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GeoHot's Lawyer Responds to Sony's Claims

| 24 Mar 2011 19:59
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The opposition motion filed yesterday by Sony mentioned tampering with PC hard drives but GeoHot's lawyer says that's "absurd."

Yesterday, we reported that Sony had filed an opposition to George Hotz' motion to dismiss the suit against him for posting the PS3 root key back in January. The court document filed by Sony claimed that the evidence he provided based on a court order was unusable by the third party inspectors, and that Hotz couldn't comply because he was in South America. We later learned, and updated the original story to explain, that Hotz was indeed in South America on a trip that planned long before he was sued by a giant corporation. Hotz' lawyer, Stewart Kellar, told Ars Technica that Sony's claims were deliberately worded so as to mislead the judge, the public, and the media.

"The notion that George has fled the country is absurd. George is in South America to see a friend, on a trip he planned before this lawsuit ever began," Kellar said. "George has had to make himself available 24/7 for this litigation, which has been quite demanding on him."

Were the hard drives that Hotz provided rendered inoperable before he handed them over? Kellar believes that supposition is way off base. "SCEA's lawyers are using intentionally ambiguous language so that the public, and the Court, might assume the worst," Kellar said.

"The 'components' SCEA is talking about are hard drives' controller cards. The neutral [party] subsequently had to explain to SCEA the form and function of hard drive controller cards," Kellar explained. "It is a stock part that can be purchased at any electronics hardware store. Those controller cards have since been provided to the neutral so the point is moot."

Kellar wanted to make it crystal clear that Hotz was not using any funds he raised for his legal defense on the vacation he is currently enjoying. "It should be noted that the donation money George has received is being used exclusively for his legal defense," the lawyer said. "If there are any funds left after the lawsuit, George is planning to donate the money to the EFF."

The EFF being the Electronic Frontier Foundation which has supported Hotz and other hackers in their fight for rights to reverse engineer products of electronics companies.

So, if what Kellar and Hotz said in response is all true, it appears that Sony has very good lawyers who are extremely adept at manipulating language to paint the defendant in the worst possible light. They saw Hotz' departure to South America as an opportunity to defame him, and went to town. I've many lawyer friends, and they tell that this is about 90 percent of what an attorney's job entails, so I can't say I'm surprised.

But I am now going to take any news I hear about this case with a large silo full of salt.

Source: Ars Technica

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