Top Hacker Rejects Job Offer From Sony Over PS3 Jailbreak Legal Strategy

from the when-you-treat-hackers-badly... dept

It looks like Sony’s quixotic strategy of suing George Hotz (Geohot) for jailbreaking the PS3 is starting to cost the company in additional ways as well. Todd McDermid points us to the news of how another hacker, Koushik Dutta, who has quite a strong reputation in various circles, has rejected overtures from Sony PlayStation division for a job specifically because of Sony’s attack on Geohot:

It seems likely that the lawyers and execs at Sony who thought this whole legal strategy was a good idea didn’t think through some of the consequences of their actions in terms of attracting new talent.

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Comments on “Top Hacker Rejects Job Offer From Sony Over PS3 Jailbreak Legal Strategy”

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Kevin (profile) says:

Re: Re:

(sets down kool-aid), My you are up early this morning. Mike highlights another person who happens to be a programmer that turned down a job with Sony based on his principles, and how Sony has gone after another programmer relentlessly for modifying a piece of hardware the he PURCHASED. I for one think that is admirable as I think that most people are for sale its just a matter of how much they will get paid. Where the piracy argument and IP enforcement come in is anyones guess. I really do not see how this is different then me taking my truck in to get a super charger or have the ECU remapped to squeeze out some more horsepower.

Call me Al says:

Re: Re: Re:

Does anyone else think that this hacker just published that Sony employee’s email address on the web for all to see? In theory he has blocked out her name before the @ but you can still see the underscore and considering she then gives her name in the text it likely isn’t difficult to work out.

As for the guy’s stance, I’m always impressed by someone standing by their principles. Of course it seems we don’t have all that much context for his stand. Could be he already has a perfectly good job and would’t move anyway so his “stand” is a freebie.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Does anyone else think that this hacker just published that Sony employee’s email address on the web for all to see? In theory he has blocked out her name before the @ but you can still see the underscore and considering she then gives her name in the text it likely isn’t difficult to work out.

This is of no importance whatsoever. Anyone equipped with middling intelligence and rudimentary research skills could find it out in five minutes using information readily available on the Internet via this amazing service — which you really should try sometime because you clearly haven’t heard of it — called “Google”.

Beyond that, anyone who thinks that email addresses are private is living in 2000, before the advent of botnet-creating malware with integrated address harvesters. Yes, there are still people — delusional people — who think that attempting to conceal or obfuscate their address will actually work, but they are of course not just wrong, but laughably wrong, and this wrongness is demonstrated on a large scale on a daily and ongoing basis.

Joe Publius (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Not so sure about that. What if his face likes to kitbash and hack consumer electronics? I’m betting that his work contract would either.
– Prevent him from carrying on that work for Sony products
-Allow him to do it, but not share it with anyone but some manager who may not appreciate it.

Maybe, just maybe, he wants to do more than work for a major elctronics company doing only the things they want him to do.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This just in: some talented people will choose jobs based on ethics and morals rather than the chance for higher pay. Shocking, I know.

Bottom line: Sony reaches out to someone they wanted to hire, apparently based purely on his blog posts. Unless Sony are *really* desperate and are hiring anyone who write tech blogs, I doubt this guy will have much of a problem finding a decent job. Sony lost a talented engineer to a competitor due to their actions.

The nose cutting is Sony’s own.

lrn2postnubs says:

Re: Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

No you are not alone. I have boycotted Sony products for years b4 this GeoHot thing. I knew they were a bastard company a long time ago. I even check movies and if Sony Pictures is involved, the GF has to pay with her own money if she really wants to see it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

Not only have I boycotted Sony personally since the rootkit incident, but I’ve made it a point to cost them sales every time the opportunity presents itself. It’s hard to say what the total dollar value of that is — since they wouldn’t have made them some of them even WITHOUT my intervention — but I think a minimum amount would now be into 6 figures.

I intend to continue this until the chair of Sony publicly apologizes and then commits ritual suicide to show his shame for what his company has done. Given that he clearly has no honor, and has shamed his family and ancestors, I doubt he will have the courage and integrity required to do this, so I expect that I’ll just keep costing Sony sales every chance I get.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Not the first time stupid strategy has cost Sony.

Dear Sehlat,

As you no doubt know, boycotts interfere with Sony’s business model. Every product you don’t buy from us reduces our profit, and I think it’s easy to see that reduced profit is nothing more than stealing by another name. Accordingly, we are sending you this cease-and-desist letter to stop your illegal actions against Sony. To avoid the threat of further legal action, you must immediately:

(1) Cease your boycott of Sony products.
(2) Cease discussing boycotts of Sony products.
(3) Buy three (3) Playstation 3 consoles.

In addition to our ability to prosecute you for theft, your state senator has also been presented with a proposal to make interference with a business model a felony absent reasonable cause (“reasonable cause” to be determined by Sony Corporation) punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines of no less than $150,000 per interference. Given that your state senator has worked for Sony in the past, and will no doubt work for us again in the future, his vote on this legislation seems obvious.

We hope that, given the above, you will come around to see our side of things and we can resolve this situation amicably. Our research on you indicates that you seem to have built a nice life for yourself. Would be a shame if anything were to happen to it.


Anonymous Coward says:

Nope your not the only one that won’t buy Sony products. Here’s another that hasn’t bought Sony products after a reneg on a warranty for a big screen tv.

Before that I thought Sony to be a reputable company. After I learned how well they stood behind their products, I refused to buy anything with the Sony name on it. It’s cost them a bundle over time.

Buckwally (profile) says:

Sony? Another fine product from the people who brought us World war Two...

I too have not found avoiding buying things with the word “Sony” on them too difficult, except for some movie dvds to watch on the airplane. No music since the root kit compromised my company laptop and got me on IT’s sh*t list. Bought a new flatscreen, just walked past the Sony section. What with the defeaturing of the game consols, I bought Xbox 360 instead of PS3. Gota feel for ’em. R9 Earthquake, then a Tusnami, then a melt down, but makes you wonder if it isnt a message of some sort.

johnny canada says:

Non Sony Products

Last week bought a new laptop … NOT SONY

Three months ago bought a new PC … NOT SONY

Eight months ago bought a new cellphone … NOT SONY

None moths ago the wife bought a new cellphone … NOT SONY

One year ago bought a 24″ LCD monitor … NOT SONY

Two years ago bought a new 19″ LCD monitor … NOT SONY

Three years ago bought two mp3 players … NOT SONY

Friends ask me what brand should they buy … NOT SONY

B (profile) says:

Not smart.

This guy is an idiot. Who in their right mind would turn down an interview? This guy is probably single with no wife or kids, or at the very least already has a job he loves and feels secure in. Still think he’s going to kick himself down the road for making that choice.

And for the record, they asked him if he was interested.. Not offered him a job. Recruiters dont hire people. They funnel qualified individuals to the people that do the hiring. Lets not get it misconstrued.

Matt (profile) says:

Re: Not smart.

I make no guarantee of being in my right mind, but I turn down interviews all the time and have never had occasion (or the flexibility) to kick myself after. They are typically a waste of time if you have no desire to work for the company. I sometimes try to kick myself if I deliberately waste my own time.

At some point, many people (particularly talented people who can afford to be choosey) learn that while having money is better than not, it is seldom worth giving up one’s principles or happiness to get it, if only because it can be had elsewhere at a lower price.

Jeremy7600 (profile) says:
Koush posted comments on Reddit in regards to this, he turned down an interview, not a job, out of principle. And Android app sales “have been more than good” to him.

Nothing more to it than that, so if you kool-aid drinkers wouldn’t mind fucking off now. (Directed at the trolls, and its like they say, if you are looking around and you can’t figure out who the trolls are, its you)

Will Sizemore (profile) says:

Crap, do any of you even know who Koush is in the Android community? He’s got more of a following than Sony does, and he offers his services and software for free, unless you purchase the very inexpensive premium license that unlocks some little-used features that made my Android experience AWESOME.

Koush, if you get wind of this, I loudly applaud you, ClockworkMod Recovery, and Rom Manager. I have your software installed on all my Android devices, and by the way, all my coworkers’ devices if they let me help them.

I work in IT. Its true, I do. I’m a huge fan of both Koush and Geohot. All the developers I work with are too, in fact.

And, last time I checked, talent recruiters aren’t in the know, regarding legal actions taken by the legal arm of the same company. In fact, had she been in on the whole George Hotz deal, she would have most likely tried to get Sony to hire him to work on a way to meet both his goal of opening PS3 back up to the Other OS option, while also meeting Sony’s requirement to prevent pirated software from running on their machines. I hope Sara McRae doesn’t get into trouble over this, she was just doing her job, and probably doing it well if she’s trying to reach out to Koush, one of the saviors of the Android Community.

1fr3f0g says:

If he'd thought about it...

The best way to change a system is from the inside. (Isn’t that what hackers generally do?)

Trying to beat down the door just makes them get a bigger door. If they open the door for you, leap through before they can close it.

I can’t believe someone so smart was stupid enough to let the chance to get on the inside pass by 🙁
If he’d gotten into the R&D team, he might have been able to show them the benefits of having a more open platform.
Make some friends in the right place, bend a couple of ears in his direction; change comes slow, but the big wheels do turn.
Loyalty to a cause is not about falling on your sword for the sake of another person. If you find the oppourtunity to advance your cause, take it, even if it means you have to drink the kool-aid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: If he'd thought about it...

The problem with your logic is that you don’t take account with the fact that most employment contracts of IT companies include clauses with similiar meaning to “we own every computer related creations (softwares, books etc.) you produced during the period of employment”.

Joining the company would practically means he have to give up all the freeware development for a few years if he don’t want Sony owns them, which would means huge loss to the community.

colecut says:

no changing sony

@ 1fr3f0g:

I think you’re a little to optimistic in the possibility of one newcomer changing the culture of a huge established corporation…

Sony’s only goal is money, and open source is not the road to that.

They will not be swayed. and I doubt this guy wants to be fired from a company he didn’t want to work at in the first place.

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