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PS3 Hacker Says Jailbreak Not Intended For Piracy

PS3 Hacker Says Jailbreak Not Intended For Piracy

January 14, 2011 | By Kris Graft

January 14, 2011 | By Kris Graft
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Earlier this month, Sony Computer Entertainment America moved for a temporary restraining order against a "hacking group" and George "Geohot" Hotz for allegedly facilitating piracy on the PlayStation 3 by circumventing the system's technological security measures.

Now Hotz, who was the first person to "jailbreak" an iPhone and allow it to run unofficial programs back in 2007, said he's being sued for "making Sony mad."

"I think this case is about a lot more than what I did and me, it's about whether you really own that device that you purchased," he told G4's Attack of the Show on Thursday night.

SCEA alleged in a proposal for a temporary restraining order filed Tuesday that defendant Fail0verflow, a "hacking group," laid the groundwork for Hotz to "unlawfully ... [gain] access to a critical level of the PS3 System" in December.

The crux of Sony's argument is the hackers, who distributed the PS3 workaround on the internet, are enabling software piracy, and violating federal copyright law, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

But Hotz said his jailbreak is not intended for piracy. "What it lets you do is install homebrew applications," he said. "These are applications that have been developed by anyone."

Asked if his hack enables piracy on PS3, Hotz replied, "Actually no. The way that piracy was previously done doesn't work in my jailbreak. And I made a specific effort while I was working on this to try to enable homebrew without enabling things I do not support, like piracy."

Hotz said he originally was looking for PS3 system workarounds when Sony disabled the console's "Other OS" feature through a software update, blocking users from using third-party operating systems on the platform.

Currently, the DMCA only protects the jailbreaking of mobile phones. "But I think the same precedent should apply [to PS3]," argued Hotz. "... If you can jailbreak one closed system, why can't you jailbreak another?"


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