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Sony, Hotz settle PS3 hacking lawsuit

Mon 11 Apr 2011 6:26pm GMT / 2:26pm EDT / 11:26am PDT
HardwareLegal

Hotz consents to permanent injunction, claiming "it was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier"

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

Sony Computer Entertainment and George Hotz have settled their hacking legal dispute, according to a joint statement.

Sony had been taking legal action against Hotz for publishing and distributing security circumvention for the PlayStation 3.

Hotz has now consented to a permanent injunction and said that "it was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier. I'm happy to have the litigation behind me." He added that he is not involved in any of the recent attacks on Sony websites and services.

Those attacks are from a loose collective of hackers linked to Anonymous - the settlement between Hotz and Sony was agreed in principle on March 31, days before Anonymous threatened Sony for its legal actions against Hotz and other notorious hackers.

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."

Despite a press release focused on cooperation, Hotz has now said he is boycotting all Sony products in the future.

Sony has not revealed any details of its pursuit of hacking group fail0verflow, which it was also taking legal action against at the same time as George Hotz.

26 Comments

Wesley Williams Quality Assurance

133 72 0.5
Hmm, surprising outcome, I wonder what the details in the settlement are.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

James Finlan Studying Information Systems, University of Manchester

62 0 0.0
He leaves Sony alone, no more attempts to circumvent or reverse engineer any and all Sony products.

Posted:3 years ago

#2

Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer

255 8 0.0
That is a twist! So Sony has won indeed. However, I don't know how the Anonymous group is taking this. PSN has been unstable of late.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Haven Tso on 12th April 2011 9:58pm

Posted:3 years ago

#3
I is obvious. George Hotz wanted legal action againt him to end. Sony doesn't want further attacks from Anonymous. The situation created a stalemate. Sony can not claim victory over George Hotz while losing millions due to attacks. Was the price on George Hotz's head too high for Sony? I would not be surprised if Sony offers him a job concerning computer hardware security.

Posted:3 years ago

#4

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
SONY should give him a job.

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Robert Kelly

38 0 0.0
The supposed details leaked yesterday, saying that if he hacked the PS3 again he would be tried in California and be fined $10,000 for every offence.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

James Boulton Tools & Tech Coder, Slightly Mad Studios

133 171 1.3
Hmm, if the settlement is not to hack the PS3 again, they seem to have missed the boat on that one somewhat. The details are out there and there will be an endless stream of people taking up the challenge now there is a foothold. Any Sony product, however, that would make sense as the NGP will be under attack on the day of release without a doubt.

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Robert Kelly

38 0 0.0
Yeah along with a permanent injunction :) the leaked PDF should he available if you want to have a look

Posted:3 years ago

#8
I did not see this coming. I really thought Sony were after their pound of flesh.

Perhaps when they weighed it all up, they realised the litigation was costing them more in money and negative PR than they could ever hope to recoup from a successful suit against Hotz.

Posted:3 years ago

#9

Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis

387 205 0.5
So he is boycotting Sony products. Does that mean Microsoft should start to take notice of what he is doing with their consoles? :)

Posted:3 years ago

#10

Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor

401 196 0.5
Not a good move from Anonymous if you ask me taking PSN down affects the users more than Sony which seems against their agenda, unless they have become so righteous that they are out to get people for using Sony products.

Glad this episode is over though. It has been a cascade of stupidity with very little intention of a good outcome, simply people pouring out their spite on each other. I'm also happy to hear the comments form the people representing Sony but Hotz is such an idiot. You can't go publishing information like that without causing trouble or making piracy easier.

Posted:3 years ago

#11

Robert Kelly

38 0 0.0
Anonymous attacked the PSN to see if they could do it. Not for freedom of speech which is why they stopped straight afterwards...

Posted:3 years ago

#12

Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor

401 196 0.5
Their intent was to disrupt and attack Sony. What I'm saying is the result is that they have attacked to consumer. Just because they stopped straight afterwards doesn't stop it from being an ill-advised move.

Also this kind of action that only has the justification of "to see if we can do it" is absolutely idiotic. It's childish and incredibly selfish/egotistical to do such a thing that will only have negative consequences just to validate yourself (themselves).

Posted:3 years ago

#13

Farhang Namdar Lead Game Designer

75 47 0.6
I don' agree Patrick, every system should be exploited to perfection.

Posted:3 years ago

#14

Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor

401 196 0.5
Despite the consequences?

Posted:3 years ago

#15

Robert Kelly

38 0 0.0
I agree with you patrick but anonymous' attack came across as a technical exercise. Any idiot can see that it would hurt consumers more and only strengthen Sony's case.

Posted:3 years ago

#16

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
I predicted this outcome a few months ago, so it's good to see this isn't being dragged out any longer. If Hotz wants to be a real man here, he'll issue a statement asking Anon to back the hell off any current and future disruption of PSN and destroy any personal info they've gathered on anyone while in their "just in case" mode.

Of course, people are still selling hacked PS3 drives and other devices on certain auction sites, but I guess you can't stop commerce or folks making bucks off of something what was supposed to be a "free" solution, right?

Posted:3 years ago

#17

Michael Vandendriessche Studying Computer Science, K.U. Leuven

85 12 0.1
so it's over now?
thought it would last even longer.
curious when and for what hotz will show up next.

Posted:3 years ago

#18

Joe Schultz Director, ByDesign Games

6 1 0.2
Think many of you guys are overestimating Anonymous' affect here. Sad to say they have no real, lasting impact and find it is mostly internet-fanbois who believe they're a threat to anything.

I read Neuromancer too and would probably marvel at an organization like the Panther Moderns, but frankly Anonymous isn't them.

A couple hrs of downtime is a drop in the bucket for any big network / community provider. Sure it's annoying, but it doesn't change anything.

Take their "retaliation" against anti-Wikileaks sites, like Paypal & Visa... what impact did it have? Zilch. It's business as usual at those places.

As for the topic; settling with Hotz does nothing to address the reasons behind why the exploits were pursued in the first place. Sorry Sony!

Posted:3 years ago

#19

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
So it's against the law to do what Hotz did to begin with. And Sony settles the case with the stipulation that Hotz can no longer do what he did.


So Hotz basically signed a legal court document stating that he will follow the law or receive larger fines than usual. Just wow.

Posted:3 years ago

#20

Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer

240 99 0.4
This is sad news.. I'd rather had it come to a real verdict so it was clear if Jailbreaking is legal or not (due to it being legal on mobile devices, which had exactly the same restrictions as the PS3 has)..

Posted:3 years ago

#21

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
While it comes out only now that they settled, they already did that before the attacks of Anonymous so that does not play into that.

Posted:3 years ago

#22

Luke Allman Character Artist / Level Designer

14 0 0.0
For more on this story check this page; http://www.gamepolitics.com/2011/04/12/g... . It also has a link to what was actually in the court documents. I am personally very glad that Sony won this debacle. I don't believe that consoles should be hacked. It not only undermines the console holder, but the entire gaming industry as a whole. Because, lets call a spade a spade, the main (possibly only) reason to hack a console is so that games can be played without purchase. We need to support the industry by paying for the games that the DEVs work so very hard to bring to the masses. Hopefully this will set a precedent for other console manufacturers. Good on ya Sony!

Posted:3 years ago

#23

Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster

464 173 0.4
Sony did not win. They 'came to an agreement' and hotz got off without any punishment. In my eyes that's a loss because Sony filed a lawsuit and failed to get a class action verdict. In other words another hotz can come along and nobody is certain if he will be safe because of the iPhone jailbreak lawsuit or still get sued

Posted:3 years ago

#24

Eliot Lloyd Studying Computer Games Design and Production, Northumbria University

23 0 0.0
I'm thinking Sony were pushing for a settlement from the beginning. The stakes were far too high to get him in that courtroom. If they'd lost it would have set a horrible precedent for future hacking cases. They just had to keep raising the stakes until Hotz became uncomfortable with the risk of going to court.

Posted:3 years ago

#25

Felipe Barcellos Graphic & Interaction Designer Trainee, Aquiris Game Experience

4 0 0.0
"Those attacks are from a loose collective of hackers linked to Anonymous"

Do you really still believe in that, Matt? Come on.

Posted:3 years ago

#26

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