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PS3 hacker case delayed by 'jurisdictional' confusion

Sony wants Californian trial due to use of Twitter and PayPal

The initial hearing of Sony's lawsuit against PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz has already resulted in a delay to the case.

San Francisco district court judge Susan Illston questioned whether it was appropriate to hold the case in California, given Hotz's breaching of PS3 security was attempted in his home state of New Jersey.

However, Sony's lawyers argued that the hack was revealed via California-hosted services Twitter and YouTube, and in addition Hotz allegedly received fan donations via another California-based site, PayPal.

With the State debate raising doubt about where online-centric lawsuits should physically be held, Illston worried that "If having a PayPal account were enough, then there would be personal jurisdiction in this court over everybody, and that just can't be right.

"That would mean the entire universe is subject to my jurisdiction, and that's a really hard concept for me to accept."

The ruling on these "serious questions" has been pushed back to an as-yet undecided time.

Sony hopes to force Hotz to surrender any and all computer equipment used to create the hack, as well as unspecified damages and the removal of the jailbreak from its hosting sites. At the time of writing, the hack remains freely downloadable.

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Alec Meer avatar
Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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