the Apple code to enable users to
upload games and other applications onto the phone, other than that
which were sold by Apple.
It was a significant breach of copyright, “Current jailbreak techniques now in widespread use [utilizes]
unauthorized modification to the copyrighted bootloader and OS,
resulting in infringement of the copyright in those programs,” said Apple lawyers.
Yet in July 2010 the court ruled against Apple declaring that the
Jailbreak was in fact legal, stating that Apple was in fact using a
restrictive business model that copyright law could not partake in
Score 1: Hotz it seems.
Onto the next major project in which he announcing to the hacking
community, and anyone else who cared to listen, in 2009 he was beginning
his next challenge of cracking the code of the PS3.
Online his fans were able to witness his progress and his failures,
including this year when he announced he had simply given up.
But the challenge appeared to get the better of him as on July 4,
2010 he declared that he had been able to unlock the PS3 by producing
code that would enable non-authorized games to be played through the
After releasing the code to crack the console a lawsuit was slapped
down by Sony who claimed Hotz was in breach of 8000 violations of the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Game Piracy was called by commentators! It was claimed that such
breaches would cause a huge loss of revenue for Sony and other game
The court heard from Sony that such breaches of copyright would diminish the sale of the company’s 41 million games sold.
Hotz, once again argued in the court on January 12, 2011 that this
was not about copyright, but freedom of speech. He had a right to
distribute information equal to any other American citizen.
The California Court disagreed with Hotz, demanding he take down
all links to his information and turn over his computers to Sony.
In response lawyers representing Hotz yesterday announced that they are about to appeal the courts decision.
With sarcasm the lawyers questioned the court order for Hotz to
remove the code from the net, something his lawyers acknowledged that
not even he could clean the code from the entire internet.
In summing the case, Steward Kellar, laywer for Hotz was reported
in Wired Magazine as saying ““At the heart of this whole issue is
whether you truly own the device you purchased.”
If you have any comments, or even a correction, on this
article please email Mary Banfield: firstname.lastname@example.org
All (reasonable) comments will be uploaded onto this