"500 - Internal Server Error," reads fail0verflow's website, followed by a pithy "Sony sued us." The site offers links to PDF versions of the "Motion For Temporary Restraining Order," the "Proposed Order," and "Complaint."
"Our motivation was Sony's removal of OtherOS," claims fail0verflow on their site, referring to a PS3 option that allowed users to install alternative operating systems like Linux. Sony stripped the feature from the console last March, prompting a class action lawsuit in April.
"Our exclusive goal was, is, and always has been to get OtherOS back," continues fail0verflow's message, adding that it has never "condoned, supported, approved of, or encouraged videogame [sic] piracy."
Hotz offers a similar disclaimer on his website, stating that he "[does] not condone piracy."
While fail0verflow claims they never published PS3 encryption or signing keys, Hotz's original front page, titled "keys open doors," included what appeared to be the PS3's root key in hex format. Hotz briefly removed the information from his site yesterday, but later restored it on a subpage.
Fair Use or Abuse?
Sony's legal actions were as inexorable as the PS3's security takedown, and while much of what's next hinges on delicate legal parsing, the bottom line is: Were Hotz and team "jailbreaking," i.e. gaining "root access" to the PS3?
The U.S. government exempted iPhone jailbreaking from the DMCA earlier this year, implying (if not explicitly stating) that jailbreaking is legal. Apple objected, but had to settle for warning its users that jailbreaking would void the iPhone's warranty.
But as PC World's Chris Head noted in July, the jailbreaking exemptions have broader implications than iPhone fiddling, allowing "academics to legally break DVD copy-protection to use films clips in the classroom, users to remove software and hardware security measures that are no longer supported by the publisher or manufacturer, and [legalizing] the investigation and correction of software flaws by third-parties."