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Sony settles with PS3 hacker Geohot

Sony has settled its legal battle with George Hotz, the hacker who figured out how to run unauthorised software on the PlayStation 3.


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.

From The Chatty
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    April 11, 2011 11:30 AM

    Comment on Sony settles with PS3 hacker Geohot, by Alice O'Connor.

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      April 11, 2011 12:08 PM

      oh snap, you show Sony by joining a boycott there /rolleyes.. I guess you'll have to find something else to hax0r.. lol.. boycot.. what a tool

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        April 12, 2011 2:08 PM

        Yep, this is one great victory for Sony, nobody will ever be hacking their systems again, the cat is back in the tube and the toothpaste is in the bag.

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      April 11, 2011 12:29 PM

      lol I've been on a sony boycott for probably 15 years or more, and not because of how they run their company but because of the quality of their products vs price. I've had quite a few sony products break down and I don't like paying the sony tax.

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        April 11, 2011 12:55 PM

        funny its for the exact opposite reason i got a ps3 in the first place /point red ring

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          April 11, 2011 1:11 PM

          Same for me i use my psp ps2 and ps3 daily for years and have never had a problem with any of them. The whole ps3 hacking scene is pathetic. The hackers think they are the next El Che and the people who hack their ps3's think they are fighting some anti corporation revolution. When in reality they are just idiots, pirates and cheaters.

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            April 11, 2011 1:44 PM

            Are you one of the, Pirates ruined MW2 multiplayer guys?

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          April 11, 2011 1:34 PM

          Consoles are crappy computers with a bunch of slackware they call "UI".

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            April 11, 2011 1:40 PM

            because their functions are involved with incredible scope creep? they used to be game consoles, now they are trying to make them do anything and everything.

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        April 11, 2011 1:06 PM


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          April 11, 2011 1:08 PM

          ^ This. All of the Sony televisions my dad and I have installed work flawlessly. My PS2 still works, but my PS3 is a brick now basically.

          I still laugh every time I read about Anonymous attacking Sony and forgetting they were screwing over the entire player base. Funny stuff.

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            April 11, 2011 1:28 PM

            I think Sony televisions are the exception to the rule. Heck, my Sony TV only recently started dying (making weird noises after being on for a while and such) and it's about a decade old.

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        April 11, 2011 1:37 PM

        I've had nothing but great experiences with Sony:

        - My Sony TVs have all been great.
        - My Sony receivers have all been great.
        - Never had any problems with my launch PS2.
        - Never had any problems with my launch PS3 (until it was stolen)
        - Never had any problems with my launch PSP, or PSP-3000.

        I can't think of another electronics company that's been so consistently reliable. Every Sony product I've ever had has lasted until I wanted to replace it. Never had one die on me early.

        Kinda weird, when I think about it.

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          April 11, 2011 10:48 PM

          I'm pretty happy with my XBR8 TV but I was really disappointed with the PS3 and send it back (Amazon rules).

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        April 11, 2011 2:54 PM

        I was on a Sony boycott for a while. The quality of their CD players in the late 90's had started to go down the tubes relative to that of Panasonic and Pioneer. They were WAY behind the times in the portable music player market with their forced ATRAC 3 usage and the "Sony luxury tax", so they were behind other better players like Diamond in the early 2000's, and blown out of the water by Apple's iPod; their players didn't do native MP3 until sometime near 2004 or 2005. Their DVD players consistently had the worst interface, and always ALWAYS locked the user out from jumping to menu or a specific chapter.

        The first Sony product I bought in about 10 years was the PS3 slim last September, as a direct result of playing GT5 Prologue at BMW Welt, and seeing that I saved about $500 on my Munich trip. It's pretty good for what it does; the "region-free" functionality in some games is awesome, the relative openness of doing stuff is interesting to play with, and it is a rather nice DVD HD scaler (even though the player STILL won't skip immediately to menu). It's sad to think that Sony's probably going to kill all of this openness for the PS4 as a result of the hacking stuff.

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          April 11, 2011 3:04 PM

          they seriously dropped the ball in the portable music department, but their current line of mp3 walkmans are small, light, and particularly awesome for their price.

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            April 11, 2011 10:38 PM

            no room for walkmen in the world of iPod/iPhone for portable players

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          April 11, 2011 9:30 PM


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            April 11, 2011 9:45 PM

            Most Blu-ray hardware I've come across is total shit.

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              April 11, 2011 9:59 PM


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                April 11, 2011 10:06 PM

                Mine has a ton of annoying quirks. Instead of telling you the movie is playing it now says "Loading" throughout the entire thing. Never used to do that. Started after a firmware update. Another good one is that my actual Blu-ray remote stopped working. The TV remote (same brand) still worked on it though, but not the actual remote that the player came boxed with. Finally fixed that by unplugging and plugging it back in. So lame.

                All that and it's just terribly slow. I'm really starting to despise menus in this day and age. Gaming too. Seems like it takes just as long to load a video game menu as it does to load the actual map from the game.

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                April 11, 2011 11:03 PM

                This is why opticals disks are on the way out. You pay $30 for a Blu-ray disk, come home, and are forced to watch unskippable trailers and slow menus.

                On the other hand, pay $8 a month for Netflix or rent the movie from iTunes (via Apple TV). No ads, no waiting, instant movie. No need to leave the house either.

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                  April 11, 2011 11:39 PM

                  Netflix streaming doesn't have blu-ray quality

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                    April 11, 2011 11:57 PM

                    They're not far behind, and they will catch up soon enough. And u won't have to buy a whole new optical disk player to enjoy future upgrades.

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                      April 11, 2011 11:59 PM

                      Hah. Well, have fun with that.

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                April 11, 2011 11:32 PM

                What model is it?

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        April 12, 2011 4:01 AM

        Complete opposite of my experiences. Ps1 and PS2 ran like champs for years (ps1 I got the first week of launch and it lasted until I sold it in 2007.

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      April 11, 2011 4:20 PM

      Sony: "we realised we couldn't really win without being even bigger arseholes and alienating the 6 people left who hadn't already defected to Xbox. lol soz."

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        April 11, 2011 8:49 PM So, they went from 47 million to 6 because they switched to xbawx? LOL you funnys. Wait can I make a dumb quote too?! Eh... I don't care enough. You are cool.

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          April 11, 2011 9:12 PM

          Oh snap! You sure showed him.

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          April 11, 2011 9:33 PM

          Console Defenders, du-dooo-tu-lutu-doo-dooooooo!!!

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          April 11, 2011 10:19 PM

          No he means really real gamers. The kind that quaff Mountain Dew, munch Cheetos, play Halo, Gears of War and call each other "bro" a lot. They mean it ironically, but in the end they use it so much it's not ironic anymore, only sad. Bro.

          Oh, and they're only allowed to buy one console, to which they must swear their eternal (5-6 years) allegiance. In blood.

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        April 12, 2011 4:52 AM

        Geohot: "I realized I was legally fucked, so I should probably settle ASAP instead of flying to South America again on this legal defense fund I had raised"

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      April 15, 2011 4:13 AM

      I wasn't sure what to think when I first heared about this law suite and now I'm still unsure...

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