Sony won its first victory in a lawsuit against PlayStation 3 hackers this week, as a judge granted the electronics giant a temporary restraining order preventing lead defendant George Hotz from further hacking of the console. Additionally, Hotz must now turn over his computers, hard drives, and all other storage materials related to Sony's legal team within 10 business days.
Until recently, the PS3 had largely stymied hackers.
The judge signed off on Sony's proposed restraining order with minimal edits, agreeing that the order was "necessary to prevent immediate and irreparable injury" to Sony. Additionally, the court determined Sony "has shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its claims for violation of the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] and the [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act]."
In opposing the restraining order, Hotz's attorney pointed out that with the PS3 security keys already readily available online as a result of the hacking, there was no further injury to prevent. "That cat is not going back in the bag," he said.
Late last year, a group of hackers known as fail0verflow publicized a major PS3 flaw in the way it creates security keys. Days later, Hotz released the system's master key, allowing people to run unauthorized software on their consoles, including pirated games, homebrew programs, and even custom firmware. Sony's subsequent lawsuit accused the hackers of breach of contract, tortuous interference with contractual relations, trespassing, common law misappropriation, and violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Copyright Act, and the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.