Sony sues hacker for manufacturing and distributing jailbroken PS4s

Defendant's actions "were knowing, deliberate, willful and in complete disregard of SIE's rights," Sony claims

Sony Interactive Entertainment has filed a lawsuit against a California-based hacker who has reportedly been hacking and modding consoles since 2006.

Filed in the Central District Court of California, Sony alleges the defendant Eric David Scales has sold, offered to sell, marketed, and distributed jailbroken PlayStation 4 consoles complete with pirated games.

Scales is accused of also offering jailbreaking services for both PS3 and PS4 consoles on his website.

The filing (via TorrentFreak) presents a fairly a damning case; in April 2018, through an agent, Sony purchased a jailbroken PS4 complete with over 60 first and third-party games from an eBay vendor by the username of 'blackcloak13'.

Again in June 2018, Sony purchased another jailbroken PS4 from the same vendor, which included games like God of War and Call of Duty: WWII.

Both times, the package reportedly contained instructions on how to download and install additional pirated games, and also featured a return address which led to defendant Scales.

The defendant's website, which refers back to the 'blackcloak13' vendor page, is proudly adorned with pirate iconography, and proclaims "STOP BUYING GAMES".

In the filing, Sony argues in favour of three claims against the defendant: firstly the infringing of first-party copyrights; secondly the infringing of the PS Program Code which protects PS4 games against piracy; finally the manufacture and distribution of jailbroken and modded PS4 consoles.

Based on the evidence presented in the filing, SIE believes the defendants' actions "were knowing, deliberate, willful and in complete disregard of SIE's rights".

The extent of the damages will be settled at trial.

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