The hearing in Sony Computer Entertainment America v. Hotz was held today, and Wired's David Kravetz reports the judge, the Hon. Susan Illston, acknowledged that some details of the case got away from her a bit, and she apologized. She's made some changes to her earlier orders.
Specifically, she realizes that there's no way to cleanse the Internet, so that part of her order is changed. He does still have to let Sony hunt through his computers, but she will put some limitations in place to make sure that's all they do.
The minutes from today's hearing are now posted, and the rest of the news is that it's been referred to the magistrate judge for further discovery and "to define the terms of the injunction". Hotz evidently crossed over that bar successfully too, enough to persuade the judge that there was a need to consider if her original order was too broad and too vague, his contention regarding the injunction.
Here's the minute entry:
Here's what Wired reports the judge said about searching the computers:
02/10/2011 - 75 - Minute Entry: Motion Hearing held on 2/10/2011 before Illston (Date Filed: 2/10/2011). This case shall be referred to Magistrate-Judge Spero for purposes of discovery and to define terms of the injunction.(Court Reporter Belle Ball.) (tf, COURT STAFF) (Date Filed: 2/10/2011) (Entered: 02/10/2011)
“Here, I find probable cause that your client has got these things on his computer,” she said. “It’s a problem when more than one thing is kept on the computer. I’ll make sure the order is and will be that Sony is only entitled to isolate … the information on the computer that relates to the hacking of the PlayStation.” You know how I always tell you that judges aren't a bit worried about admitting to be wrong, if they find out they were? I present today's events as Exhibit A.
Further, according to International Business Times, Sony can't subpoena YouTube and Twitter:
A Federal court in California has denied Sony's motion to pull the personal information of Twitter and YouTube users who might have downloaded code that allows PlayStations to run with alternative operating systems.
And Gamasutra reports they can't subpoena Google or Paypal either. PSX-Scene clarifies that it means no expedited discovery, which is what SCEA was asking for. They can certainly try again later. There is a hearing next scheduled for March 11. SCEA was asking for the expedited discovery in order to prepare for that hearing, which is on the question of whether or not the California court will retain jurisdiction over Hotz or not. That is what was denied today, presumably, and SCEA will have to present its arguments based on what it has in hand or can get without the subpoenas it wanted.
Update: And here's the rest of the story:
These are the arguments that SCEA filed with the court in opposition to Hotz's claims that the impoundment order was vague and overbroad. We know the outcome, but since we won't be able to read the transcript until May 11, when it's released at last, this is as close as we can get to what SCEA's position at the hearing was. It's not so very pretty. For example, #72 describes Hotz's position in part like this:
02/09/2011 - 72 - Memorandum in Opposition TO 66 DEFENDANT'S MOTION RE: TRO filed bySony Computer Entertainment America LLC. (Gaudreau, Holly) (Filed on 2/9/2011) Modified on 2/10/2011 (ys, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 02/09/2011)
02/09/2011 - 73 - Declaration of HOLLY GAUDREAU in Support of 72 Memorandum in Opposition TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION RE: TRO filed bySony Computer Entertainment America LLC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A to Declaration of Holly Gaudreau in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion Re TRO, # 2 Exhibit B to Declaration of Holly Gaudreau in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion Re TRO, # 3 Exhibit C to Declaration of Holly Gaudreau in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion Re TRO)(Related document(s) 72 ) (Gaudreau, Holly) (Filed on 2/9/2011) (Entered: 02/09/2011)
02/09/2011 - 74 - Administrative Motion to File Under Seal EXHIBIT B TO DECLARATION OF HOLLY GAUDREAU IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION RE: TRO filed by Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC. Motion Hearing set for 2/10/2011 10:00 AM in Courtroom 10, 19th Floor, San Francisco before Hon. Susan Illston. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Declaration of Holly Gaudreau in Support of Administrative Motion to File Under Seal Exhibit B to Declaration of Holly Gaudreau in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion Re: TRO, # 2 Proposed Order [Proposed] Order Granting Administrative Motion to File Under Seal Exhibit B to Declaration of Holly Gaudreau in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion Re TRO)(Gaudreau, Holly) (Filed on 2/9/2011) (Entered: 02/09/2011)
Hotz contends that the Order is overbroad because it prohibits him from hacking other companies’ secure systems and because it requires him to do the “impossible”: retrieve information distributed through the Internet. The Order does neither. He further argues that he should remain free to continue his campaign of “unauthorized access” to the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system (“PS3 System”) and to publish information gained thereby, despite his having unlawfully circumvented the Technological Protection Mechanisms (“TPM”) in the PS3 System and having trafficked in circumvention technologies – charges he does not, and cannot, refute. Is that what you thought Hotz said? Me neither. If you didn't read his motion, you'll find it here, so you can compare for yourself.
Update 2: And now we know the name of the magistrate judge, Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero, as well as the exact date the hearing transcript will be available, the 12th of May:
02/11/2011 - CASE REFERRED to Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero for Discovery (sis, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/11/2011) (Entered: 02/11/2011)
02/11/2011 - 76 - ORDER granting 74 Administrative Motion to File Under Seal (tf, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/11/2011) (Entered: 02/11/2011)
02/11/2011 - 77 - Transcript of Proceedings held on February 10, 2011, before Judge Susan Illston. Court Reporter/Transcriber Belle Ball, CSR, RMR, CRR, Telephone number (415)373-2529, firstname.lastname@example.org. Per General Order No. 59 and Judicial Conference policy, this transcript may be viewed only at the Clerks Office public terminal or may be purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber until the deadline for the Release of Transcript Restriction.After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Any Notice of Intent to Request Redaction, if required, is due no later than 5 business days from date of this filing. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 5/12/2011. (Ball, Belle) (Filed on 2/11/2011) (Entered: 02/11/2011)
02/11/2011 - 78 - DOCUMENT E-FILED UNDER SEAL re 76 Order on Motion for Hearing, Order on Administrative Motion to File Under Seal Exhibit B to Declaration of Holly Gaudreau in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion Re: TRO by Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC. (Gaudreau, Holly) (Filed on 2/11/2011) (Entered: 02/11/2011)