George Hotz, aka GeoHot and the fail0verflow team have been served by Sony for releasing PlayStation 3 Jailbreak tools to the public.
An excerpt from the lawsuit reads:
Defendants George Hotz, “Bushing,” Hector Cantero, Sven Peter and “Segher”
(collectively, “Defendants”) are computer hackers. Working individually and in concert with one another, Defendants recently bypassed effective technological protection measures (“TPMs”) employed by plaintiff Sony Computer Entertainment America LLP (“SCEA”) in its proprietary PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system (“PS3 System”). Through the Internet, Defendants are distributing , tools and instructions (collectively, “Circumvention Devices”) that circumvent the TPMs in the PS3 System and facilitate the counterfeiting of video games. Already, pirated video games are being packaged and distributed with these circumvention devices. Declaration of Ryan T. Bricker In Support of Ex Parte Motion for Temporary Restraining Order And Order To Show Cause Re Preliminary Injunction; Order for Impoundment (“Bricker Decl.”) ¶2, Exh. A. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65 and Local Rules 65-1 and 7-10, SCEA moves ex parte to put an immediate halt to the ongoing distribution of these illegal Circumvention Devices and avoid
irreparable harm to SCEA and to other video game software developers stemming from video game piracy.
In July of last year, the U.S. government ruled that jailbreak and unlocking your iPhone was legal, as long as it wasn’t strictly for piracy purposes. The main argument was that when you buy a car, you are able to customize it to your liking. The iPhone was seen in the same way as a car.
It appears that this will most likely be overturned using the same precedent. If not, GeoHot and the fail0verflow team are probably protected under the first amendment since their goal is not to condone piracy, but instead to allow users to use their devices to the fullest intent, offering ways to customize their devices.
But you never know for certain how it will play out in the court.
We wish them luck.