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Looks like Mr George Hotz is going to get his case dismissed. Appears Sony has not met the burden of proof to keep the case within California.
The only evidence it has put forth to prove Mr. Hotz has entered the
PSN Agreement is an improperly authenticated screen shot of a PSN
Network account with the username “Geo1Hotz.” Declaration of Gilliland
Exh. A. Mr. Hotz does not own or have access to this account. Mr. Hotz
does not live in Rhode Island, does not use the name “Geo1Hotz” which,
in contrast to Mr. Hotz‟s common handle, utilizes capital letters and a
numeral, and Mr. Hotz was not born in 1995 as in the screen grab. Id.
Sony further falsely states that Mr. Hotz is “reffered to online as
„GeoHot.‟” This is untrue. All exhibits submitted by Sony purport to
show that Mr. Hotz goes by the internet name “geohot” without any
capitalized letters or numerals.
In the present case, Sony cannot demonstrate that Mr. Hotz‟s
activity could even arguably be construed as expressly aimed at
California. To the contrary, the sole alleged tortious activity alleged
in this action involves Mr. Hotz– who is located in New Jersey–
purportedly improperly accessing portions of his own Playstation
Computer– which is also located in New Jersey. Sony's primary
allegation is that Mr. Hotz violated the circumvention provisions of the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) by allegedly circumventing
control access to the Playstation Computer. Sony also includes various
other inexplicable claims for good measure, including Mr. Hotz violating
the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the California Computer Crime Law
for allegedly "exceeding access" to Mr. Hotz's very own Playstation
Computer, as well as for Mr. Hotz purportedly "trespassing" on the very
Playstation Computer he lawfully purchased and owns. Sony also alleges
that, by engaging in such conduct, Mr. Hotz has breached the PSN TOS
(which is actually not applicable to Mr. Hotz as demonstrated above).
Nonetheless, this suit centers around the allegation that Mr. Hotz
improperly accessed portions of his Playstation Computer.
Sony thinks that an unnamed defendant called “Bushing” resides in
California but this person remains a Doe defendant, is not named as a
defendant, and has not been served with process. Further, all evidence
put forth by Sony regarding “Bushing” is improperly authenticated
hearsay. This court should not rely on Sony‟s speculation of a Does
defendant‟s place of residence to assert jurisdiction over a nonresident
who is actually named with an address that has been identified, in New
Jersey. Further evidence in this matter is found primarily on the
Contrary to Sony‟ assertions, most of the physical evidence and Mr. Hotz
himself, are located in the state of New Jersey. The bulk of Sony‟s
claims regard evidence found on Mr. Hotz‟s media devices and in Mr.
Hotz‟s testimony as a witness. Other than those items, the bulk of the
evidence Sony puts forth may be found on the internet which is
accessible just as easily in New Jersey as in California.
Sony relies on the unsubstantiated residency of the unnamed defendant
“Bushing” as a basis for California being the best forum. However,
“Bushing” has not been identified, named, served, or connected with Mr.
Hotz in any way that would warrant bringing the only identifiable
defendant out to California. If “Bushing” does exist and can be
ascertained at a later date, Sony would have to amend the complaint to
properly name him/her which has not occurred. Thus, New Jersey is an
alternative forum that exists to provide Sony with adequate relief. If
Sony can obtain jurisdiction by merely including a hypothetical
defendant by the name of “Bushing” that may live in California, then any
Plaintiff can file suit in California and obtain jurisdiction by adding
“Bushing” as a defendant.
Pheew alot of Lawyer mumbo jumbo there but it makes sense none the less.
Im glad sony is going after these guys but in all honesty the cat is
out of the bag folks. What can Sony accomplish with this?
No he is filing for a dismissal. Its a common tactic in nearly all court cases. This particular news holds no relevance over the case whatsoever. It will 99% likely get denied.
and this is a scare tactic. Sony doesn't expect to get even, but lay a carpet of turmoil down for would be hackers. A million dollar loss to Sony is trivial, but a 100k loss to the average hacker is devastating.
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