George Hotz, one of the hackers sued this week by Sony in connection with the jailbreaking of the PlayStation 3, has hired a pair of attorneys who say they plan to “vigorously defend the baseless accusations asserted by Sony.”
In a statement sent to reporters Friday, two attorneys hired by Hotz say that Sony has no grounds for its legal action and is asking for unreasonable relief in the case, including the seizure of Hotz’s computers.
“While most companies issue firmware upgrades to increase a product’s abilities over its life cycle, Sony has taken the unacceptable and draconian approach of decreasing the PS3’s capabilities by actually destroying a core feature of the PS3. Imagine taking in your car for an oil change and having the manufacturer remove your car’s air conditioner, radio, and half its horsepower because of fears that other hypothetical individuals might abuse their vehicles. It just doesn’t make any sense, and it’s a slap in the face to the consumers that put their support behind the product,” Yasha Heidari, one of the attorneys, said in the statement.
Part of the dispute centers on the decision by Sony last year to remove one of the PS3’s features, OtherOS, which enabled users to run Linux on the console and use it as a PC, and quite a powerful one. In April, Sony released a firmware update that removed that functionality, angering a large portion of the PS3 user base. Hotz’s method effectively re-enables that functionality.
“This case rests on Sony’s misguided belief that it has the unfettered ability to control how consumers use the products they legitimately purchase,” Stewart Kellar, one of Hotz’s lawyers said in the statement.
In their response to Sony’s suit and motion for a temporary restraining order against Hotz, his attorneys say that the order would do no good at this point, as the code is already public.
“On the face of Sony’s Motion, a TRO serves no purpose in the present matter. The code necessary to ‘jailbreak’ the Sony Playstation computer is on the internet. That cat is not goingback in the bag. Indeed, Sony’s own pleadings admit that the code necessary to jailbreak the Sony Playstation computer is on the internet. Sony speaks of “closing the door”, but the simplefact is that there is no door to close. The code sought to be restrained will always be a Google search away,” the response says.