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The Modified Preliminary Injunction Order in SCEA v. Hotz
Monday, February 14 2011 @ 11:24 PM EST

We have the details of the modifications that the judge in SCEA v. Hotz ordered [PDF] to her original preliminary injunction order. Here's how it will work:
(2) the Order of Impoundment is MODIFIED such that defendant Hotz will only be required to deliver his computers, hard drives, CD-roms, DVDs, USB stick, and any other storage devices on which any Circumvention Devices are stored (but not his Sony PS3 consoles) to Sony for the purpose of Sony isolating, segregating and/or removing the information on those devices related to defendantís circumvention of the technology protection measures in the PS3 system. Sony shall promptly return defendantís devices to Hotz after the information has been segregated and removed from defendantís devices.
Then the parties are to get together and decide what to do about the gleaned materials, as well as what an preliminary injunction should entail otherwise, and report back to the judge. So full details are still to be decided.

No. I don't know why the PS3 consoles are excepted. Something must have been said at the hearing that led to the decision. I can't imagine what, as it makes no sense to me, but there you are. As you can see, though, this judge is trying to be fair to both sides. And no, that doesn't mean the tech is understood thoroughly, if I may put it that way. But the law part is right.

The idea of a preliminary injunction is to keep further harm from happening, while the trial goes forward for a final decision one way or the other. Sony claims it will be irreparably harmed if this impounding doesn't happen, and the judge credits their claims enough that she wants to make sure that doesn't happen. It doesn't indicate a final decision, but it does mean the judge has weighed the likelihood of harm to each party, and decided it's important to establish some guidelines to prevent irreparable harm to SCEA, while making sure Hotz isn't damaged badly either.

Here are the filings:

02/14/2011 - 79 - ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION; REFERRING PARTIES TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE SPERO FOR DISCOVERY AND ISSUES RELATED TO PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (SI, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/14/2011) (Entered: 02/14/2011)

02/14/2011 - 80 - NOTICE OF REFERENCE AND ORDER RE: DISCOVERY PROCEDURES. Signed by Judge Joseph C. Spero on 2/14/11. (klhS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/14/2011) (Entered: 02/14/2011)

02/14/2011 - 81 - Notice of Settlement Conference and Order Setting Settlement Conference before Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero. Parties shall m eet and confer regarding the language of the injunction. If the parties are unable to agree on the language, a Joint Letter stating each side's position shall be submitted no later than 2/16/2011. Signed by Judge Joseph C. Spero on 2/14/11. (klhS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/14/2011) (Entered: 02/14/2011)

That last item is the one that states that the parties should get together and figure out, if possible, what to do with the materials taken from Hotz:
The above matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero to assist the parties in their efforts to define the terms of the injunction. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the parties shall meet and confer regarding the language of the injunction. If the parties are unable to agree on the language, a Joint Letter stating each sideís position shall be submitted no later than February 16, 2011. The parties have agreed that Magistrate Judge Spero will choose one of the competing versions, and the parties will propose that version jointly to the District Judge.

IT IS HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall meet and confer regarding the mechanism for impoundment of the relevant files.

You can find both links explaining preliminary injunctions on our Legal Research page, so if you are ever curious about some news event, do visit and see if you can find the answers to your questions there.

And here's the order on SCEA getting to search Hotz's computers, as text, in full:

*****************

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

______________

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT
AMERICA LLC,

Plaintiff,

v.

GEORGE HOTZ, et al.,

Defendants.

_______________

No. C 11-167 SI

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFíS
MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY
INJUNCTION; REFERRING PARTIES
TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE SPERO FOR
DISCOVERY AND ISSUES RELATED
TO PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

________________

On February 10, 2011, the Court held a further hearing on plaintiffís motion for a temporary restraining order. As discussed at the hearing, the Court ENTERS the temporary restraining order found at Docket No. 50 as a preliminary injunction, subject to the following modifications:

(1) defendant Hotz will not be required to ďretrieveĒ any Circumvention Devices or any information related thereto, and thus the language at Docket No. 50 at 3:23-27 is STRICKEN; and

(2) the Order of Impoundment is MODIFIED such that defendant Hotz will only be required to deliver his computers, hard drives, CD-roms, DVDs, USB stick, and any other storage devices on which any Circumvention Devices are stored (but not his Sony PS3 consoles) to Sony for the purpose of Sony isolating, segregating and/or removing the information on those devices related to defendantís circumvention of the technology protection measures in the PS3 system. Sony shall promptly return defendantís devices to Hotz after the information has been segregated and removed from defendantís devices.

The parties shall meet and confer and work with Magistrate Judge Spero regarding logistics and timing of the temporary impoundment. If there are any disputes between the parties regarding the scope

of the information to be segregated and removed from defendantís devices, or any other disputes related to the temporary impoundment of defendantís devices, those matters shall be presented to Magistrate Judge Spero in the first instance.

The Court also REFERS to Magistrate Judge Spero the question of what targeted jurisdictional discovery Sony should be permitted to take in conjunction with defendantís motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Unless and until Magistrate Judge Spero orders otherwise, neither defendant nor any third party is required to respond to any of the discovery propounded thus far by Sony. As discussed at the hearing, if the parties wish to reschedule the March 11, 2011 hearing on defendantís motion to dismiss in order to allow sufficient time for such discovery, the parties shall so inform the Court and the hearing will be rescheduled.

This order resolves Docket Nos. 55 and 66; Docket No. 62 is referred to Magistrate Judge Spero.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: February 14, 2011

[signature]
SUSAN ILLSTON
United States District Judge

2


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