Geohot raises legal fund, vows to fight Sony

George Hotz, the hacker who first released a custom firmware solution for Sony's PlayStation 3 console, has successfully raised money for his defence in the ongoing legal battle that ensued.

Hotz, also known as Geohot, earned Sony's ire by publishing the private key used to lock the digital rights management subsystem of the PlayStation 3 console - leading to custom firmware that can be used to play illegitimately downloaded games and other third-party software packages.

Sony is a big company with a lot of money to put into its legal fight to prevent Hotz - along with the rest of the Internet - from discussing the leaked private key, while Hotz is just a guy who happens to enjoy breaking software security systems on products that he owns. Accordingly, Hotz found himself in need of cash for a defence fund - and the good news is that his plea for help worked.

According to a post on the official 'Geohot Got Sued' website, the first round of funding is now complete - with Hotz successfully raising enough money to retain a legal team.

"I have enough to cover my legal fees for the time being," Hotz explains. "Expect to see a few more lawyers on my responses! For now, the best thing you can do is spread the world. Let people know how Sony treats customers. Let people know Sony would rather sue than be proactive and try to fix the problem.

"Let people know about laws like the DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] which stifle innovation and don't do anything to fix the problems they were created to solve."

For now, Hotz has the money he needs and is closing the donation drive. "In the absolute worst case," he quips, "we don't want Sony getting [the money.]"

With Sony continuing to seek legal and technical means to shove the genie back in the DRM bottle, this is a fight which looks set to continue for some time to come - and is likely not the last time Hotz will be appealing for donations.