PS3 hacker George “Geohot” Hotz has moved to correct erroneous reports that he has fled the country to escape Sony’s lawsuit, explaining he is in South America on vacation.
In a court filing released yesterday Sony’s legal team said that Hotz had removed “integral components” from computer systems that he was ordered to hand over to a neutral third party for inspection, and was using being in South America as “an excuse” for not handing over the missing parts.
This led to some claims that Hotz had fled the country to escape the lawsuit, something Hotz has since moved to deny. Some even reported that he had funded his escape with the donations he received towards his legal bills.
“Factually, it’s true I’m in South America, on a vacation I’ve had planned and paid for since November,” Hotz wrote on his blog. “I mean, it is spring break; hacking isn’t my life. Rest assured that not a dime of legal defence money would ever go toward something like this.
“And of course [Sony] 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 fearmongers win.”
Unable to resist a further dig at Sony, Hotz continues: “I will be back. I hear it’s hard to come by the Xperia Play down here.”
Hotz’s lawyer Stewart Keller told IGN: “The ‘integral components’ SCEA is talking about are stock controller cards, not the hard drives themselves. The neutral subsequently had to explain to SCEA the form and function of hard drive controller cards. Those cards have since been provided to the neutral so the point is moot.”
The lawsuit, which Sony filed earlier this year against Hotz and up to 100 unnamed members of the fail0verflow hacking group, who it alleges were responsible for the PS3 hack, is currently bogged down in a jurisdictional argument. Sony wants the case heard in California, home of SCEA headquarters. Hotz maintains that his home state of New Jersey is the more suitable venue, and has moved to dismiss, claiming he has no case to answer in California.