Yesterday, we linked to a story about the most recent allegations Sony made against George ‘GeoHot’ Hotz in their ongoing court case. Supposedly, Hotz has sabotaged the hardware he had to hand over, and he had fled the country to further stifle the court case, among other things. Hotz’ lawyer, as well as Hotz himself, have responded to these allegations. The gist? They’re all nonsense.
Let’s start with the accusation that Hotz sabotaged the evidence – namely, hard drives – that had to be handed over to Sony. Ars spoke with one of Hotz’ lawyers, Stewart Kellar, and he was pretty clear. “SCEA’s lawyers are using intentionally ambiguous language so that the public, and the Court, might assume the worst. The ‘components’ SCEA is talking about are hard drives’ controller cards. The neutral [third party examining the drives] subsequently had to explain to SCEA the form and function of hard drive controller cards,” Kellar explained to Ars, “It is a stock part that can be purchased at any electronics hardware store. Those controller cards have since been provided to the neutral so the point is moot.”
The idea that Hotz had fled the country is even crazier, as Hotz himself detailed in a short statement on his website. As it turns out, Hotz is visiting a friend in South America, a vacation that was planned and paid for in November 2010, even before Sony sued Hotz. “I mean, it is Spring break; hacking isn’t my life,” Hotz wrote, “Rest assured that not a dime of legal defense money would ever go toward something like this. And of course Townsend loves the idea of painting me as an international fugitive. I have been in contact with my lawyers almost every day; I would not let the case suffer. That said, I also won’t let this ridiculous lawsuit run my life either. Then the fearmongerers win.”
That part about the defense money is also important: it was said that Hotz was using money donated for his legal costs to travel, but this is utter nonsense both Hotz and Kellar claim. “It should be noted that the donation money George has received is being used exclusively for his legal defense,” Kellar told Ars, “If there are any funds left after the lawsuit, George is planning to donate the money to the EFF.”
Hotz is planning to return to the US soon, because, as he notes, “it’s hard to come by the Xperia Play down here”.
All the things mentioned by Hotz and Kellar are easy enough to prove with receipts, so hopefully, this will go down well during this court case. Of course, so far, the magistrate handling this matter has sided squarely with Sony, so I’m not keeping my hopes up.