Sony/Hotz settlement details surface

"GeoHot" could be subject to up to a $250,000 if he engages in "unauthorized access" to any Sony product; hacker urges boycott of electronics giant.

387 Comments

Yesterday, the months-long legal battle between Sony Computer Entertainment America and hacker George "GeoHot" Hotz came to an end. In a joint statement, the two parties declared they had settled the matter, with Hotz agreeing to a permanent injunction against his publishing methods to hack the PlayStation 3 online.

George Hotz isn't going away quietly.
George Hotz isn't going away quietly.

Now, the documents outlining the settlement have surfaced, detailing the injunction against Hotz. The documents, obtained by GameSpot, describe how, by the consent of both parties, the court "ordered and adjudged" that Hotz is "permanently enjoined and restrained from" a variety of activities. These include "engaging in any unauthorized access to any Sony product under the law" and violating any SCEA license agreement or terms of use agreement "whether or not Hotz has accepted such agreement or terms of use."

The latter part of that agreement covers a wide range of activities, including:

--"Reverse engineering, decompiling, or disassembling any portion of [a] Sony Product."
--"Using any tools to bypass, disable, or circumvent any encryption, security, or authentication mechanism in [a] Sony Product."
--"Using any hardware or software to cause the Sony Product to accept or use unauthorized, illegal or pirated software or hardware."
--"Exploiting any Sony Product to design, develop, update or distribute unauthorized software or hardware for use with [a] Sony Product."

The agreement goes on to say that Hotz is forbidden from circumventing any technological protection measures on any Sony product, including "any code, device, information, encryption or key" that relates to "any confidential or proprietary information" of Sony's. He is also prohibited from "trafficking" in any technology or information that bypasses technological protection measures on any Sony device or service, with the order mentioning the PlayStation 3 3.55 Firmware Jailbreak by name.

Should Hotz violate the injunction, he will have to pay $10,000 per violation, with a penalty cap of $250,000.

Yesterday's joint statement quoted Hotz as 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." Now, though, the hacker is singing a more aggressive tune on his blog. After calling for a boycott of all Sony products, Hotz sounded off on the class action lawsuit filed against Sony after it removed the OtherOS function from the PS3.

"These class action lawsuits are the type that can bankrupt or do seriously financial harm to a company, and finally get Sony to realize that they are not above the law as they would like to believe," he wrote.

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Draxargh

@tachsniper I wouldnt consider what they did their business practice, it was a reactionary and logical step after an organization (+wonder wizz kid Hotz) was using it to brute force their way into the system and to dissolve it's security and Sony needed to ensure security on the system. They ripped it, now they're paying legal fees while trying work stuff out with the courts and litigations. I'm sure that they wont do such things again, hell, maybe once they can ensure proper security on it, maybe they'll even return the option. I can see both sides of the yard on it, but what they removed was not paramount to the user experience, and they knew that, and I'm sure they weighed the risk before pulling it. Juice was worth the squeeze in this move, though, imo. If they lose, they lose, and everyone will hoorah, but as long as they keep pushing quality products, which they do with just about everything they make, I dont see myself boycotting any time soon,

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tachsniper

@advanracer i was not aware he was participating in the class action suit. if i were him i would just leave well enough alone. if he is participating in the suit he's as dumb as that picture makes him look.

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advanracer

So from Getting Involved in hacking the PS3, Getting Caught, denying it, running away due to "Guilt?", Finding some middle ground with Sony, doing an "anonymous" attack, and now attacking Sony again with a Class action lawsuit? LMAo..does this kid even get it? Funny how he says "finally get Sony to realize that they are now above the law..etc etc etc.." Now there's a contradiction in terms..lol. Yeah. practice what you preach lately HOTz? somebody find this guy and crack him over the head with a tire iron. stupid kid.

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advanracer

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

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tachsniper

@Draxargh The point is ethical business practices. removing "OtherOS" could be argued as semantics and non essential or worthless. The point is where do we draw the line. We paid for this object with all the features promised to us. When is enough enough? Why should we let Sony or anyone else take it away from us piece by piece? We paid for it. oh and can't use the PSN without the latest firmware either. So keeping old frimware and still having OtherOS really is not an option. Can't play new games, cant use PSN.

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Draxargh

This conversation is like 8 times longer than both the articles involving Hotz and the removal of OOS... just saying.

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GodGundamNT1

@Draxargh GeorgeHotz did not create the PS3 hack, other people did, they had been working on it for a long time and it was not just one person, the difference is George took all the credit, hosted a website to spread the news and host downloads and kept pleading to the media to give him air time to get alot of attention, he basically is in this for the popularity contest other than being an Anti-Sony Microsoft fanboy. Just try to find out now that the case was settled and a legal battle never took place if George Hotz is going to REFUND/RETURN all of the money that was donated to him instead of him donating to the "Jorge Caliente" charity

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Draxargh

@tachsniper It's a crappy trade off, but if its for security reasons, it had to be done. It's an ugly truth. I'd hate to see PS3 go the route of the PSP because of poor security measures (I've seen a LOT of cracked PSPs running everything from NES/SNES to PSX/N64/XB and PSP games no prob) It's actually funny how easy it is once you have it opened up. So, theres your choice, because I doubt anyone who's raising a stink about the OtherOS functionality being removed actually cared about Lindows over having the ability to crack your system... free, older games, or continue to play online, use the PSN services, and play those quality games that are being published. Anyways, we're clearly on different sides of the fence on this and should just leave it at that. IMO Sony is in the right, but if they get sued for the removal of that ability by people who sincerely purchased it for the sole purpose of having Lindows on their gaming platform, then, that's that, let them get sued, and if the Lindows huggers win, they should be reimbursed for their purchase at the original price point and return the system.

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redness19

Industry: 1 Piracy: 1,237,762

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tachsniper

@draxargh "if you want it , don't upgrade it" Sorry not an option as some newer games need the new firmware update to run. Sony made sure the new firmware was required.

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Draxargh

@tachsniper I had the understanding that Hotz started working on cracks for the PS3 prior to the OtherOS function removal, and his activities were directly involved in the removal of OtherOS in the 3.21 as he blogged about the security holes OtherOS offered. Anyone's argument in defense of Hotz for Sony's removal of the OOS as a driving force to crack the system is, well, innacurate and a cop out, and entirely untrue... as the removal of OOS was to help keep the systems secure. If you want it, don't upgrade it. The old fats still come with that option, but it is removed from a firmware update, which you have the option to click yes or no to, and don't buy a slim (as they never came with it, and never advertised it) In the end, it's just another story of the few ruining it for the many, imo. If the scarcely used and unnecessary OtherOS is that important, get a PC and not a gaming system. If Sony faces punative charges, well, they can handle it- because what they're protecting is definately worth a lot more than keeping a feature that only a seldom few actually use, and even fewer that sincerely use it for legitimate means. But, when a company is putting in thousands of man hours and millions of dollars to protect security, you can't blame them for locking the door in the back that they inadvertaintly left open and didn't find it swinging open until the thieves were already in.

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tachsniper

@Draxargh Well at the very least Mr. Hotz has brought attention to the real issue. He would never have had to jailbreak the PS3 had Sony left in it's "otherOS" feature. Some people (not all but some) bought the PS3 specifically for that feature. If it was simply a hardware revision (like from the PS3 fat to the PS3 slim) that did not contain "otherOS" then fine, but it went retroactive and removed it from those that already paid for it. It's like buying a new cell phone then suddenly without warning they removed the "feature' of calling other people. All without your consent or approval. Oh yea and by the way you're still in the contract. i strongly feel Sony is in the wrong for removing a feature people paid for. Mr Hotz's antics are sadly overshadowing the legitimate issue here of consumer trust. Sony breeched the consumer contract by removing something that was contained in the purchase package.

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Draxargh

@tachsniper Well, big business sadly does run a lot of the world, and yes, by definition Sony was lobbying for their interests, but in these kinds of situations, Sony isn't just protecting their own rears, they're protecting the rears of everyone they do business with, and that's a lot of people- working for games to entertain other people, like you and I... Now, on both sides of the court case, both are pushing for their opinion on what is right, IP versus PP is battle that will always go on as the internet's self proclaimed"Robin Hoods" are plucking their yews in Sherwood Forest. And of course corporations lobby for what they want enforced, it's not that the Legislator is new and blind sided by that. That's like being afraid that a lawyer might try to get you to believe his defendant or plaintiff's side of the case. It's up to the judge to take the facts at hand and make an educated assessment of what serves the greater good. Perhaps we put too much trust and weight on those who place the final judgement, but that's just the system we have... but that doesnt mean the system is broken, or needs to be broken. (psuedo off topic) In the end, I know Sony is doing what Sony is doing for Sony, but, as a consumer, Sony is also doing this for me. And Sony isn't just one omnipotent being, Sony is a collaboration of thousands of employees.

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tachsniper

@Draxargh I have never once said i have or use "Pirated" software, music or movies , im half playing devils advocate and half stating how paranoid and ludacris it is to have anticuated copyright law when obviously technology and times have changed. I have a great sense of humor but far far too often have i seen brainless automatons buying into everything the government and corporations tell them. Hotz got in trouble for being a blabbermouth, had he kept quiet and not published his hacking on the net then he would not have had this lawsuit. I get that, i get he brought this on himself. laws only change when the masses become dissatisfied with said law, sad thing is everyone is jsut so content to let mega corporations lobby Washington to get anything they want enforced. It's not we the people but we the corporation, but a political debate is for another time.

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Draxargh

(cont) Inspite his claim on how he's against "mass piracy" (opposed to personal piracy being shared on the internet?) he unknowingly admitted that piracy is acceptable (note the Mario comment) and, in my opinion, it really isnt... in spite what I may have done or been a part of... it's not just about following the laws, its about accountability. If that's not logic to you, then I guess there isn't much more to say on the matter. I'm not gonna cut your hands off for stealing, but don't be upset if someone does.

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Draxargh

@tachsniper I was kidding about the communist thing, I forget what movie or tv show I caught that from. So thanks on the flag waving chest beating assumption, now I know you have no sense of humor and are too quick to judge. As for all the laws being correct, if I want to shoot a whale from a moving vehicle on the 5, I should have that right... sucks that I don't... or how I can go get stupid wasted and fall asleep on my back and drown in my own vomit in the safety of my own home yet cant smoke a blunt and play video games (the latter out of fear of random UA's and the chance to lose my job opposed to the fear of the DEA kicking in my door) I'm not here to argue the legitimacy of every law, however. I am arguing the fact that Hotz is in the wrong for publishing loop-holes, exploits, and methods of breaking a device and openning it up to unintended applications, primarily piracy, and being upset that somehow he thinks he's in the right. And it baffles me, as someone who praises logic above all else, that you think it's logically acceptable to share tools for piracy and hacking. The laws, at least in this case, is a preventative measure that ensure that everyone from the developer to Best Buy or the servers housing Steam or wtf ever sees their proper share, and its fallicy to actually believe that just because you want something its acceptable to take it, whether it be a kid's bike or a company's software.

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Wormkid_64

What a moron. As if people will boycot a product over what some dweeb believes to be a violation of rights,when all it is is a company protecting its assets. And a little newsflash for him: The PS3 has already sold 50 million units. It's a little late for a boycot to stop it selling.

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tachsniper

@Draxargh oh wow you didn't just pull the communist card? hahaha nice try, but thanks to that i can tell you ahve no logic in your head so keep waving the flag and beating your chest and proclaiming that the lobbyists really don't control our govenment, and that every law on the books is a right and just law. btw thank you for your service. and yes Hotz is acting like a spoiled brat i have never contested that.

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Draxargh

@tachsniper No, I didn't ZOMG UNFAIR, I personally dont give a s--t what people do, but dont QQ if you get caught and get in trouble, like he clearly is. ZOMG I did something wrong time to harass the corporations to show them how WRONGER they are!!!1 And you dont need to try to school me on the concept of piracy, a lot of us have done it in one form or another, hell, I used to UTorrent and Kazaa the crap out of things, but when the distribution companies changed their tune and offered acceptable terms and evolved with the times, I got back on board. I'll even admit to ripping Splinter Cell Conviction after I paid for it and discovered I couldnt play it while on deployment (that was a burn and I'm glad Ubisoft reversed their stance on that entire constant connection bs) - but it was still a great game, and I still initially had paid for it. Does it make it right that I ever did any of that? No, it doesn't, and if I got caught, well, that's my bad. I wouldn't have cried over it, I would have done what needed to be done and moved on with life. And any impact is still impact. Know what free is? Just another word for communism. Are you a communist?

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

@Draxargh So you're saying that you pay for things and others don't ZOMG life's not fair! Again "piracy" is not a new concept. Only now that the media has evolved the masses have become aware of it. If software companies can become giants of industry despite "piracy" that tells you how little of an impact it really has. But drink the Kool-aid my friend someone has to.

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DarkNeoBahamut

looks like it not just about PS3, but all Sony devices :shock: . he sounds mad << LINK REMOVED >>

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Draxargh

Yeah, I'm sure he paid for the Mario game he was playing on the PS3. I'm sure the emulator wasn't pirated. Nintendo should go after him, too. Again, if you honestly want to do something legitimate, do it; but read the f---ing fine print and realize that even if you skip by it, it's there, and thus use binds you to a user agreed contract. I can buy burned dvds on the side of the street and watch them on my home dvd player, but guess what? That, too, is a federal crime.

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danteMdie

Yes Geo Hotz is the living example of anti-piracy. You guys can repeat that until you actually believe it, because a sane person won't be able to do it...

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Animatronic64

"I am an advocate against mass piracy, do not distribute anyone's copyrighted work but my own, do not take crap lying down, and am even pro DRM in a sense. For example, I believe Apple has every right to lock down their iPhone in the factory as much as they want, but once it's paid for and mine, I have the right to unlock it, smash it, jailbreak it, look at it, and hack on it. Fortunately, the courts agree with me on this point. My PS3 goal has been to provide users a legitimate path to homebrew, which by the standards of all previous cases (or, in reverse), is 100% legal. Sony does not even try to allege piracy or copyright infringement in this case, they allege I did things like play "super mario world, an unauthorized game" on MY PS3. And access MY PS3 in an unauthorized way. Who are they to authorize what I do with my taxed and paid for property? fail0verflow's goal was even nobler than mine. They wanted to give you back a feature Sony illegally stole, Linux on your PS3. It's shameful on Sony's part that they are being sued at all. If you have a problem with pirates, sue them, don't sue people who point out your shortcomings." "I have never played PS3 online ever. Frankly I'm amazed by the apparent ease with which these cheats were created, security 101, why is the security in the client anyway? I had no idea this would happen, and am in full support of the cheaters being permabanned from PSN." -George Hotz

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Gamma_Fit

These ignorant people dont know anything about the case. GeoHot is, and has always been, anti-piracy. Ive given up trying to inform the public of his true intentions.. but thumbs up to you.

Avatar image for Draxargh
Draxargh

And if Sony is wrong, then Microsoft is the devil for perminantly banning thousands of XBL account of those who obtained pirated copies of Black Ops.

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Draxargh

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

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Draxargh

I feel Hotz could use his intelligence for good. If he really wants to be useful, he should be ripping stuff open to give companies consultation on how to close those holes... not the internet consultation on how to exploit them, as he did. Open Source vs Closed Source intention is why I chose Android over iOS.

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Draxargh

@tachsniper Yes, keep making that honey and keep the hive from collapsing. I do feel Sony is in the right for protecting their technology, if they wanted to keep it open source, they would have. It sucks that they went back on the OtherOS promise, but I hardly feel that retracting that original offer to protect the security against piracy is a bad thing. I'm not paying 60 dollars for every one game so 30 other people can download the same title for free. I am selective on my purchasing because of the costs being driven up, and I still refuse to pay more than 50 for a title on the PC, and only if its AAA... but I know if I created an IP, I wouldn't want a major audience with easily accessable free copies of my product. That just sucks.

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Rovelius

He's lucky he's basically getting away with just a warning. He should stop while he still has a chance.

Avatar image for Animatronic64
Animatronic64

@MrPepino000 This "sore loser" probably has a brighter future than everyone here combined.

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liam82517

lol at all the stupid fan boys that refuse to read properly.

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agentdandb

Am the only one that things...that guy in the photo should REALLY get a hair cut.

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NodakJo2010

"and finally get Sony to realize that they are not above the law as they would like to believe" You mean like pirating?

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themidgethotel

"and finally get Sony to realize that they are not above the law as they would like to believe" above the law?! Don't corporations have any rights anymore? At the end of the day a corporation is still an organization of people, and people have rights to the ideas and products they develop, especially if they choose not to allow someone to possibly tarnish their reputation. I personally don't think running linux on a PS3 is going to tarnish Sony's rep, but if they feel it might then they have every right to prevent such modifications. What gives Hotz the right to infringe on that? If the man was so desperate to have linux run on a console, then he should've designed and built his own console to do it.

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tachsniper

@Draxargh Typical worker bee mentallity, remember if you don't go out and buy that brand new Lexus the terrorists win.

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KingsMessenger

This is only part of the settlement... The Memorandum of Understanding is still confidential and would include the full details of the settlement. Nice reporting there Gamespot.

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Downloadpilot

Jeez, that sounds pretty strict. I haven't exactly been following this case, so could someone brief me on why Sony hates Georgey here so much?

Avatar image for Draxargh
Draxargh

@sumeet10 Sony is a Japanese corporation. Just saying. And, honestly, let the gear be as intended. Don't mess with it, it's not open source, so don't open it. Now, it's nice to have a load of emulators on your PSP and have the entire NES, SNES, PSx, PSP, etc catalogue on it for free, but, in all seriousness, it's not right- because now your hurting the developer of every game you have on it, not just Sony (as you'd then be unable to update the OS without jumping through hoops, you can't run newer games) Piracy is stealing, and stealing is stealing. We're a Capitalist country- actually purchasing the products first-hand is what keeps things going, its what pushes innovation, keeps people employed, keeps the cogs of enterprise turning- from the developer's office, to the manufacturering facility, to the gas being used to move these products to stores where people work to push these products... butterfly effect, if you will. Openning the floodgates for mass piracy is not in line with the greater good for any of us... except for the mooches of society. And personally, I f---ing hate mooches.

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edwise18

Serves him right. He should be thankful he got off easy.

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

@sumeet10 after all ignorance is bliss right?

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sumeet10

I am honestly shocked to see that all the approved comments are of the one bashing Hotz. Stop being ignorant, go read stuff about the case on the internet. Even a foundation such as EFF was supporting Hotz in this case. Ah well, even this comment is going to be negatively rated....enjoy living in Corporate America.

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Wolflink001

I guess the Sony hammer wasn't enough.

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

@BladesofAthena I stand corrected, I heard it was sony that did the double crossing, open mouth, insert foot.

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BladesOfAthena

@tachsniper Hey let's not spread misinformation now. On the contrary it was Nintendo that double-crossed Sony by backing out of the deal and decided to go side with Phillips instead to develop the CD-ROM for the SNES due to a disagreement on how revenue should be split between the 2 companies. So you could say that in a sense, it was Nintendo's fault that they lost marketshare to the Playstation.

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tachsniper

let us not forget the shady business deal that created the Playstation. Sony had a deal with Nintendo to make a CD based addon for the super Nintendo, Sony dropped out of the deal and decided to release it's own CD based video game console. yep Sony is always just an innocent victim

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epross

Whatever, read some of the stuff on his website if you want a laugh, he's lame.

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KaizerJinn

LoL... new it would turn out interesting... xD wonder what made him sing a different tune in the court room, and agree to such a term...

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C-Brock

Nice picture... Dude looks like he ought to be driving about in a van with his dog solving mysteries.

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Slim-Jim2011

@DitchyJ I agree with ya.