Sony, PS3 hacker settle suit

Game giant and George "GeoHot" Hotz reach settlement that sees the latter agree to a permanent injunction to not post PS3 security information.

by

What was looking to be a long legal battle between Sony and self-proclaimed hacker George "GeoHot" Hotz has come to an abrupt end. This morning, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced that it has settled the lawsuit it filed against Hotz in federal court in San Francisco. As part of the settlement, Hotz consented to a permanent injunction against publishing methods to hack the PS3 online.

The PS3 jailbreak suit has come to an abrupt end.

Hotz still maintains he did no wrong in the case, saying, "It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier. I'm happy to have the litigation behind me." The settlement also declares Hotz was not involved in recent attacks on Sony's websites and the PlayStation Network attributed to the group known as Anonymous.

Today's resolution ends a three-month saga that saw much legal back-and-forth between Hotz and Sony. In January, the PlayStation 3's security was broken open by Hotz, who disseminated the information online. He and a hacker collective called fail0verflow were promptly slapped with a lawsuit by Sony for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Copyright Act, and the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.

Even though Hotz defended himself on a number of fronts, Sony was granted a temporary restraining order against the hacker, who was ordered to turn over all his computers and jailbroken PS3s. Later, the court ordered Bluehost, which hosts Hotz's website, to turn over all documentation that could be used to identify anyone who visited the website. The plot thickened when Hotz took a South American vacation in the middle of the proceedings.

Discussion

622 comments
watchawant
watchawant

Wait a f***ing second...The courts were allowed to take documentation revealing everyone who visited the website? That's f***ing bulls***. God damn PATRIOT Act.

Marky360
Marky360

@shaddix55 are you daft the Hacker didn't win jack if he even thinks about hacking the PS3 again he's going to jail point blank

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@Inuzan Why? So we can get more games with low risk budgets like there are all over the Wii? Ya, that helps everyone, especially us gamers.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Anonymous can't and doesn't do anything. They are a disorganized group of people that could never accomplish anything as a whole. Anytime anything is done and is claimed by the "group" it is merely a single person or small group and has no reflection on the group as a whole. The people that make up "Anonymous" would have more people working against themselves to make something fail than there would be working towards a common goal because they find it funny. Stop blaming everything on a group that doesn't exist in the way they are made out to be. It is an imageboard, really they don't do anything.

rohn13
rohn13

Actually it looks like that douchebag Hotz caved in. All Sony was asking for was for him to stop hacking the PS3 and stop distributing the means to do so on the internet. I'm glad Sony got the information to track down the people who visisted the site to ban them from PSN so all of us who aren't so pathetic we need to cheat at online games can play COD online again.

PdPstyle
PdPstyle

About time Sony, this whole thing smelled. I'm not surprised at all that Sony settled, there was never any incriminating evidence that the boy caused ANY damages. Yes he hacked his machine, but wait, yes your allowed to do that! and yes your allowed to publish it! And yes, a cease and desist letter is all Sony could ever give him for violating TOS. Just saying, I said this is how it was going to happen back then the anon story went live :)

ecurl143
ecurl143

"It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier" Hmmmm.......OK.

cubachino
cubachino

So, could Sony not find enough proof to continue with their pursuit of Hotz? Or did George not have enough resources to go up against a billion dollar corporation and truly clear his name? After all the hype over this litigation I would have liked a more definitive outcome. Boo!

raptures330
raptures330

Wonder if Anon's heavy handed approach helped in getting Hotz this slap on the hand. After all this noise and what not, it turns out Sony just wanted to say "Bad hacker. *rubs face in it* Don't do that again. OK, go outside and chase birds."

kytomasi
kytomasi

the settlement is good all but giving out the IPs to everyone that visited his site. Sony has no right to know who visited his site for either information or curiosity purpose.

maxwell97
maxwell97

@L10nH3ArT86: "As a consumer your right is to get what you pay for and to use it as you see fit within legal bounds." Hotz likely did not use it within legal bounds, as his actions probably violated the DMCA. "Yet there's nothing illegal about publishing any information." No, but obtaining the information can be illegal, as it likely was in this case. Another example would be leaks of information from government sources - journalists can publish it all they want, but the people who leak it to them can be prosecuted under some circumstances. @Phatjam98: I see your point, but I think they WANTED it to be a fiasco. The only purpose I see to the whole thing was to show that, if someone messes with them, they can fight back. Personally, I think Hotz should blame himself - I believe he's just a glory hound who wants to be revered as some kind of geek god, and in his bid for fame, violated the usually-unenforced DMCA so flagrantly that Sony was forced to act.

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@maxwell97 My point through this whole thing was that Sony made it a fiasco that it never should have been. They just went overboard in their pursuit of Hotz and let it spill over into threats against anyone that tweeted, viewed or searched about the topic of jailbreaking the PS3. Had they just handled it quietly, prosecuted the piracy distributors, while seeking an injunction against Hotz, it would have all been cool.

Inuzan
Inuzan

Large companies such as the likes of Sony, deserve to get hacked & deserve to get their games pirated. Period.

Inuzan
Inuzan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

seekerofkiwi
seekerofkiwi

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Alex_09
Alex_09

That loser will be trying his best to make headlines again in no time.

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

@awheaten LMFAO!!! "a grown azz man?" seriously your the one with "labels" here bud. "We ps3 gamers?" LOL! I go where the games are man... if Hideo Kojima's next metal gear would be exclusive to the Nintendo wii... I would be all about the wii! If uncharted 4 was exclusive to the psp2.. then I'm all about the psp2... If halo 4 comes out on the zune... I would be all about the Zune... point is I go where the games are... LOL! This last year I enjoyed God of war 3, Heavy Rain, Darksiders, Bayonetta, Halo Reach, Call of duty black ops, The new super mario bros, Mass effect 2, and not once did I think one piece of plastic (a.k.a. consoles) was better than the other... on the other hand like I said before I prefer x box live a thousand times over psn... this again is my opinion... why it matters to you what I like, and what I do with my money boggles my mind. either way grown man keep crying over peoples opinions and purchases... it only makes you seem all the more "MATURE!" as you like to put "GROWN MAN!" LMAO!

L10nH3ArT86
L10nH3ArT86

@seekerofkiwi Which would still be an mostly unused piece of technology. We do not owe a company thanks for taking a business risk. As a consumer your right is to get what you pay for and to use it as you see fit within legal bounds. IE: Turning it into drugs, or bombs. @Serious Yes there's an entire book series online for creating household traps and bombs. I don't know the name off hand, and yes I believe the Gov't watches people that downlaod it. Yet there's nothing illegal about publishing any information. Everyone stateside is protected by Free Speech. Just as the man that wrote The adult's guide to loving children or whatever bs. He got charged with obscenity I believe however you cannot say that he cannot sell it. @Everyone I'm glad this nonsense is over. An intelligent mind gets off the hook. It goes to show that Sony knew where it sat in the conflict but still decided to show up to the GUN SHOW!!!

seekerofkiwi
seekerofkiwi

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

awheaten
awheaten

@Sendmn23 Us PS3 guys don't like your kind. From A GROWN AZZ Man To: Haters

Pipboy360
Pipboy360

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ash162
ash162

I wuz supporting sony but i dont know about this settlement. Guess nobody can stand up against corporates!! Maybe i was hoping justice would beget in the courts

Freethinker101
Freethinker101

@Ditchyj, how about XPS'er, or PSXbott. The list could go on........

jhpeter
jhpeter

@Sendmn23, your comment about psn is true. 26mb of update for Killzone 2 would take about 3 hours, its worst than my first modem in 97 I thought. Live is decent as Wii for me.

canadian_sharky
canadian_sharky

@Destroyer It might not steal physical copy, but it steals market share and dollars that could have gone in their pocket. @Phatjam So "posting knowledge" is ok? Then my analogy with your PIN number is spot on. And I'm pretty sure you wouldnt like that. But the end result would be the same: you'd lose money. And did you know that illegal thing DID happen there.Not by jailbreaking but by posting. And one last thing. Jailbreaking might not be illegal in the US of A, but in other contries, like here in Canada you know, the tiny bit of land above you), it is.

NoDzombie
NoDzombie

glad this is over, its probably better for Sony this way as they were getting a LOT of bad rep from this, even my friends who are PS3 fanboys didnt agree with what Sony were doing so that says it all really.......

DitchyJ
DitchyJ

@awheaten Xbots? - Take it thats a fan boy name for people who like xboxs? I have both consoles...what does that make me? I am also interested in news for both. Sure, I play my 360 more, but I couldnt imagine not having a PS3..I use it for its exclusives and store exlcusives (PSone games etc). Ahh well, there are gamers...then there are fan boys. You obviously chose your side. Cheers

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

@awheaten LMAO! grow up dude... just because I prefer the 360's online infrastructure a thousand times over the Playstation3's psn... doesn't mean I'm an x bot. I like my ps3 just fine. Ton of great exclusives, blu ray capable... its a great machine... but at the end of the day I'm on my x box 360 because of "live"... if Psn was comparable to x box live I would be on ps3 all day long.... NO lie...

lister82
lister82

@Serious Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do it. I could go and hold up a shop near to me, just because I could theoretically do it, doesn't mean it's right. I just have an issue with arrogant people. Hotz could have created a cure for cancer for all I care. If he did, that's great for everyone, but for him in particular I would still hate, for the way he did it. Personally speaking, I've been done with online gaming since 2008 roughly. Gaming has just become too popular. I don't know whats worse, cheaters, or laggers, their both as bad as each other. Quite honestly, I dream of times were you can play online without wondering "is that guy cheating? Because I'm sure of it". Sony was done over by the laughable American justice system, let's face it. If that court case happened in the UK, Japan, or anywhere else, Hotz would have zero chance.

Serious
Serious

@lister82 what Hotz did its no different than someone going online with instructions on how to make a bomb using household items. They can claim I'm just providing information. I have no control over what people do with it. But that doesn't fly. Hotz knew that people could use his work to do malicious things to Sony. You say Sony is going to have to keep up with the patches like 360 and PCs. Well I'm a gamer. I enjoy playing games. Sony enjoys creating them. However now Sony has to place resources to legal fees, Patch creation, and tracking down hackers. Time and money that could have been spent on game creations. When I was a kid people used to say that shoplifting was a harmless crime that only hurt company big wigs. Now we know that those losses are returned to us consumers by way of increased prices. Let's not make Hotz some hero he isn't. He's just a jerk looking for attention.

lister82
lister82

@RaddaRaddaRadda Hackers hacking in the name of good, and hackers in the name of evil, aka piracy. The hackers that only want to help, would need to do something monumental to get noticed. Meanwhile, the evil hackers only have to do something that gets attention, and/or leads to something illegal, and that puts the whole hacking community in that category. This whole court case doesn't help that community one bit, just like the moronic, immature, Anon hacking group. I have no idea what the f*ck they were on, when they made their arrogant, retarded "threat" video to Sony. Congratulations Anon, way to taint the already tainted reputation that hackers have.

maxwell97
maxwell97

@Phatjam98: "Its hard to argue someone stole something that you freely divulge to the public." I agree that "Kevin Butler" didn't do much to help Sony's case, but since his tweet was well after the publication by Hotz, I doubt it hurt that much. The best part about that incident was the comment from Hotz' lawyer: ““The key is already out there. Restraining George will not stop the key from being distributed." Or, if I may rephrase: "My client has already irrevocably harmed Sony to the best of his ability, so there's no point in trying to stop him from doing further harm." Maybe I'm missing some spark of legal genius in that statement, but I suspect he went to law school on the short bus.

lister82
lister82

@squidracerX That's only because the term "troll" has been lost in translation over the years. Now a days, someone is "trolling" just because they aren't following the herd of positive agreeing opinions. When actually a "troll" means someone who doesn't particularly care about the subject, but just makes a comment to stir the pot and cause an argument, just like in real life. From forum admins, to everyday users, they really need to understand what it means before they use it. For example, I'd be called a troll because I support Sony, and I'm not in the age bracket that thinks piracy, and "bad" hacking is cool. It is literally impossible to get all positive comments on an article. To be frank, Gamespot users, I find anyway, are one of the better communities online, with Youtube's community being the most retarded.

Agent3sephiroth
Agent3sephiroth

@squidracerX Oh comeon dude, you read it because you enjoy reading it! I certainly enjoy these comments.

squidracerX
squidracerX

@Gelugon_baat - its not you specifically, its the whole thing, this website used to feel so "community", now its just an article comes up and someone trolls it, no matter what the article. it could be an article that says "Nintendo donates $50 to dog kennel", and sure enough some flame war would start. You are the prime suspect here this time, you have like 30 people arguing with you, just let it go! Just dont post a reply to them, end the violence! But no, I have been in that spot before, if someone responds you wanna respond back, that's natural. I dunno, I just cant think of the last time i read an article and just saw positive responses. Its my fault for reading the responses though, i need to just read articles from now on :)

awheaten
awheaten

@Sendmn23 @DitchyJ This is a Sony post. No Xbots allow to write their oppinion.

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

why sony japan dun care bout ths?

seekerofkiwi
seekerofkiwi

@Gelugon_baat sigh you need to read a book on basic economics. "Thus, economic value is measured by the most someone is willing to give up in other goods and services in order to obtain a good, service, or state of the world. In a market economy, dollars (or some other currency) are a universally accepted measure of economic value, because the number of dollars that a person is willing to pay for something tells how much of all other goods and services they are willing to give up to get that item. This is often referred to as “willingness to pay.” " The demand for ps3s has not changed with or without the otherOS function. Here is my assessment of you and my observations of your posts. You post on this board and use fancy font to try and feel better about yourself. You make argue with people to make yourself feel superior but again no one cares. You insist on your point and again no one cares and basic economics about the ps3 proves you wrong. FYI you do realize people who read this message board are like 10-20 and really only care about games right?

jpsaply
jpsaply

@anotherone10 "GeoHot has the freedom of the internet to release whatever he likes, just under a different name. No one would ever know it was him. So he could easily keep releasing custom firmwares and PS3 tools." Doesnt work that way. You are not tracked by name but by a numerical address usually only the server or servers you are connected to sees. All that a company has to do is get a subpena that would allow them to force the web hosting service to give them the server numerical address and trace it back to his/her internet service provider in which they would need another subpena to get the registered name and physical address of the poster of the material.

hector1313
hector1313

He says it wasn't his intention to make it easier to pirate games or cause users trouble? If I shoot at someone, miss and hit his buddy, I wouldn't expect to be prosectued for it. Idiot. Extreme example, but it illustrates my point. As for Sony, however, stopping one guy isn't really going to do much. The proverbial has already hit the fan and they don't appear, at least publicly, to be doing anything about it. Instead of slapping Hotz' wrist, perhaps they should put more effort into cleaning up the mess he made? Just a thought.

sora364
sora364

@luciferbelmont I love how you totally ignored my post and once again proceed to force feed me the law. For the 3097839570 time: I am NOT saying Hotz is completely innocent. Stop replying to me repeatedly in regards to information you have explicitly stated (and I have not denied) over and over again. You made your point, I am not refuting it. I am SAYING that there are other people Sony should be targeting that pose a larger threat. What part of that are you unable to comprehend?

BladesOfAthena
BladesOfAthena

@Cloud737 As for Sony cowering, ummm.....wasn't Hotz the one who agreed to the settlement? Otherwise he would've declined and just continued on with the defense, so if anything, Hotz is the one that's cowering here. As for Sony losing their legal fees, well sorry man lol but that's just weak sauce, especially seeing as how Sony is a multibillion dollar corporation that generates massive pools of money from making videogames, among a myriad of other things. You say they lost a bit of PR image, but to whom? A small insignificant minority of internet forum dwellers and hackers? Now I'm well aware of the amount of Sony hate that goes around in the so called "internets", but like they say, "any publicity is good publicity." :P If anything, this will encourage hackers to buy more Sony products to hack, thus increasing more sales! W00t! I'm not sure if what you say about Sony 'cowering' would further encourage hackers, since its already been made the more obvious that Sony's not playing around and that anyone who circumvents the EULA will be forced to break their bank account. So all in all, I don't see how Sony lost when Hotz is the one who's crying about it on the internet, while on the other hand Sony continues to move on as their policies stand unchallenged. And yes he had a choice, but the question is, is he happy about that choice? No. Call it what you will, but either way, the hacker has been shut down for good.

BladesOfAthena
BladesOfAthena

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

BladesOfAthena
BladesOfAthena

@Cloud737 Yes, it did not rule in Sony's favor (or Geohotz for that matter), but it doesn't change the fact that the terms of the injunction are favorable towards Sony in this case. The DMCA was left unchallenged, therefore Sony won. And sure, you can belittle the extremities of the injunction all you want, but from what I read on his blog, Hotz appears to be singing an entirely different tune, in a rather bitter, sour, sore loser like kind of tone I might add. The fact that he wants go as far as to boycott all Sony products tells me that he doesn't want to let this issue go, despite what he just said earlier about putting the litigation behind him. I think its pretty damn apparent that he's severely affected by this, otherwise he would've just acted out as if nothing had happened, rather than go through such measures. Cont'd

anotherone10
anotherone10

GeoHot has the freedom of the internet to release whatever he likes, just under a different name. No one would ever know it was him. So he could easily keep releasing custom firmwares and PS3 tools.