Sony secures restraining order against PS3 root key hacker

Sony has secured a restraining order against the lead hacker who revealed the root keys of the PlayStation 3, earning it a negative reputation among homebrew developers while rival Microsoft is working hard to keep everyone happy.

George Hotz, who goes by the name Geohot, discovered and publicly shared the root keys for the PS3 which allows anyone to circumvent the protection measures in the device for identifying legitimate game copies. This allows homebrew software to be utilised or pirated games to be played.

Sony sued Hotz and over 100 other defendants in the case and now the US District Court Judge Susan Illston ruled in favour of Sony for a requested restraining order on Hotz, on the basis that he has caused irreparable harm to the company by publishing the root keys.

The restraining order prohibits Hotz from “creating, posting online, marketing, advertising, promoting, installing, distributing, providing, or otherwise trafficking in any circumvention technology, products, services, methods, codes, software tools, devices, component or part thereof,” according to InformationWeek.

Hotz was also ordered to hand over his computers, hard drives, CDs, DVDs, USB sticks and any other storage device that contains the technology he used to circumvent Sony’s PlayStation 3 protection measures.

In stark contrast, Microsoft eventually welcomed the hacking of its motion capture gaming device, the Kinect, gaining a reputation among the homebrew community as a company that has taken a U-turn on its draconian stance to open source tinkery. While Sony is likely to win its case against the hackers, it may lose its case among homebrewers.