Judge allows Sony to subpoena IPs of visitors to GeoHot's website

Federal magistrate Joseph Spero ruled this week that it was okay for Sony to acquire the IP addresses of visitors who took to George Hotz's, more likely known as GeoHot, website in search of jailbreaking their PlayStation 3 systems. The subpoena the judge has granted to Sony will allow them to amass IPs dating back all the way to January 2009 until present.

George Hotz, famous for jailbreaking the iPhone 3G S and later the PlayStation 3, has been undergoing a lawsuit from the company for a couple of months now. Sony claims that Hotz breached the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) when he posted root keys on his website, allowing others to jailbreak their systems and run homebrew applications. In the last months, rumors grew that Microsoft was funding Hotz's legal defense and Hotz even responded, outside of court, to Sony... in the form of a rap song.

According to Wired, the subpoena mandates that Bluehost, Hotz's website provider, turn over "documents reproducing all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records and application or registration forms" as well as "any other identifying information corresponding to persons or computers who have accessed or downloaded files hosted using [Bluehost's] service and associated" with Hotz's website.

Sony stated that the reason they needed the information was two-fold: for one, the company seeks evidence against Hotz's distribution; secondly, Sony needs to decide whether they should try Hotz in San Francisco or back in his home state of New Jersey. The company is hoping that the logs prove many of the downloads came from northern California, making San Francisco a suitable location.

Meanwhile, the judge also granted Sony a subpoena to quite a few of George Hotz's social networks. A subpoena to Google will allow Sony access to Hotz's Blogger account and blog, geohotps3.blogspot.com (which is currently invitation-only). Another subpoena to YouTube orders the IP addresses to anyone who watched the PS3 jailbreak hack video connected to Hotz's account as well as the usernames and IP addresses of people who commented on the video. And a fourth and final subpoena will be sent to Twitter, demanding access to Hotz's tweets in addition to all identifiable information associated with the account.

A hearing on where the court case will be held is expected to take place next month in San Francisco.

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