US District Judge Susan Illston is unsure why talented PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz is being tried in sunny California.
Of course, Sony continues to insist that the trial be held in the Golden State, as Hotz posted a PS3 crack on Twitter and YouTube – both of which are based in California.
However, Illston said that controversial legal proceedings may be more appropriate in the 21-year-old’s home state of New Jersey, where the hacking actually occurred.
“I’m really worried about the jurisdictional question,” the federal judge said during an initial 20-minute hearing.
Illston opined that if using Twitter or Facebook was deemed sufficient cause to bring a case to San Francisco, the “entire universe would be subject” to her jurisdiction.
As such, Illston postponed a decision about whether or not Hotz would be required to surrender his computer gear in the context of Sony’s lawsuit.
“[Yes], serious questions have [undoubtedly] been raised here,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, Hotz continues to maintain his innocence, saying that accessing PS3 “metldr keys” and obtaining root access are well within his rights as a console owner.
But Sony is unhappy with the hack, as it allows (unapproved) homebrew software to played on the Playstation 3 console – which the electronics giant claims will encourage piracy.
“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 obtained by Wired.
“I have spoken with legal counsel and I feel comfortable that Sony’s action against me doesn’t have any basis.”