Sony Battle Heats up; Hotz: Google/Twitter to Blame For my Web Presence

After Sony provided a statement which said that Geohot establishes jurisdiction due to his activities on the web, George Hotz has blamed Google and Twitter for his usage of interactive tools.

After Sony stated Hotz violated terms and conditions by sharing his hacking latest on the web such as Google’s blogspot as well as Twitter, George Hotz has instead blamed it on Google and Twitter themselves for hosting his content. Sony said (via a court document):

Prior to distributing the Metldr Keys, Hotz had extensive contacts with Californiarelating to his efforts to hack the PS3 System. Specifically, Hotz used Google’s Blogspotservice based in California to generate interest in his circumvention of the PS3 System.Hotz touted his hacking exploits on his interactive “On the PlayStation 3” blog. BrickerDecl., ¶18, Exh. P. On that California-hosted blog, Hotz openly interacted with othersregarding his hacking of the PS3 System. Id.

Now, in an attempt to avoid jurisdiction, Hotz disingenuously argues that sinceGoogle maintains the site, Google is responsible for its interactivity and not Hotz. Yet it isHotz who chose to blog about his unlawful conduct and to have discussions with thirdparties regarding that same conduct over the Internet. 12Additionally, Hotz has usedother interactive tools based in this District, such as Twitter and YouTube, to report on hishacking of the PS3 System. Bricker Decl., ¶15, Exh. K; Docket No. 28, (Bricker Decl.,¶24, Exh. W). Hotz also utilized an account with PayPal, a California company, throughwhich SCEA believes that Hotz received financial benefit relating to his circumventionactivities. Bricker Decl., ¶23, Exh. U. 13Hotz has also given an interview regarding hishacking of the PS3 System to The Register, an online technology publication whose U.S.operation is based in San Francisco, California. Bricker Decl., ¶13, Exh. I. Thesecontacts together with the harm Hotz aimed at SCEA in California are easily sufficient toestablish personal jurisdiction.

Sony continued:

In doing so, Hotz consented to jurisdiction in California by agreeing to the forumselection clause in the terms of use agreement he signed with Google. Hotz agreed tosimilar jurisdictional provision in order to use Twitter to disseminate information regardinghis efforts to hack the PS3 System. Bricker Decl., ¶8, Exh. G.13On March 15, 2011, Judge Spero authorized the issuance of a subpoena to PayPalto determine whether any funds from California have been deposited in Hotz’s PayPalaccount from January 1, 2009 to February 1, 2011. (Docket No. 96.) SCEA served thissubpoena on March 17, 2011.

This means that Sony are saying that Hotz had used Blogspot (owned by Google) and Twitter to distribute information related to the case, which consequently establishes jurisdiction.

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