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Sony settles with PS3 hacker Geohot

by Alice O'Connor, Apr 11, 2011 11:30am PDT
Related Topics – Internet Rage, Hack, Legal, Sony, SCEA, Geohot

Sony's legal battle with George 'Geohot' Hotz, the hacker who exposed the PlayStation 3's root key, has ended. The two announced today in a joint statement that a settlement has been reached.

Hotz had figured out how to run unauthorised code on Sony's console, allowing it to run 'homebrew' software but also--not Hotz's goal--pirated games. Unsurprisingly, Sony was none too happy with this and sued. The terms of the settlement are not disclosed, beyond the fact that Hotz "consented to a permanent injunction."

"Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us," said Sony Computer Entertainment America's general counsel Riley Russell in the joint statement. "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."

"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," Russell said.

Hotz's part in the statement is far smaller. "It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier," he said. "I'm happy to have the litigation behind me." And that's all. However, elsewhere he's a little more animated.

"As of 4/11/11, I am joining the Sony boycott. I will never purchase another Sony product. I encourage you to do the same. And if you bought something Sony recently, return it," Hotz wrote in a blog post. "Why would you not boycott a company who feels this way [not work-safe] about you? There is much more to come on this blog."

Hotz explained in the comments that, "The terms of the settlement agreement are 'confidential' and the matter requires that they be 'confidential.'"

Today's statement also makes clear for the record that Hotz was uninvolved with the online retaliation attacks against the PlayStation Network. These denial-of-service attacks were launched last week by "hacktivist" group Anonymous, which then called them off as innocent PlayStation users were impacted, rather than simply Sony itself.

Unsurprisingly, this end to the battle has produced murmurs of discontent from those who wished to see the dispute go to trial and result in a victory for 'jailbreaking' hardware. They'll have to wait for another horse to back and, for now, content themselves with grumbling that they were cheated out of the $5 they willingly donated to Hotz's legal defence fund. That's the Internet for you.




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