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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. wohhey's Avatar
      wohhey -
      Quote Originally Posted by Will01 View Post
      George wimped out! Again proving he's full of crap! All his talk of 'when does the psp2 come out?' all just talk!
      He should have gone all the way. Sony should say sorry and give back linux.
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      Glad to hear he's releived. From bring sued and as many have mentioned maybe little help with unlock.
    1. Micara57's Avatar
      Micara57 -
      In my opinion this is crap. It's the users' choice to hack their device or not. If hacking the device affects the efficiency or the function of the device, then that's the users' fault. Sony doesn't have to claim responsibility, just as Apple doesn't claim responsibility.

      If I buy a playstation and I decide I want to throw it down a flight of stairs then try and use it, that's my choice and Sony isn't held liable.
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      F_ck this article, "case dismissed" my @ss.
      THIS CASE WAS NOT SIMPLY DISMISSED. SONY WON.

      If you want to see what really went down read the damn judgement documents, particularly the ORDER.
      http://bit.ly/fJUW5Z

      II. ORDER
      IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUDGED by consent of the Parties that Hotz,
      whether as an individual or as a principal, officer, director or employee of any business
      entity, and his agents, servants, employees, distributors, suppliers, representatives and all
      other persons or entities acting in concert or participation with Hotz who receive notice of
      this Judgment, shall be and hereby are permanently enjoined and restrained from:
      A. Engaging in any unauthorized access to any SONY PRODUCT under the
      law;
      B. Engaging in any unauthorized access to any SONY PRODUCT under the
      terms of any SCEA or SCEA AFFILIATES' license agreement or terms of use
      applicable to that SONY PRODUCT, whether or not Hotz has accepted such
      agreement or terms of use, including without limitation:
      (i) reverse engineering, decompiling, or disassembling any portion of the Sony Product;
      (ii) using any tools to bypass, disable, or circumvent any encryption,
      security, or authentication mechanism in the Sony Product;
      (iii) using any hardware or softare to cause the Sony Product to accept
      or use unauthorized, illegal or pirated softare or hardware; and
      (iv) exploiting any Sony Product to design, develop, update or distribute
      unauthorized softare or hardware for use with the Sony Product.
      If any term of such SCEA or SCEA Affilates' license agreement or terms of
      use applicable to that Sony Product shall be determined by Congress or by a
      court of law in a final non-appealable decision in an action to which SCEA or
      an SCEA Affiliate is a party to be illegal and unenforceable, then such term
      shall not be binding on Hotz.
      C. CIRCUMVENTING any of the TPMs or security in any SONY PRODUCT;
      D. TRAFFICKING in any technology, product, service, device, component, or
      part thereof that, at the time of Hotz's trafficking, circumvents any of the
      TPMs or security in any SONY PRODUCT, including but not limited to the
      Ellptical Curve Signature Algorithm ("ECDSA") Keys, encryption andlor
      decryption keys, dePKG firmware decrypter program, Signing Tools, 3.55
      Firmware Jailbreak, andlor any other technologies that enable unauthorized
      access to andlor copying of the PS3 System andlor enable compatibility of
      unauthorized copies of other copyrighted works with the PS3 System.
      E. Distributing or posting any SCEA or SCEA Affiliates' confidential or
      proprietary information relating to any SONY PRODUCT;
      F. Knowingly assisting or inducing others to engage in any of the conduct set
      forth in A-E above solely directed at any SONY PRODUCT or that otherwise
      constitutes contributory liabilty under the law.
      What does that mean? It means geohot, get the f_ck out of the hacking scene, completely, now. You call that a dismissal? You call that a settlement? If this was a settlement, it would have gone something like this. Straight from geohot.com:

      ‎"What if SCEA tries to settle?
      Lets just say, I want the settlement terms to include OtherOS on all PS3s and an apology on the PlayStation blog for ever removing it. It'd be good PR for Sony too, lord knows they could use it. I'm also willing to accept a trade, a legit path to homebrew for knowledge of how to stop new firmwares from being decrypted."
      -George Hotz, geohot.com

      "My attempts at humor aside, I do take this whole matter very seriously. Again, it's not about me, I was on the verge of quitting this stuff last June, and I would hate to be the one who sets a reputation for hackers that all a company has to do is sue us and we back down. "
      -George Hotz, geohot.com


      OR you could get scared and take it in the rear lying down, Hotz. GG Sony, you can officially stick it in the @ss of whoever you please. America is doomed.
    1. kadernal's Avatar
      kadernal -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      True.
      Running "backups" is the worst excuse. No one realistically has any need or requirement to run backups of their games.

      Thats a pretty ignorant statement.

      I for one backup all my games, and use a jailbroken PS3 in my living room and basement so that if friends come over and want to play I dont have to lug the game discs all over the house based on where we are. They are all on a rack organized in my room. I used to buy duplicates so that I wouldn't have to do this, usually getting used games at gamestop when the price was right. I don't see how thats any different from backing up, seeing as the profits are going to gamestop and not the developers.

      I have over 75 games for my ps3 that I bought legally. I own 3 playstation's that I bought legally. I also still have a ps2 hooked up to my TV in my bedroom for when I want to play old games. The main reason I bought an extra ps3 to hack was because I thought I might be able to get backwareds compatilibilty for my ps2 games at some point and ditch the ps2. somthing I have been missing since my launch day ps3 with BC died, and i refuse to pay inflated prices for a console that can play ps2 games on ebay. Ive put plenty of money into the hands of game developers and sony, I dont see why I cant do this in my own house.

      Sony is greedy as can be. The fact that they can still market and sell ps2 versions of games and remove BC from ps3s is beyond absurd. Not that I like xbox any better, but you dont see MS removing xbox BC from the 360 just so the can split the market. its been nearly 5 years since the ps3 came out. give me a break. I shouldn't be forced to have a giant legacy console in addition to the new console I dropped hundreds of dollars on, just to play older games. I would love to unclutter my desk, but sony isnt doing anything about it. By this logic, the ps4 comes out, will I need to have a ps2, ps3 and ps4 all connected just so I can enjoy all my games?

      If I own a blu ray disc, it is perfectly legal for me to back it up and stream it within my own home to any of my TVs off a NAS for instance. Why shouldn't I be able to have the same flexibility with my video games?


      Not that Im saying any of this is a bad thing, I'm glad geohot and sony came to an agreement.

      I just don't think its fair to say that the ps3 jailbreak scene is any different from the iOS scene, in that if you want pirated apps/games you can get them. there are legit reasons for jailbreaking even if the corporations say otherwise. you are on mmi, you should know this.
    1. Brr's Avatar
      Brr -
      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
      So now we can buy Sony? NOT

      I really believe Sony saw this "collateral damage" and wanted to stop their suit against geohot.

      Why else would they have backed off from such an aggressive stance to just a slap on the wrist?
    1. ninthchamber99's Avatar
      ninthchamber99 -
      I wonder if Sony backed off due to the rumor that the hacker group (their name escapes my right now)was going to focus their efforts at Sony for what they were doing to GeoHot.

      Either way, glad that it is over for Geo!! Now get back to hacking Apple products!!
    1. vedavis's Avatar
      vedavis -
      Just a guess, but I think Mr. Hotz saw (or was advised) that a long, drawn legal battle would have only drained his funds; Sony could have thrown a tremendous amount of cash (lawyers) just to prove a point. I consider Hotz a trailblazer who was young enough not to think or care of the consequences of his actions; where as I am an old f**k who wouldn't have taken that chance because I know the consequences.
    1. bigbaba's Avatar
      bigbaba -
      Quote Originally Posted by iliveudie View Post
      I wish he would have fought back...I wanted to see the jailbreaking of ps3's legalized!

      The only reason he agreed to drop it was probably because they threatened to sue his *** broke. If he didn't do anything illegal, he wouldn't have kept this case going; I know it.
      This is where people need to know the difference between civil and criminal court. Geohot was not charged criminally (ie. by the police). Jailbreaking the PS3 was never going to become officially legal or illegal as a result of this case.

      Geohot did however have a civil claim brought against him. Here Sony was trying to prove that Geohot's work was harming them (like when you sue someone's car insurance to get your car fixed when you get rear-ended).

      Also, I think Geohot's law team found the best possible outcome for this case since there was no legal decision made. A judge did not make the final decision is this case which can then be used as precedent in future cases. As far as legal precedent goes, this case never happened.
    1. Nickaroni22's Avatar
      Nickaroni22 -
      Sony may have won a battle, but they haven't won the war, if not Geo someone else. Sony will pat themselves on the back for awhile. History will repeat itself, but will someone elses hack. Kinda like the piracy of music, it will never be completely stopped. Geo is like Napster, it was only the beginning.
    1. boxxa's Avatar
      boxxa -
      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
      Until Apple starts to go down the same path has Sony did and prevents him from touching Apple products too.
    1. newyor's Avatar
      newyor -
      I guess Geohot received a healthy "compensation" from Sony, that's it
      Both parties are happy now - Geohot is rich for the rest of his life (i while Sony demonstrated to other jailbeakers and hackers that "you guys don't mess with us"
    1. jonathan1683's Avatar
      jonathan1683 -
      Looks like it wasnt about stealing or distributing code after eh? All they care about is the jailbreaking. Anyways Geo didnt lose much he can still hack the machine just not take credit for it. I know this would probably be difficult. Or he can still take credit and deny he did it. Who knows he and sony are probably friends now, but I could care less about a PS3 anyways.
    1. i3urger's Avatar
      i3urger -
      I was looking at the comments on the blog and everyone is glad sony "WON". It seems some people are ok with sony keeping things locked down on the ps3. I don't know cuz I hardly ever use my ps3, but if that's the way ps3 users like things ( I'm not speaking about all but it looks like majority). Well maybe geohot should come back to the iproducts and help the chronic devs with a jailbreak and unlock for all. Ipad 2 needs one. f.y.i. I wished geohot had won because it would have set an example of freedom to products, not to piracy, but to have our stuff the way we would like our things.
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      Quote Originally Posted by newyor View Post
      I guess Geohot received a healthy "compensation" from Sony, that's it
      Both parties are happy now - Geohot is rich for the rest of his life (i while Sony demonstrated to other jailbeakers and hackers that "you guys don't mess with us"
      And how exactly do you figure geohot is now rich?
    1. Bluemoldycheeze88's Avatar
      Bluemoldycheeze88 -
      P***y *** gayhot.
    1. TheJailbreakGenius's Avatar
      TheJailbreakGenius -
      And the legal fund?
    1. The Man of Sand's Avatar
      The Man of Sand -
      I can't even figure out HOW the court system thought it was fair for a branch of a major corporation to sue someone because they hacked something. You'd think the ruling of jailbreaking being legal would act as a precedent to this trial, especially with GeoHotz almost being a legendary name in the iPhone jailbreaking world.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheJailbreakGenius View Post
      And the legal fund?
      Used on his legal expenses I assume.

      Quote Originally Posted by The Man of Sand View Post
      I can't even figure out HOW the court system thought it was fair for a branch of a major corporation to sue someone because they hacked something. You'd think the ruling of jailbreaking being legal would act as a precedent to this trial, especially with GeoHotz almost being a legendary name in the iPhone jailbreaking world.
      He wasn't sued because he hacked his PS3. It's been how many months since this started? And people still don't understand what the lawsuit was about.
      Btw, anyone can file a lawsuit against anyone over anything.
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -
      Quote Originally Posted by newyor View Post
      I guess Geohot received a healthy "compensation" from Sony, that's it
      Both parties are happy now - Geohot is rich for the rest of his life (i while Sony demonstrated to other jailbeakers and hackers that "you guys don't mess with us"
      Umm... Confused?