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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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201

+ iatethem on April 11th, 2011 at 4:57 pm said:

Wow, some of these comments are staggering.
Did anyone setting forth the judgement that hackers are “cheaters” even bother to keep up to date with what was going on?
And if you want to blame people for cheating in MW2, blame those groupie clan sites, they had tutorials all over YouTube.

/facepalm


202

+ fuzzyclutter on April 11th, 2011 at 4:57 pm said:

+ TheHiFiJedi because what geohot did was not a jailable offense he did however violate sony’s right’s however . when he published their trade secrets .


203

+ fuzzyclutter on April 11th, 2011 at 5:04 pm said:

BTW he was not let go and this action adresses one facet of the suit … the rest of the suit can commence , he is far from in the clear.


204

+ fuzzyclutter on April 11th, 2011 at 5:13 pm said:

@ + vicdu31 Then go ahead and mod your PS3. they never said you could not . it is YOUR PS3 , But the PSN and it’s servers are not yours and they DO NOT HAVE TO ALLOW modded PS3′s onto it . just like any other network service provider.


205

+ firstgen4life on April 11th, 2011 at 5:18 pm said:

countains no sony source code


206

+ donte1337 on April 11th, 2011 at 5:29 pm said:

Lots of bad PR with this whole event

PR = Public image or majority of peoples perception of Sony

glad its over and maybe we can move onto more important things like Cross Game voice chat for Playstation Plus Subscribers (I’d finally join) ANDDD Battlefield Bad Company 1 on Playstation store for $19.99 (DO IT PLEASE)


207

+ Elvick_ on April 11th, 2011 at 5:46 pm said:

Other OS was only removed because of hackers in the first place. It getting removed is their fault. It’s certainly not my fault, a random user who had no intention of using it, let alone misusing it to hack the system. Even if I did use Other OS, it wouldn’t have been my fault they removed it. It’d be… the hackers fault. I wouldn’t blame Sony, and don’t. I blame them for trying to use it to break the system to the public.

Had they left it alone, it would still be here. They wanted to open up the PS3 to everyone which would lead to piracy, which is a huge problem in this industry. Sony had every right to try and prevent it. Heck, if they wanted to hack their own PS3 then the information never would have been online and Sony never would have heard about it. So we’d still have it if these people really wanted to do ‘whatever they wanted with THEIR’ system. Problem is they wanted others to follow suit, and with that would open the gates to the already rampant piracy.


208

+ Icestar10 on April 11th, 2011 at 6:01 pm said:

I don’t care much for Other OS. I just want Sony to bring back backwards compatibility for PS2 games.

Sony, please listen to us, many of us are upset that you removed backwards compatibility for PS2 games.

http://share.blog.us.playstation.com/ideas/2010/03/17/software-emulation-for-ps2-games/

The second most requested thing at your blog share website is backwards compatibility for PS2 games. Can someone from Sony please respond?

I have a 60 GB model that I share with my brother, but I want to buy another PS3 but in order for me to want it, it must be backwards compatible. I think you should bring it back, you could even do a one time charge for it or something. Think about it! ;)

Sony, if you see this message, please do respond! :)


209

+ FonFahbre on April 11th, 2011 at 6:07 pm said:

I’m so glad that this is done with.


210

+ chao1212 on April 11th, 2011 at 7:01 pm said:

#28′s got what this really means down. Geohot was really fighting for us, not against us. Nothing that he has made has actually caused any damage to Sony. However, pirates have used his exploits to make their own versions of his custom firmware with the keys that he released. You don’t realize that if Geohot had won this consoles would be open to garage developers to make their own, free games. A whole new world of creative and free games would have been unlocked for everyone. This was a loss for all of us. This isn’t a victory, don’t think it is.


211

+ crazy4dss on April 11th, 2011 at 7:21 pm said:

You people are so blind to what big corp. are doing, they want control over everything including items you pay for. i understand piracy is wrong but is it wrong for a father to want to play online games with his son and have to buy multiple copies of the same game playing it on the same network in the same house hold? Thats what geohotz was fighting for the right for you to do waht you want to do with your system the you purchase. As far as online cheaters that has nothing to do with hotz did. Cheaters are sore loosing players, they will always be around…….

SONY, you want to fight something how about a better online gaming network that is more reliable?


212

+ TwinDad on April 11th, 2011 at 7:57 pm said:

I have to ask what Sony won, if anything, here. He jailbroke the PS3. It lead to Piracy but he didn’t do it another person/group did it. You should have gone after the persons who pirated the software. Smash them with large fines, it does deter piracy. This did nothing but gather the rally cry against Sony. You now have far more people hating Sony then before. I suspect the revenue lost to people who are boycotting Sony products is far less then those who would pirate your software.


213

+ krazykat on April 11th, 2011 at 8:26 pm said:

I paid $600USD for my PS3 and it was one of the first 500,000 sold. To me buying the PS3 was justified by the games alone and if not that, then the fact that at the time it was worth the money alone as a blu-ray player. OtherOS was a rarely used feature, I understand and mourn for some of you who may have loved it, but I’m sure you didn’t buy your PS3 just to use the other OS. Yes, it was a crappy move of Sony to remove it, but they were looking out for the gamers and their ability as a company to stay profitable by deterring piracy, so they could continue to dish out AAA exclusives and consoles to come. Sony has made PSN free of charged, given you an internet browser, Qiriocity, Home, Vudu, Netflix, and much more that my PS3 did not have and yours would not either, if Sony was not so loyal and delivering to their customers.


214

+ WakizashiM on April 11th, 2011 at 8:28 pm said:

@7
Exactly. He should be hired to secure the PS4.


215

+ l1ttlejIsGay on April 11th, 2011 at 8:39 pm said:

Okay, let me clairfy this to anybody who agrees with Sony any thinks that geohot did this all for cheating and piracy.

With the 3.00 update Sony removed the OtherOS feature of our console which did not allow us to modify it in anyway or install linux which we where previously allowed to do. Geohot in January of 2011 released his jailbreak which allowed us to modify our consoles which we bought, the jailbreak disabled the option to play backups (aka burned games). Sony then sued geohot for modification of HIS OWN console that HE bought. Sony sued him for tresspassing and a few other crap reasons. Geohot stated he did not support piracy or online hacking/modding, he just wanted linux back which was advertised as a feature in the ps3, so Sony actually disabled/stole a advertised feature of the console, i know right shocking!

More in next comment


216

+ l1ttlejIsGay on April 11th, 2011 at 8:39 pm said:

In February 2011 sony sued Alexander Egorenkov(under the online alias of graf_chokolo) for release of the hypervisor bible which allowed for reverse engineering of the ps3(or something like that). He stated he had a scientific mind, did not support piracy and yeah, he was modifying his own property.

In april, the anonymous hacking group going under the name operation payback decided to ddos sony and is planning to boycott sony stores on the 16th.

so yeah, sony bad modders good.

Uhh, and for those anonmous r internet hate machine crap, they’re not, check wikipedia


217

+ TheUndertaker85 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:19 pm said:

People here on the blog should cut the BS.

1) Sony didn’t go after GeoHot for anything hardware related. Remember, in the world of electronics there’s a difference between hardware and software. The funny part is many people here are trying to claim GeoHot was just messing with his hardware innocently. In reality, GeoHot was messing with the software, something that you the owner of the hardware don’t purchase. When you buy a PS3 do you have to buy the OS? You you get an extra disc with the OS on it? No, you don’t. When you purchase the PS3 you’re purely purchasing the hardware including the base system, controller, and cables. Sony never once said that you couldn’t take a bat to your system, run it over with a car, light it on fire, whatever you want to the physical system.


218

+ TheUndertaker85 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:20 pm said:

2) In reality, GeoHot was the cause of OtherOS being removed fully from non-slim systems. Slim systems were introduced without OtherOS, something most consumers knew when purchasing the slim line of PS3. There wasn’t even a hint that OtherOS would be removed from fat systems. Actually the opposite was put out… Until GeoHot used OtherOS as a way to break into the system. Read around. There’s still proof of this all around online. To try and ensure that the PS3 stayed safe, Sony removed OtherOS, the main way to break into the PS3.


219

+ TheUndertaker85 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:21 pm said:

3) Users DID have a flat out choice to upgrade and lose OtherOS. During the update process a prompt comes up to warn users that if they update past that point, they’ll lose OtherOS. This is why you can try to sue all you want but you did have a choice in the matter. Regrets suck, don’t they? You got to CHOOSE though between PSN and OtherOS. If OtherOS really was the main purchasing point to you then all you’d have to simply do is not update. To assume also that the Air Force lost OtherOS is a laugh. You really think Sony couldn’t just simply give the Air Force PS3 systems a custom firmware that allows OtherOS by itself? Do you really believe that those same clusters the Air Force use even access PSN? Cause I really, really, really doubt they do UNLESS one of the Air Force members decided to be a [DELETED], stop using the systems as a cluster, and tried to go and play some PSN games with that cluster. I’m sure the Air Force would look kindly on that… I mean hey, it’s only a ton of cash they spent to make that cluster. I’m sure they’ll just love one of their own gaming on them instead of actually using them for their purpose on the Air Force base.


220

+ TheUndertaker85 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:22 pm said:

People here on the blog should cut the BS.

1) Sony didn’t go after Hotz for anything hardware related. Remember, in the world of electronics there’s a difference between hardware and software. The funny part is many people here are trying to claim Hotz was just messing with his hardware innocently. In reality, Hotz was messing with the software, something that you the owner of the hardware don’t purchase. When you buy a PS3 do you have to buy the OS? You you get an extra disc with the OS on it? No, you don’t. When you purchase the PS3 you’re purely purchasing the hardware including the base system, controller, and cables. Sony never once said that you couldn’t take a bat to your system, run it over with a car, light it on fire, whatever you want to the physical system.


221

+ TheUndertaker85 on April 11th, 2011 at 9:23 pm said:

2) In reality, Hotz was the cause of OtherOS being removed fully from non-slim systems. Slim systems were introduced without OtherOS, something most consumers knew when purchasing the slim line of PS3. There wasn’t even a hint that OtherOS would be removed from fat systems. Actually the opposite was put out… Until Hotz used OtherOS as a way to break into the system. Read around. There’s still proof of this all around online. To try and ensure that the PS3 stayed safe, Sony removed OtherOS, the main way to break into the PS3.


222

+ Visi_Ace on April 11th, 2011 at 9:27 pm said:

In the end it is about trust. Can you trust the hacking community not to use OtherOS as a spingboard to search for and attack other possible vulnerabiltities in the sytem? If the answer is yes, then fine, but if the answer is no, the risk is too big for Sony to allow it which wll cause more damage to their business model.

Sony originally did trust the hacking community, but unfortunately, (due to GeoHot) the trust was broken and therefore no more OtherOS. I would do exactly the same to protect my business interest had it been my business, even though it would be nice to do other things on my console. To me it is fair to protect the integrity of the PS3 on the one hand and then to rather use Linux on my PC on the other hand. It is the lesser of two “evils”.

Lets be honest with ourselves, the ultimte goal of the hacking community is a hacked console that allows the copy of free games. The “legit” use of brew for normal purposes is the minority and free use of the system is the excuse for the real motive.


223

+ Spacerac on April 11th, 2011 at 9:53 pm said:

People don’t seem to get, you own the product but you don’t own the software it takes to run the product. That computer you’re typing on right now? You own the physical components of it, but the Mac Os? Windows XP/Vista/7? You’re RENTING that. You are only licensed to use it, you do not own it. Same with the PS3. You own the machine but not the firmware so you cannot modify the firmware it takes to run the system. Other OS was advertised, yes, but it was never advertised in official media. They never should’ve talked OtherOS up at all. However, it is not like they removed, say, PS2 compatibility from systems that can do it or that WOULD be a problem as it is a feature on the box.


224

+ oquin-_09 on April 11th, 2011 at 10:08 pm said:

Well the only hack game that i know of is the COD’s Games .


225

+ SargoDarya on April 11th, 2011 at 10:51 pm said:

@213 AND TO THOSE CLAIMING PS3 FIRMWARE IS ONLY LICENSED
Fine, to all those who said when we bought the PS3 we only bought a license which granted us to use Sonys license argumenting it would be like changing code in Windows. Yes, you’re right but if you argument like this you also have to say it’s like Microsoft would remove the taskbar in an update because well, you have the desktop and you don’t need the taskbar, do you?


226

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

you can modify anything you want on your system . what you can’t do is publish trade secrets or create derivitiveworks based off that (ps jail break ) . and NO .. no company in their right mind would hire anybody who makes it a habit to publish trade secrets … that’s where george pooed away any career with any legit company .


227

+ SilenceProphecy on April 12th, 2011 at 12:25 am said:

Ok lets start off…
1) Anyone who bought the PS3 for the OtherOS feature is stupid. If you want Linux, go download Ubuntu, mount the ISO, put it in your current computer, and set up a damn dual boot.
2) “When you buy software, you are purchasing the right to use it, under certain restrictions imposed by the copyright owner.” In Sony’s agreement it clearly states that it can CHANGE ANYTHING. So, Hotz is wrong; plain and simple.
3) Piracy puts out small video game companies, congrats on ruining the industry if you are one who supports Hotz.
4) Finally, if you do want to cheat in video games do it on a PC because modding is common on PC. If you do it to gain an advantage you are just a [DELETED].


228

+ Leemo19 on April 12th, 2011 at 12:49 am said:

at least the settlement is over with finally. even though most people still have his jailbreaking code to dl from different sites which still sucks cause mw2 will still cont to be hack most likely. now to see if anonymous(pov) will still cont to attack sony or let it go now with the settlement being over with. i do know anon and gehotz are planning on boycotting sony products. wow gl with that what 100 people boycotting sony products, do they really think that’s going to hurt Sony sales. there’s over what billions people in the world, 100 people boycotting one company is like .00000000000001% of people of those billions people. Sony is movies,comp, tvs, radios, mp3, gaming, headsets, etc. there in most of everyday use of electronics so boycotting a company isn’t really go to effect Sony at all, what a bunch of morons.


229

+ OrthusxD on April 12th, 2011 at 12:59 am said:

I love how people say that hacking the hypervisor was bad, it was hindering the system and not allowing access to the graphics unit thus made any linux use out side of comand line limited. also note that there is no legal way to wipe all of sonys software off and install linux with full hardware fuctionality. i’m sorry but locking hardware to a single software source should be illegal.


230

+ vaspervnp on April 12th, 2011 at 1:21 am said:

I own a PS3 which I bought because it was advertized it could run Linux. Then SONY turned it in to a brick by giving me an update that blocked Linux. This was an illegal action in Europe because European law prohibits the after sales change of a feature that is advertised. Law takes presidence over signed aggreement. Yet, I don’t see SONY in this case following the law. According to the same law, I am entitled to a refund, but I still get a refusal from SONY. So forgive me for being happy every time I hear someone broke the PS3 protection.


231

+ The_Lexx on April 12th, 2011 at 1:54 am said:

Pretty lame overall. The kid can do what he wants to his playstation – he owns it. Sony can tell their consumers all they want that they don’t own their system – but I would like to see a Sony exec knock on my door and ask for my playstation back. I assure you they would be looking down the receiving end of a 12 gauge.

Sony has plenty of cashed up puppets like me who are too old to be bothered hacking / pirating and would just rather pay for their stuff. As a Playstation + subscriber and buyer of a household full of Sony products, I couldn’t give a crap about people pirating. Sony need to toughen the f@#$ up and get on with providing me with a fantastic gaming experience.

Way to go, Sony. You look like a pack of little girls.

PS: God your phones suck! I ended up buying a stupid IPhone because the 3 walkman phones I had were rubbish and kept breaking. <<< Look into that s#!* cause I don't want to be forced to buy your competitors crap.

- Dave


232

+ Jake20202 on April 12th, 2011 at 5:02 am said:

At least it’s done now.


233

+ MucrewYeti on April 12th, 2011 at 5:20 am said:

So if a hacker found a vulnerability in the voice chat software or even the blu-ray play back and Sony removed that feature everyone would be ok with that too? If the OtherOS had a security vulnerability then you patch it.


234

+ MairusuPawa on April 12th, 2011 at 6:01 am said:

So does this mean us users get OtherOS back now?


235

+ ThisOnlineIdCant on April 12th, 2011 at 6:44 am said:

Hey, humans! Your freedom of speech right no longer exist: Sony took it away. So, you can’t speak freely about security issues of PS3. Look, Geohot is denied his freedom of speech. Is it what you call “democracy”? Which human rights will be next to give up in favor of long bucks for Sony/whoever else?


236

+ ThisOnlineIdCant on April 12th, 2011 at 6:53 am said:

At the end of day, Sony has crippled Geohot’s freedom of speech. That’s not what looks anyhow good.


237

+ DoremifasoIatido on April 12th, 2011 at 7:11 am said:

Congratulations with the victory Sony :-)

Thank you for making so many excellent consumer goods products.

My family truly enjoys them all!


238

+ route151 on April 12th, 2011 at 7:28 am said:

When the legal action is done and clear, can Sony / PSN produce a mini series / Qore episode, so that I can have an idea of what actually happened?

With Sony being a global conglomeration, these small exploits will only strengthen the product and the service offered to the consumer. That said; more then piracy, in regards to the jailbreak, I would be more concerned with malicious use of the system. If the U.S military bought so many for supercomputing, is this not possible on a smaller scale?


239

+ Jisatsu_Kiddo on April 12th, 2011 at 1:26 pm said:

80,

yes, yes he did. you are ill informed it seems so step off the soap box.


240

+ Jisatsu_Kiddo on April 12th, 2011 at 1:28 pm said:

231
stop keyboarding


241

+ Crypto2600 on April 12th, 2011 at 3:20 pm said:

F**k Sony.

BTW for all you who are looking, there is a mass upload of the jailbreaks to Rapidshare, Hotfile and Torrents sites underway at the moment.

Sony, lick my balls. PS3 is the last Sony product I am buying. And people thought Microsoft was evil. Sony makes Microsoft look like a schoolgirl.


242

+ Crypto2600 on April 12th, 2011 at 3:23 pm said:

@ThisOnlineIdCant

Sony just made sure that all future exploits for the PS3 are not publicized. They just made their products less secure.


243

+ Ion-Storm on April 12th, 2011 at 3:56 pm said:

Awesome. Now maybe you can hire some more engineers and less lawyers and get me my other OS back? Perhaps you could give us a firmware with otherOS back? I’ll happily trade online gaming on PSN if that’s what it takes? Sadly I was out of the country when someone else updated my PS3 for me so never had the option to not “upgrade”. Still it comes back with the latest firmware every time it goes for repairs/replacement. 6th times a charm Sony.


244

+ mcbuttz78 on April 12th, 2011 at 4:18 pm said:

THe PSN Legion speaks

This very disgusting sony. We are very happy for your moral win but What about the 2500-3500 consoles that where bricked during these ddos attack. Who’s going to pay t for those consoles. My own 600$ rare 60gb console was bricked, I dont have warrenty becuase warrenty wont oout atthe time and 250–3500 loyal sony gamers are inthe same boat im in. When they send the consols back they cannt be fixed>? How is that winning sony?

This guy told anon to attack psn. See how it stopped when you guy settled.. Put the facts together sony. Who going tpick up the tab for these 2500-3500 broken consoles.>


245

+ mcbuttz78 on April 12th, 2011 at 4:27 pm said:

cont>>Why does the consumer continue to suffer the short hand of the stick, when these unfair players who brick and ban other legit gamer console walk scot free, , get off for pennies on the dollar..

This is not about money sony becuase i have spend over 25K$ in your product over the last 15 yr, gamers have spent over 500 mill on your products the last year alone. Yet and still you cut a deal with a guy who has damaged all the hard work and sercurity of you worker and peers In the value of 450 million un repairable damages? And the legit loyal ps3 brand players pick all damage costs. Thats just dont add up right to me sony.These hackers deserve to put behind bars that we want we some just justice . fight for us the real way dont cut any deals becuase there’re not cutting us any money to pay for bricked consoles!!!

mcbuttz78
vp-psn- playstation legionairre comitee


246

+ OrthusxD on April 12th, 2011 at 4:46 pm said:

@ mcbuttz78

anon stopped because they were harming the consumer more than they were harming sony with the ddos attacks, so they switched they plan to protests out side of sony stores. Geohotz is hated by the hacking community now because he settled without getting the OtherOS feature back or causing the overly protecting DCMA to get an exception for video game consoles (let alone hardware that gets locked to ONE software vendor >.<).


247

+ Da_xavier on April 12th, 2011 at 5:38 pm said:

Yes! No more hackers on our online games. Thats what this was mostly about along with the piracy. been reading alot of ppls responses to this saying they own there Ps3′s yes we do but heres the thing once you make a PSN account Your under the terms of agreement that Sony has layed down which Prohibits Modding/hacking which is good it should be that way. If you wanna cheat on a online game go play PC.


248

+ OrthusxD on April 12th, 2011 at 6:26 pm said:

@246

but what if i want to learn how the machine works and how to make it better? hacking != cheating

watch this video and tell me your view on hackers did not change?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0u_7DHuuNg


249

+ stefferz06 on April 12th, 2011 at 8:36 pm said:

I had a very long paragraph where I attempted to explain the difference between whitehat and blackhat but if you don’t know that, it just proves my point as to how uninformed you people are about who hackers actually are, what they do, and why they do it (one word: information).


250

+ The_Pariah on April 13th, 2011 at 1:58 am said:

It never ceases to amaze nor humour me how there are so many ignorant kids that actually dare to think they knew the slightest thing about this case.


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