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  • Case Dismissed! Geohot and Sony Reach Unexpected Settlement


    The saga of Geohot and Sony is now behind us. As the out-of-nowhere headlines today reveal, infamous iDevice and PS3 hacker George "GeoHot" Hotz and Sony have apparently patched things up. In fact, the two warring parties are coming to terms with their recent high-profile legal grudge match and settling matters peacefully.

    Moments ago, Sony and Geohot released a joint statement heralding a conclusion to the courtroom showdown that has dragged on for weeks. "The parties reached an agreement in principle on March 31, 2011," the statement reads. "As part of the settlement, Hotz consented to a permanent injunction."

    What does this mean exactly? It's safe to assume Geohot agreed to stop hacking any and all Sony products, an outcome that once again raises the question of the legality of jailbreaking. After all, if a prominent hacker agrees to an injunction to stop what Sony calls an illegal activity, might not this precedent suggest that others attempting to jailbreak the PS3 - or other devices - might be held up to similar prosecution? These are important questions that, without a doubt, will soon surface in another case involving jailbreaking.

    “Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us,” said Riley Russell, General Counsel for SCEA. “Our motivation for bringing this litigation was to protect our intellectual property and our consumers. We believe this settlement and the permanent injunction achieve this goal.”

    “It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier,” Hotz added, “I’m happy to have the litigation behind me.”

    “We want our consumers to be able to enjoy our devices and products in a safe and fun environment and we want to protect the hard work of the talented engineers, artists, musicians and game designers who make PlayStation games and support the PlayStation Network,” added Russell. “We appreciate Mr. Hotz’s willingness to address the legal issues involved in this case and work with us to quickly bring this matter to an early resolution.”

    To read the full joint statement on the PlayStation blog, click here.

    Source: Official PlayStation Blog
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Case Dismissed! Geohot and Sony Reach Unexpected Settlement started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 127 Comments
    1. iKillYou's Avatar
      iKillYou -
      Quote Originally Posted by robbpell View Post
      I guess the next person to release a ps3 hack won't try to add their name and take credit for it. I knnow I wouldn't.
      EXACTLY!!! Geohot can still hack PS3's, he just needs to get an alias and stop using his real name
    1. IcerMize's Avatar
      IcerMize -
      IMO, the most important aspect of this entire matter is that an obviously very intelligent and inspired young man will not suffer any long term legal difficulties. There are already too many challenges ahead. Best wishes, Geohot!!
    1. declanland's Avatar
      declanland -
      Quote Originally Posted by ProZack27 View Post
      True! Now maybe he'll starting with the iPad2 JB!
      I love it how after all what he's just been through, you expect him to get straight back on the jailbreaking scene. He does have a life you know. The iPad 2 will probably be sorted by The other jailbreaking dev's anyway.
    1. blkcadi's Avatar
      blkcadi -
      IMHO, Geo bailed on us. I'm taking my ball and going home and no one can play with it anymore, wtf?
    1. sikdaz's Avatar
      sikdaz -
      Quote Originally Posted by drewstone View Post
      well good thing that BS lawsuit is over. on to Rubyra1n for Geo. im sure he'll drop ipad2 JB soon (fingers crossed)
      hope so already 1 month no j/b SMH!!
    1. JayQuint87's Avatar
      JayQuint87 -
      Surprised he did not get a job offer.

      Companies usually want these kinds of people working for them...not against.
    1. nutz's Avatar
      nutz -
      It's a sad day for the community and the consumer.

      I do however understand this to be among the best actually possible outcomes for GeoHot, versus being further crushed and annihilated by the behemoth's giant paw, so I'm happy for the guy, that he won't have to suffer through a full-fledged FUD-driven witch hunt.

      Lesson learned?

      Probably something like "if you're gonna mess with giants, do it in a way they can never find you or they'll stomp you to death".

      Maybe someday the collective will be able to overthrow the giant, but besides their giant crushing paws, they can also afford whatever weapons money can buy...

      So, unfortunately 'hackers winning' is just an utopian / anarchic dream in this real world of ours.
      This sick, twisted, money-driven 'small-fish living by the rules of a few big fishes' world of ours, where it is legally Ok to dismantle and do whatever pleases you to any of YOUR PROPERTY, unless YOUR property is still governed by the rules of OTHERS (so, is it technically really YOURS?! )

      When it comes to jailbreaking enabling piracy - just let me say that Walmart shouldn't sell knifes, who knows how many people can be killed by the folks buying all those knifes!

      Sad day...
    1. Winterboarder's Avatar
      Winterboarder -
      No amount of donations can go against the money power Sony has. When a foreign company starts suing Americans, it is time to say no. Therefore I will not buy anything from Sony, games, music, movies, electronics. For all I care they can sell their crap to their own people.
    1. Co1d Night's Avatar
      Co1d Night -
      Sony called it off after they realized they're losing $$ over this childish case.


      Sent from my iPod touch using ModMyi
    1. 5h4d0w's Avatar
      5h4d0w -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      But you don't own the software or have the right to modify the official software.
      Unless the custom firmware is completely original and not a hack of Sonys software.
      Once something comes into my possession (legally), it becomes my property. Sony has no right to it any longer. That's just how it works. It's common law.
    1. ianwawawin's Avatar
      ianwawawin -
      I wonder if anonymous had anything to do with this?
    1. miggyme's Avatar
      miggyme -
      What ever happened to "stick it to the man" ??
    1. iliveudie's Avatar
      iliveudie -
      Quote Originally Posted by 5h4d0w View Post
      Once something comes into my possession (legally), it becomes my property. Sony has no right to it any longer. That's just how it works. It's common law.
      But that where the license agreement comes in

      Sure, you can spray paint or draw on your ps3, take out the hard drive, replace the hard drive, etc. But, when it comes to the software...you automatically agreed to abide by sony's software license agreement when you bought it. Which does state that any unauthorized modifications are "illegal"

      But, yes, the same thing was in apple's software agreement, and it was still ruled lawful. But as of now, the ps3 jailbreak has not been added to the list of circumvention exemptions within the DMCA. So, in theory, it is still "illegal" to modify your ps3's software (jailbreaking).
    1. g12007's Avatar
      g12007 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Westerman View Post
      Glad its over. Not really the way i wanted to see it go down but hey geohot can still hack apple products :P
      whats to keep apple from doing the same thing to him and anyone else??
    1. cranie's Avatar
      cranie -
      Interesting. So now all Apple has to do is sue as well for the same outcome. I don't see this as a win. And BTW with no legal battle to fund now, what happens to Geo's defense money?
    1. iliveudie's Avatar
      iliveudie -
      Quote Originally Posted by g12007 View Post
      whats to keep apple from doing the same thing to him and anyone else??
      In 2010, the EFF (electronic frontier foundation) pushed the courts to add the jailbreaking of an iPhone to the list of circumvention exemptions within the DMCA, meaning it is officially lawful.

      As of now, there has been no review of whether or not jailbreaking the ps3 is 'lawful'. Until that court case/complaint arrives, sony can claim it being illegal all they want.
    1. bstunt10190's Avatar
      bstunt10190 -
      is anyone else furious that the money of geohot's supporters forhis lawsuit were for nought?? Essentially what happened was those ppl paid for his legal fees just so he could buckle under the pressure frm sony and he achieved absolutely nothing. what a f***in pu**y
    1. 5h4d0w's Avatar
      5h4d0w -
      Quote Originally Posted by bstunt10190 View Post
      is anyone else furious that the money of geohot's supporters forhis lawsuit were for nought?? Essentially what happened was those ppl paid for his legal fees just so he could buckle under the pressure frm sony and he achieved absolutely nothing. what a f***in pu**y
      Uh, no? They donated voluntarily, knowing full well that he may not win the case.
    1. nutz's Avatar
      nutz -
      In Soviet Russia the iPhone jailbreaks you.
      In the USA Sony breaks or jails pretty much anyone they want.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winterboarder View Post
      No amount of donations can go against the money power Sony has. When a foreign company starts suing Americans, it is time to say no. Therefore I will not buy anything from Sony, games, music, movies, electronics. For all I care they can sell their crap to their own people.
      First of all, it was SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America) who sued Geohot, not other international branches such as Sony Japan.

      At least everything went well...but, not the way we wanted. I see a bad future.