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Geohotz's first court hearing ends in confusion

PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz's first court hearing only lasted about 20 minutes, as the judge in California thinks the trial is being held in the wrong place.

US District Judge Susan Illston said she was "really worried about the jurisdictional question," and thinks the the proceedings would be better placed in Hotz's home state of New Jersey.

Sony is trying get hold of Hotz's computer, as it blames him for outing the PlayStation 3s' private key, which gives those interested in fiddling with the inner workings of the console the ability to do so. Sony uses the key to prevent third-party software - and illegitimately downloaded games - from running. The key code was discovered by hacking group fail0verflow (opens in new tab).

Sony thinks the case should be beard in California since Hotz posted the details of the key on Twitter and YouTube and these firms are both based in California. The judge seems to think the proceeding should take place where the postings took place, not where they ended up.

Judge Illston suggested that she'd be a bit busy if all court cases to do with stuff posted on either Twitter or Facebook had to he heard in her jurisdiction. Indeed, the "entire universe would be subject” to her jurisdiction she said.

She therefore postponed making any decision at all while she had a think about it. Maybe she needed to consult with her chums on Facebook.

She did conclude that "serious questions" had been raised.

For his part 21 year-old Hotz, better known on the Internet as Geohotz, maintained his innocence.

"I am a firm believer in digital rights. I would expect a company that prides itself on intellectual property to be well versed in the provisions of the law, so I am disappointed in Sony's current action," Hotz wrote in an e-mail seen by Wired.

"I have spoken with legal counsel and I feel comfortable that Sony's action against me doesn't have any basis," he wrote. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.