The other development arising today, is in regards to the subpoena which Sony filed against PSX-Scene.com's web host, SoftLayer Technologies, which we first reported on here. Sony is attempting to acquire server logs from SkyLayer, which contain IP addresses and logins regarding to geohot, which they can use to further fuel their case. The Dallas based server company isn't freely handing over the information and is objecting to Sony's subpoena. The company has recently filed a motion to quash the electronic giant's subpoena.
Now Comes Defendant George Hotz, by and through counsel, and moves this Court for Protective Order pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 26(c) and FRCP 26(b)(2)(c), seeking to protect Defendant George Hotz from Plaintiff Sony Computer Entertainment LLC‟s (“SCEA”) overbroad jurisdictional discovery requests, which are for the purpose of annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, and are an undue burden and undue expense on Defendant. Please note that this Motion is in addition to the Joint Protective Order, which is currently being drafted with Plaintiff’s counsel.
Mr. Hotz is a 21-year-old individual, who resides in New Jersey and who has not consented to the jurisdiction of this Court. Despite the fact that SCEA has filed this action and represented that this matter belongs in the Northern District of California, SCEA now attempts to engage in a jurisdictional fishing expedition as a means to utilize jurisdictional discovery to achieve other ends. Although the Court has limited discovery to jurisdictional issues, SCEA has demanded overly burdensome and expensive discovery from Plaintiffs that bears little, if any, relevance to the issues at hand.
The Defendant has shown good cause for the protective order sought herein, as the discovery SCEA seeks is harassing, irrelevant, burdensome, expensive, and intrusive. In addition, the confidential information sought to be protected could cause Defendant irreparable harm if mishandled or exposed.
Mr. Hotz is not seeking to withhold information from Plaintiff. Instead, Mr. Hotz seeks only to (1) protect the information he is willingly providing by directing that the copy of his hard drive be created as-is and unaltered, and (2) relieve the undue burden and expense of appearing in this forum for a deposition where Mr. Hotz will gladly offer the same information through written deposition. Mr. Hotzhas been extremely accommodating to SCEA’s demanding requests– being responsive to questions and inquiries at all hours of the day and night, providing his personal hard drive with commercial, confidential, and valuable information so that SCEA can determine that nothing pertaining to jurisdiction resides on such drive, turning over his Playstation Computer, and remaining accessible despite the fact that he is not in the forum.
Mr. Hotz files this Motion for a Protective Order to limit the issues at hand to the matters of jurisdiction, and to limit such discovery to less burdensome means. The protection Defendant seeks would prevent irreparable harm and undue burden on Defendant, while still granting SCEA the information it seeks to discover, without any burden.
SoftLayer Technologies, which counts psx-scene.com among its hosted sites, is objecting to a records demand seeking server logs and other information related to site-user Hotz. Sony is suing the 21-year-old New Jersey man on charges that he breached the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by publishing an encryption key and software tools in January that allow PlayStation 3 owners to gain complete control of their consoles.
Dallas-based SoftLayer is the only company so far to object to subpoenas in the hotly contested Hotz case. The judge has signed off on Sony subpoenas to Twitter, YouTube, Google and PayPal as part of the console-maker’s scorched-earth litigation tactics to win an unspecified amount of monetary damages from Hotz.
Thursday’s legal tussle surrounds a SoftLayer subpoena approved by Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of San Francisco two weeks ago. It demands “documents reproducing all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records, and application or registration forms” (.pdf) connected to Hotz’s psx-scene.com account.
Sony wants those logs, and a record of all of his postings, to determine whether Hotz had logged in from the San Francisco area while trumpeting or posting his hack.
That data is at the center of a jurisdictional argument whether Sony must sue Hotz in his home state of New Jersey rather than in San Francisco, where Sony would prefer.
SoftLayer objects to the subpoena on grounds that, among other things, it requires “disclosure of protected matter” (.pdf).
No hearing date has been set.
The DMCA prohibits the trafficking of so-called “circumvention devices” designed to crack copy-protection schemes. Hotz’s hack provides PlayStation 3 owners the ability to run pirated and home-brewed software or alternative operating systems like Linux. Performing a similar hack on a mobile phone is not unlawful.