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Settlement in George Hotz Case

Patrick Seybold's Avatar + Posted by Patrick Seybold on Apr 11, 2011 // Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media

Joint Statement

Sony Computer Entertainment America (“SCEA”) and George Hotz (“Hotz”) today announced the settlement of the lawsuit filed by SCEA against Hotz in federal court in San Francisco, California. The parties reached an agreement in principle on March 31, 2011. As part of the settlement, Hotz consented to a permanent injunction.

Both parties expressed satisfaction that litigation had been quickly resolved. “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,” said Hotz, “I’m happy to have the litigation behind me.” Hotz was not involved in the recent attacks on Sony’s internet services and websites.

In the action, SCEA accused Hotz of violating federal law by posting online information about the security system in the PlayStation 3 videogame console and software that SCEA claimed could be used to circumvent the security system in the console and allow the playing of pirated videogames. Hotz denies any wrongdoing on his part. Hotz’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction was still pending before the federal court in San Francisco but a preliminary injunction was issued requiring Hotz to take down the postings challenged by SCEA.

“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.”

//Add Your Own

258 Comments

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51

+ Vandaliser on April 11th, 2011 at 9:24 am said:

@first gen for life.

don’t be stupid. removing linux is not the same as removing blu ray functionaity. One was just a pointless feature. the other is necessary for the primary purpose of playing ps3 games.

linux was used by 1% of the population. No one gave a damn. A person who wants to use linux would buy a computer. But sony was feeling generous this gen and give these people linux. What did sony get in return? some [DELETED] hacked the ps3 hypervisor through linux.

My message to sony

When you design the playstation 4, keep it locked from the start. No point in opening your system again through third party. Hackers will always find an excuse to hack your system. Other OS removal was just an excuse.


52

+ SOOPERGOOMAN187 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:25 am said:

This is grand news, guess making IRC very sluggish this weekend helped. I am hanging up my hat for now. Kudos to Sony for sticking to their guns and showing the world of pirates just who is boss. I love my ps3, I love gaming in peace and I love when people get their come upinngs.


53

+ SPOPS on April 11th, 2011 at 9:25 am said:

Congrats Sony


54

+ Jisatsu_Kiddo on April 11th, 2011 at 9:25 am said:

27

read you tos and eula, it says you AGREE by being online that sony can add and remove what they want.
hotz got off way easy.


55

+ matt_world2004 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:26 am said:

Wow, Sony you have shown yourself up to be the horrible, bullying individuals you are.

You filed this case knowing that you had no legal basis whatsoever to bully, harass and intimidate GeoHot and Graf into discontinuing their work.

If Sony were so confident of winning; why didn’t you continue with the case.

Your removal of the OtherOs habitually trampled on most consumer laws that exists in both the US and Europe.

Please Sony tell me what is now permissible on the PS3 I purchased since apparently I don’t own it. Can I use the Web Browser, can I play non sony-labelled music off I tunes. Are Sony now going to ban the PS3 from playing titles from third party devs next?


56

+ NotSoSilent on April 11th, 2011 at 9:28 am said:

And no matter what the outcome is consumers loose. Either we lose features, or we have to put up with piracy/cheaters online thanks to this guy. If he had just kept his ego under control and not started tampering with otherOS Everything would still be like it was before last April. God I hope this guy walks across the street and someone doesn’t see the stop light/sign.


57

+ cell989 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:28 am said:

wow this is surprising for 3 things:

1.This did not turn into another Likzag incident

2. Both Gehot and Sony settled in a happy note

3. Anonymous proved their point


58

+ hush404 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:31 am said:

@27 – [DELETED]. Sony isn’t suing people who are breaking into their PS3 for ‘Other OS’ usage. They’re suing because Mr.Hotz went and let loose his methods of breaking the system open and thus inviting pirates to have free reign.

You may have purchased the console under the intent that you wanted to use both services, but if the EULA states that you can’t be modifying your system, else you looks access to PSN, then it’s your own fault for first agreeing to those terms and then breaking the rules of those terms, yet still wanting the whole privilege of the service.

You don’t open a bank account, adhere to their rules and then just blow in waving a pistol demanding money and using “But I pay for the service at the bank, I should be able to do what ever I want with it” to try and explain your actions.


59

+ somethingatt on April 11th, 2011 at 9:31 am said:

Oh please, Anon didn’t prove anything.
All they proved is that they are petty basement losers who send noob ping attacks on things they don’t like like little whiny girls. Once that got patched by Sony, they got stuck like the losers they are.

Anyway, on the topic at hand, glad all this is out of the way. Nice one Sony, getting rid of a headache in a sensible manner.


60

+ Lirion on April 11th, 2011 at 9:31 am said:

Finally this is over, hopefully Sony can go back to updating the PS3 firmware with new stuff instead of focusing on patching security holes.


61

+ righello on April 11th, 2011 at 9:37 am said:

Sounds ugly..


62

+ mgsfoxhound2 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:37 am said:

glad its over and Sony can now pay more attention to games. Hotz I’m glad it worked out for you. I bet its alot of weight off your shoulders : )


63

+ GooDer_gAMe on April 11th, 2011 at 9:37 am said:

Good stuff Sony! LOL GG Hotz. A step in the right direction, hopefully Sony can stop the rest of the loosers who don’t want to pay for games.


64

+ Gvazelite on April 11th, 2011 at 9:38 am said:

Well this certainly is something.

I don’t really care what happens as long as I get to do whatever I want to with my console I purchased.


65

+ Nynja on April 11th, 2011 at 9:38 am said:

Wow… settlement. Didn’t see that coming.

Still, at least both parties were able to reach an agreement. In the end, it’s always better this way.

This is good news.


66

+ Gvazelite on April 11th, 2011 at 9:40 am said:

As to that guy saying all this was Hotz’ fault, sorry but no. Sony shouldn’t have removed otherOS (though I’m glad they did honestly because it meant we could homebrew our systems) and blown this whole thing out of proportion


67

+ mgsfoxhound2 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:41 am said:

thats not nice NotSoSilent (Comment 51). if one person did it i’m sure it would of eventually happened.


68

+ blakseed on April 11th, 2011 at 9:51 am said:

Glad there was a peaceful ending to this whole mess.


69

+ TruRage on April 11th, 2011 at 9:53 am said:

I’m sure there are things in this settlement that both parties can’t reveal/discuss. Makes me wonder….

Even if Hotz was offered a job by Sony, would he actually take it? Seem’s like he’s Anti-Sony right now with him announcing he’s boycotting Sony Products. Still, I think Sony should learn from this endeavor and hire some fresh new talent from the gaming/hacking scene.


70

+ I3rand0 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:53 am said:

Another loss for consumers. Hopefullly the class action suit for Other OS will work out.


71

+ Budapesti on April 11th, 2011 at 9:59 am said:

“When Sony’s lawyers were asked for a statement regarding the possibility of the ‘Other OS’ being reinstated on the PS3 platform, they replied that their client couldn’t respond at present as Sony was ‘visiting a friend in South America’”


72

+ MucrewYeti on April 11th, 2011 at 10:00 am said:

I guess the lessons learned here are:

1. You as a consumer don’t own the hardware you purchased and functionality can be taken away.
2. Hackers will continue what they’re doing but will release information anonymously.

I’m not ok with piracy or cheating online but this really didn’t solve anything. What should have been done is Sony should allow some avenue for homebrew (Xbox at least has the Indie channel).


73

+ Mr_Evo on April 11th, 2011 at 10:01 am said:

Sony, you have my up most respect for being the (Bigger Man) and ending this (respectfully) I think both parties have learnt a great deal over recent events. It’s all about having fun, playing games with family and friends, and thats how it must remain. The PlayStation brand is second to none, the competition (well, there simply isn’t any) Sony you carry on what your doing, don’t let these Anti-Sony people or groups discourage you from what you do best (give us great products). I (hope) i speak for all the (true, legitimate gamers) when i say. You have our full support both now and in the future.


74

+ Carl-G on April 11th, 2011 at 10:06 am said:

Lets hope the xBox 360 owners er erm i mean hackers leave SONY alone now ;D


75

+ Snake_192 on April 11th, 2011 at 10:06 am said:

Well done!


76

+ BigGulpMark on April 11th, 2011 at 10:12 am said:

FYI he never did this to make piracy possible. He did this to give people control over their console. He did this to allow people to install software of their choosing on the console. For example.. Bring back Linux a feature many payed for and are no longer able to use. So please get your facts strait people before attacking HOTZ. [I expect sony to censor this out so why even write it]


77

+ d6chung on April 11th, 2011 at 10:13 am said:

@ 65 (MucrewYeti)

“1. You as a consumer don’t own the hardware you purchased and functionality can be taken away.”

I don’t know about that. The settlement implies that no legal ruling has been made so that issue in particular has not been addressed — it’s just that Hotz himself cannot distribute his work. Like you said in point #2, it doesn’t stop someone else to release information anonymously.


78

+ NESGamepro on April 11th, 2011 at 10:14 am said:

I hate that guy, self entitled punk. I wanted to see him fry.


79

+ MobileTone on April 11th, 2011 at 10:22 am said:

“The parties reached an agreement in principle”

i agree to a lot of things ‘in principle’ but that legally doesn’t mean i have to do anything about it.

just give me GeoHotz home address and i’ll ‘settle out of court’ with him properly.

what he did was open the door to all the hackers and idiots who ruin online gaming now and put legit users into a lower class as the hackers are still getting online and Sony does nothing about stopping or banning their consoles, while us legal users cannot connect to PSN and have our accounts cloned and consoles blocked by dirty tricksters.

Sony caved, do you really believe Hotz is going to keep his word? i don’t.


80

+ Truth-Is-Here on April 11th, 2011 at 10:22 am said:

@Jisatsu_Kiddo

Geohotz doesn’t have a PSN account so he didn’t agree to either of those.

There are so many misinformed people in this comment section. It makes me wonder if people know how to use the internet at all. First, Failoverflow is the group who originally discovered the key, Hotz simply made a tutorial/explanation video. Second, almost nothing has come from this hack being available yet. Is other OS back yet? No. Have there been exploits/hacks and programs made yet? No. Thirdly, there’s nothing different about the creation of this hack and jailbreaking your phone. Also, if you haven’t heard yet, jailbreaking is legal now after a revision to the DMCA. Continuing with the jailbreaking comparison, while you can jailbreak your phone, download and use third party apps, and still make phone calls, you’ve also voided your warranty and you shouldn’t use the app store because they can punish you for using an unauthorized device to download apps from “their” store.


81

+ DarkRecoil on April 11th, 2011 at 10:25 am said:

SETTLEMENT???!!? the little pirate punk should be ASSASSINATED

…or at the very least be rotting in a Colombian jail for the next 10 years :)


82

+ ICEIAN618 on April 11th, 2011 at 10:27 am said:

Now can we get cross game chat and a new xmb please or sonys engineers are to busy to update the system to be better?


83

+ thepatriots on April 11th, 2011 at 10:28 am said:

Silly crap like this should not happen. Taking Linux away was not a big deal. Its a gaming system not a computer.


84

+ PinkGIrlieBoY on April 11th, 2011 at 10:29 am said:

Finally now lets all dance and have fun again \(~O~)/


85

+ DEADMANWALKING01 on April 11th, 2011 at 10:31 am said:

@27

I completely agree man. I got my PS3 looking forward to using Linux, only to find that the Slim didn’t even support it. I haven’t even touched my PS3 in 2+ months. I have no real use for it besides a couple of games here and there.


86

+ guld_goa on April 11th, 2011 at 10:37 am said:

Hey what about loyal coustomers? That following the imposition of Playstation Network (PSN later) installed on 27 January, the firmware update v.3.56 for the PS3 To make use of the instructions of the device, replaced the hard drive itself, by another of higher capacity That because the original PS3 hard drive would no longer be used for this purpose, decided to reformat it, to offer greater storage capacity to the undersigned in other computer areas.That after installing the new hard drive on the PS3, that system has been caught in a kind of cycle, which makes it unusable, users around the world including the undersigned. This data is easily verifiable by introducing 8002F2C5 error code or error code 8002F225 followed by 3.56 in any Internet browser. It has also created a Facebook group to coordinate future action against the company with similar facts, that continues to increase in number of users.
doyou have any solution sony?


87

+ TheL1T1G4T0R on April 11th, 2011 at 10:38 am said:

@Gvazelite, Guardian_Bob, firstgen4life, MucrewYeti

You want to game and install an operating system, go buy a PC for less than $300. You can use your PS3 controller, Kinect, Xbox 360 controller, and whatever else you desire against people like yourself with your homebrew and ROMS.

You want the best gaming experience, coupled with 3D and High definition video, and a FREE network with communities of gamers who respect and value Sony’s quality products, then you buy the PS3.

The result of this Geohot nonsense should be a lesson. Don’t get cocky or foolish. Nothing gives you the right to disrespect somebody’s elses work or hurt their business model just because WANT to.


88

+ Rbrtchng on April 11th, 2011 at 10:39 am said:

So…has the piracy stopped?


89

+ phat-smurf on April 11th, 2011 at 10:42 am said:

too bad that hotz didnt get what he deserved. oh well i guess someone had to put on their big boy pants and end this crap, and it certainly wasnt going to be those ass hackers.


90

+ Richard919 on April 11th, 2011 at 10:46 am said:

george hotz is a knob goblin


91

+ artxsosa on April 11th, 2011 at 10:46 am said:

“Guardian_Bob on April 11th, 2011 at 8:49 am said:

Seems like Hotz and consumers are the losers here.

I mean I’m all for curbing piracy and cheating, but removing fundamental features of the equipment I bought is stealing.

I bought a PS3 to use OtherOS and PSN. Not to have to choose between them.

With this, Sony can remove any feature they want at any time, and you have no option but to accept it. Try and get your feature back, they’ll sue you into the ground”.

THIS KIND OF THINKING IS NOT PERMITTED in this forum  OLNY BECAUSE YOU ARE SOO RIGHT!!!!!

Same issue with the PSP, they took away the UMD drive – one million promises later they still want us to continue buying a product that I cant use my UMD library with (PSP-Go and now NGP). Does Sony really think that I want to continue buying their products? I hope Microsoft hires this kid — XBox here I come.


92

+ FiftyQuid on April 11th, 2011 at 10:47 am said:

“a preliminary injunction was issued requiring Hotz to take down the postings challenged by SCEA.” WTF Sony? Take it down? Once it’s on the internet you can’t just take it down. It’s there forever.

It’s also quite obvious that the recent server attacks, while not initiated by Hotz are related to this case. I know you cannot charge Hotz with any wrong doing here, but Anonymous won’t stop just because you (Sony) and Hotz decided to kiss and make up.

Hotz, “I’m sorry Sony”
Sony, “You are? Oh… That’s great!”
Judge, “Case dismissed”

I’m just guessing this is how it went down.


93

+ HolmWrecker on April 11th, 2011 at 10:49 am said:

In total support of Sony. Good job. Let this be a warning to all who think they have rights beyond reason. Personally, I would have settled for a jail term also. I’d love to see his type in prison, he’d suffer huge.


94

+ saintaqua on April 11th, 2011 at 10:49 am said:

Now let’s just hope future hackers can be as sensible.
The hacking community is over run with childish brats who want to lash out.
The court should have made Mr. Hotz work on blocking the hackers and cheaters.


95

+ TheL1T1G4T0R on April 11th, 2011 at 10:50 am said:

It’s simple. Let’s think logically here.

If you want to use homebrew, pirate games, use modifications, and install operating systems, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

That’s right. A PC.

Don’t try to sell anyone on here that you bought a PS3 for Linux. You’re only making yourself look uneducated.


96

+ jvasq on April 11th, 2011 at 10:52 am said:

im so happy sony did take a stand against this. piracy is not right and for those who complian about the other os feature, you know it was only for downloaded games. so poo on you. YOU LOSE!


97

+ UnchainedT on April 11th, 2011 at 10:53 am said:

I can’t believe Sony went after a user like that. Sony took away features that were promised to us, and Hotz was just ensuring that Sony was keeping it’s word. I don’t see what the big deal is, you don’t see Apple suing people who jailbreak iPhones. You don’t Google seeing people who root their Android OS, or even HTC, Motorola, etc. Sony is the only one.

What a shame that the rest of you think hacking = cheating. That’s not true. Keeping options, like Other OS, that Sony promised customers then took away is considered hacking by Sony. But it certainly isn’t cheating.

Sorry Sony, your greed and appetite for absolute control (it seems even more so than Apple, at least they don’t sue) have impacted my viewpoint on Sony very negatively. I handle e-commerce sales for a large online computer/electronic retailer and will definitely not be recommending Sony products based on this. I understand there isn’t much wiggle room around the PS3, but no more Sony TV’s, theater systems, blu-ray or any other Sony product recommendations are coming from me.


98

+ Blikes on April 11th, 2011 at 10:54 am said:

Well done to all involved. It’s about time this case was resolved.

Now we can get back to Playing games as they were mean’t to be played.
(Not me though, my PS3 is broken)


99

+ Guardian_Bob on April 11th, 2011 at 10:57 am said:

@53
The problem I have is that tools are not inherently evil, even if they can be used for evil purposes, By the logic of most here, the internet should be shut down, because it allows cheating and pirating.

In addition, your analogy is a complete non-sequitur, no one was threatening bodily harm.

A more apt example would be when my cell company tells me I have a choice between having my phone continue to take calls and unlimited data. If I keep the unlimited data and use VOIP, to get around their restrictions, you believe the company or person who made the VOIP app should be punished?

The irony is, without real hackers (not script kiddies, etc.) the internet, and computing in general wouldn’t be nearly as advanced, or exist in the form it does today.


100

+ Blikes on April 11th, 2011 at 10:59 am said:

@UnchainedT,

That seems like a childish attitude.
‘The guy i was rooting for lost so i’m gonna sulk’

Get over it dude, Sony was well within their right to go after this hacker and any other hackers that compromise the PlayStation Brand or the PSN, and it sounds like in your job, you need to be impartial and recommend the best solution for your customer so your bias is probably against your company’s Policy so poo :P


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