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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. iliveudie's Avatar
      iliveudie -
      Quote Originally Posted by mahockey View Post
      My only concern is that Apple have seen how this one has played out and now have a strategy to handicap all our favorite iDevs .
      The scenarios are completely different. I can't see this happening unless geo comes back to the iPhone scene.
    1. The Amazing Atheist's Avatar
      The Amazing Atheist -
      I've been asking for months now and no avail for an answer. Where does it state that Geohot has broken any law by publicising the rootkey? Where does it say that the rootkey is copywritten? Send me the link to where it says it is. Otherwise I don't think what he's done is illegal. Just because sony says something is illegal doesn't mean it is. Now, it could be illegal in their gaming systems and could result in a PSN ban, but not a lawsuit.
    1. nutz's Avatar
      nutz -
      Quote Originally Posted by itsjustlenny View Post
      As far as boycotting Sony. Don't forget also they are a movie studio as well. Hope you don't plan to see any of these movies as well:
      ...
      And don't forget Sony music too. You know they sign singers...
      To those serious about boycotting, there's really no need (moral implications disregarded) to refrain from watching / listening.
      There's a "Bay" for that, ask the Swedes about it.

      Now what when the iPhone starts to sport Sony CMOS for their cameras ?
      My bet is that consumerism will prevail.

      Also, what's the market share % that's even aware of GeoHot vs Sony, in a more informed way than "evil hackers try to damage the PS3 but brave Sony puts a stop on them and protects you, dear consumers, from all the evil that would have been unleashed" ?
    1. starfuryt550's Avatar
      starfuryt550 -
      I f.ucking hate sony with a passion. Last thing with their brand I bought was 10 years ago and will be the last
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Boycotting is just idle threats.
    1. iliveudie's Avatar
      iliveudie -
      Why hate?
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      Boycotting is just idle threats.
      How so? I intend to. I'll be boycotting them as far as I can. While it may not mean that I can keep away from them completely because they make parts of products I use, I can still keep from buying TVs, VCRs etc. and if enough people do that, Sony will feel it. It may not happen overnight, but their actions will catch up to them someday.
    1. M0_th3_Fl0's Avatar
      M0_th3_Fl0 -
      Good fight geohot
    1. iliveudie's Avatar
      iliveudie -
      Quote Originally Posted by M0_th3_Fl0 View Post
      Good fight geohot
      Lol...you're joking...right?
    1. konrads's Avatar
      konrads -
      Quote Originally Posted by itsjustlenny View Post
      So what you are saying is that ppl who used cfw on the xbox don't get banned from xbox live..? Because I'm pretty sure that's the policy over at Microsoft. And again if you read my earlier post. Microsoft didn't do what Sony did but again it's completely different cases. Let's see what Microsoft would do if someone put xbox keys out for the public. I don't think they will be as lenient as you make them sound.

      As far as boycotting Sony. Don't forget also they are a movie studio as well. Hope you don't plan to see any of these movies as well:

      Battle: Los Angeles
      Elektra Luxx
      The Grace Card
      The Green Hornet
      Just Go With It
      The Roommate
      The Amazing Spider-Man
      Anonymous
      Arthur Christmas
      Bad Teacher
      Courageous
      Exporting Raymond
      Friends With Benefits
      Jumping The Broom
      Priest
      The Smurfs
      Soul Surfer
      Zookeeper

      And don't forget Sony music too. You know they sign singers(ac/dc,Chris brown,Christina aguilera,Britney spears,Evanescence,foo fighters,kings of Leon,etc). So I hope it's not one you like cuz then you'd be supporting Sony as well.
      I do not listen to those crappy "manufactured" singers. Some of the movies I have seen because my son wanted to, but I try to avoid them in general.

      Quote Originally Posted by iliveudie View Post
      Why hate?
      Because of the stuff they do with their "intelectual copyright" crap AND:

      1. Buying a Sony DVD recorder camera: You Shoul Buy Sony Media 30 sec message every time I pop in a TDK disk. Sold and bought an JVC Everio.

      2. Fixing Sony Vaio laptops: cannot download drivers, have to buy CD. Had customer return it and bought a Dell.

      Need more ?
    1. creasy425's Avatar
      creasy425 -
      Quote Originally Posted by nutz View Post
      There's a "Bay" for that, ask the Swedes about it.
      Let's not forget the lil green demon......
    1. reefamadness's Avatar
      reefamadness -
      Maybe Sony did not want feel the wrath of anonymous....

      #opsony

      Just a thought..
    1. brbortscheller's Avatar
      brbortscheller -
      Sony didn't fully appreciate how much pressure Apple was under with this hacking stuff.
    1. ianwawawin's Avatar
      ianwawawin -
      Quote Originally Posted by reefamadness View Post
      Maybe Sony did not want feel the wrath of anonymous....

      #opsony

      Just a thought..
      Those were my thoughts.. Not that geohot really just backed down, or they found a loophole or any of that ****. Anon took down psn for a day I've so heard. And that was only three members...
    1. iliveudie's Avatar
      iliveudie -
      Quote Originally Posted by ianwawawin View Post
      Those were my thoughts.. Not that geohot really just backed down, or they found a loophole or any of that ****. Anon took down psn for a day I've so heard. And that was only three members...
      I may be mistaken...but isn't it unsure whether anonymous took it down or not? That is what I remember reading at least...
    1. crewxp's Avatar
      crewxp -
      If you've been following his blog, a lot of people are upset that he didn't hold to his word. There's an article on kotaku about it. People donated because of the the things he said he would do and wouldn't settle for. They're arguing that he used the donations to save his own butt instead of doing what he said he would do. Someone posted an article about how he used some of that for his vacation too.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Let's be realistic, did anyone really expect GeoHot to possibly become a martyr by fighting Sony tooth and nail or did he just want this to be over with and not get a fine or jail time?

      I think we all know it was the latter. Furthermore, can't GeoHot just keep hacking the PS3 and release whatever he wants anonymously under different names, different IP addresses, etc. and just quietly relish the fact that he got them once again but they'll never know?

      As far as donations, we all knew we were donating for a cause but that the funds could possibly be utilized in other ways. That and even if anyone were to sue on suspicion of misuse of the funds there wouldn't be any proof nor would there be any way to know who's funds got used for his legal defense and who's funds got used for his vacation if any at all.

      Let's just chalk it up to us donating for the past jailbreaks he provided for us and move on. None of us wanted to fight that fight and he fought it until he finally got an out and he took it just like any one of us would have.
    1. psychodave's Avatar
      psychodave -
      I don't know why the article says this could set a precedent on jailbreaking. When you settle out of court it doesn't matter what you agree on cause there was never a ruling. If GeoHot wanted to side step this he could still hack the **** out of something and let someone else take the credit when it comes to the Sony products.
    1. iliveudie's Avatar
      iliveudie -
      Quote Originally Posted by psychodave View Post
      I don't know why the article says this could set a precedent on jailbreaking. When you settle out of court it doesn't matter what you agree on cause there was never a ruling. If GeoHot wanted to side step this he could still hack the **** out of something and let someone else take the credit when it comes to the Sony products.
      Do you forget who we are talking about here!?!?! George Hotz!!! The man whose greed for fame caused every bit of this!!! You think he can live with doing this anonymously?
    1. The Amazing Atheist's Avatar
      The Amazing Atheist -
      Quote Originally Posted by alexevo View Post
      Let's be realistic, did anyone really expect GeoHot to possibly become a martyr by fighting Sony tooth and nail or did he just want this to be over with and not get a fine or jail time?

      I think we all know it was the latter. Furthermore, can't GeoHot just keep hacking the PS3 and release whatever he wants anonymously under different names, different IP addresses, etc. and just quietly relish the fact that he got them once again but they'll never know?

      As far as donations, we all knew we were donating for a cause but that the funds could possibly be utilized in other ways. That and even if anyone were to sue on suspicion of misuse of the funds there wouldn't be any proof nor would there be any way to know who's funds got used for his legal defense and who's funds got used for his vacation if any at all.

      Let's just chalk it up to us donating for the past jailbreaks he provided for us and move on. None of us wanted to fight that fight and he fought it until he finally got an out and he took it just like any one of us would have.
      Exactly.

      I don't understand where people get off on the fact that Geohot "stole" donations or used them in a way that wasn't stated on his webpage. Has it ever occured to everyone that he has to pay legal fees for hiring lawyers?

      Any money left over Geohot will put to good use, NOT buying a brand new 100" flat screen television.

      Quote Originally Posted by iliveudie View Post
      Do you forget who we are talking about here!?!?! George Hotz!!! The man whose greed for fame caused every bit of this!!! You think he can live with doing this anonymously?
      He didn't do it for fame or knowing that the rootkey was quote "copywritten" (which still there's no proof that i've seen).