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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Avatar image for spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ tachsniper You're bringing up an issue that is non-existant. In theory, yes, it would be hypocritical. Except that's not how music is pirated.

Avatar image for parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@luciferbelmont Well, that actually the whole idea. Whether or not you believe piracy to be theft is irrelevant. What matters is whether or not you can be prosecuted for obtaining a pirate copy, and at this point, I don't know if you can. IF you can, I believe it would be a recent (post DMCA) development. Besides, theres not much use in refining laws surrounding perpetrators that are almost impossible to catch (that is, the users, not distributors).

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

@spoonybardhahs not at all i was saying internet radio is setup just like broadcast radio so why is it illegal to get music from one and not the other?

Avatar image for dashizy666
dashizy666

I loling why geohot wants to organize a Sony boycott. He was the one who was stupid and arrogent enough to post his hack online. He needs to grow the hell up and except responsibility for his actions. I just want this chode to swallow his pride an dissappear into obscurity already. Also this is for mr deltoid. I agree with everything you said. if I weren't on the crappy sony web browser, i'd thumb up both your comments.

Avatar image for spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ tachsniper Actually, the fatal flaw is on you. You're assuming that copying music from internet radio is how people pirate music. Which, while entirely possible, is certainly not how it's done.

Avatar image for HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

He really thinks he can Boycott Sony? He is a fool there are millions of people who buy Sony Products so one person starting a boycott won't stop a multi-billion dollar company like Sony.

Avatar image for COPMAN221
COPMAN221

You're on your own Mr. Hotz so good luck with that.....There's no one to blame but yourself and the rest of your pirate friends. I don't need your "type" ruining my online gaming with your stupid hacking. Just look at the damage you and your peeps have done on the 360.

Avatar image for Mr_Deltoid
Mr_Deltoid

@m4a5 that's a very good point. However, pencil d!cks like Hotz can't keep a secret. That's how he got into this position to begin with. He has nothing in life, he must have gotten picked on a lot (with a face like that, no surprise) so he had to be famous and feel powerful by jailbreaking the PS3 and bragging about it. Sony mopped the floor with him which means he now holds even more immature, rebellious, I-hate-my-parents teen angst. There's no way he'll be able to hold that in and let someone else take the credit for his future shenanigans...he's not smart enough to do that.

Avatar image for Mr_Deltoid
Mr_Deltoid

Let me get this straight. Hotz wants me to get on board with him, when all he did was create a hacking epidemic that came close to ruining my online gaming experience; that almost created (and still may create) a piracy epidemic that would raise the cost of my games (and possibly invoke a PSN monthly fee). And he wants me to boycott Sony when all they did was sell me bunches of products that I enjoy...yeah, I'll get right on that, George. You seriously need to get laid, pal. But in order to do that you need to pull your puny c0ck out of all your electronic gadgets, get a full facial transplant, get some exercise so you can achieve some muscle-tone, and learn how to socialize with people outside of your Mom's basement. Tool.

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HollowNinja

It's sad to see Sony not lose this lawsuit. I think people are forgetting that the main purpose behind CFW is not piracy. I am saddened to see people taking Sony's side here.

Avatar image for vinibr
vinibr

"whether or not Hotz has accepted such agreement or terms of use."?! Now, that's just unfair...

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

@spoonybard-hahs The fatal flaw in your argument is that internet radio stations paid for the rights to air the music and are "on the air" services, and therefore should be protected under the home audio recording act of 1992. yet if you copy a song from an internet radio station it is illegal.

Avatar image for m4a5
m4a5

Whose to say that he won't hack and distribute through a friend?

Avatar image for maximumbarmage
maximumbarmage

Got off too easy if you ask me. That he has the audacity to portray himself as the victim when he has been practically rubbing companies' noses in his circumventing of user agreements long before Sony went after him is pretty pathetic. He pushed his luck once too often, and got off with no real consequences. If he was smart, he'd keep his mouth shut and his profile low, but it seems he's chosen the path of the bitter little mouthpiece passive agressively acting out in the only way he knows how. It's sad to see a grown man reduced to the level of a petulant child.

Avatar image for kinsin
kinsin

Next article: "Hotz accepts job offer from Microsoft"

Avatar image for spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ tachsniper You're all over the place. First of all, recording off the radio was legalized because radio is a free service. Radio stations paid for the rights to air music for free from the record labels. Someone making a copy - whether they paid for the original or not - and then distributing it over the internet is not the same thing. As for "scapegoating", do I have to pay admission to get into the Fantasy Land you live in? Companies just have a mad on for protecting what's theirs. They know full and well that if a game doesn't sell well, it's because it was horrible, or just didn't have traction with gamers. The only scapegoating I've ever seen is when a developer blames gamers for not understanding their game.

Avatar image for monson21502
monson21502

great!! now we never have to read about this again:D

Avatar image for FentonDead
FentonDead

Boycotts today don't work at all. Look at the Modern Warfare 2 Boycott group on steam. All GeoHotz wants is attention and when he & Sony settled that attention was taken away. I'm still saying people should of donated that money they gave to GeoHotz to the people who needs help in Japan or even an foundation who's working towards a cure for cancer. I'm going to go play on my PS 3 tonight and laugh at the latest of Internet Boycotts.

Avatar image for FragTycoon
FragTycoon

Why would he settle if he is right? Because he knew he was wrong and was facing jail time. He reminds me of kids who don't do homework because they are "fighting the establishment" when actually they are just lazy. This idiot ain't fighting for peoples rights, he's just a paid stooge for Sony/Mac's competitors (LG). Why people cant see this is beyond me.

Avatar image for hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

Geohotz agrees to a settlement with Sony and now calls for a boycott. This kid is hilarious.

Avatar image for Shadow4020
Shadow4020

So...as long as he doesn't get caught he can keep hacking? I don't see a punishment in any of this.

Avatar image for EddyG0RD0
EddyG0RD0

why boycott? the kid is really retarded

Avatar image for finchused18
finchused18

How is Sony believing they are above the law? They didn't do anything other then defend the profitability of their product which in my book is perfectly legit. I'm not against hacking with a purpose but what he was doing was wrong and now that he is being punished for it it is somehow Sony's fault. Grow up man, you look like a goober anyways.

Avatar image for kengetz321
kengetz321

@tachsniper "The real kicker honestly is that the companies can stop "piracy" dead in it's tracks if they wanted to. it's been going on so long they know how it's done, they don't want to stop it because they need the all encompassing demon to blame shortcomings on. We could not have possibly released a bad game that didn't sell well it had to be piracy." Dude get out of my head lol.

Avatar image for crashndash
crashndash

good for him :) go boycott sony, in the mean time im just gona go play my ps3 lol. a boycott only works if the majority of users feel the same way, and personally I couldnt care less about hackers as long as they dont ruin my gaming. considering what he did, he got off pretty easy even with what he said about sony. i have a feeling someone is just upset and mad, like after a rejection by a girl lol.

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

The real kicker honestly is that the companies can stop "piracy" dead in it's tracks if they wanted to. it's been going on so long they know how it's done, they don't want to stop it because they need the all encompassing demon to blame shortcomings on. We could not have possibly released a bad game that didn't sell well it had to be piracy. THings are so much easier when you have a sure fire scapegoat, aint propaganda great?

Avatar image for rcktz
rcktz

The only thing hotz did was posting the bloody keys. He is neither the PS3 hacker nor he has anything to do with jailbreaking iphones, as far as I know he is just your another attention seeking whore. I bet he's had a nice vacation in South America laughing his ass off at all the people who were dumb enough to donate money to him.

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

@fetusfart18 to rebut i'll simply say that even the law recognizes personal use, they have a set amount of Marijuana (an illegal substance) that you can legally have on your person, as long as this amount does not exceed the determined amount for personal use. Having an object for personal use and not distribution is legal regardless of how you obtained it. The burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove you obtained it in an illegal manner.

Avatar image for DerpyMcDerp
DerpyMcDerp

Geohotz won. GG Sony.

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

The audio home recording act of 1992 made it perfectly legal to record audio from the radio for personal use, this act was created before digital audio sharing services became known and popular, corporate greed intercepted everyone before this act could be amended and applied to the then brand new infant internet and demonized such activities so much so it falls under the banner of copyright infringement. The home audio recording act needs to be amended to include digital transmissions and services. Is it illegal as it stands to get music or data from the internet, yes, is it morally , ethically or emotionally correct? not in the slightest. Does it contradict laws that have been passed before it protecting the consumer? absolutely.

Avatar image for fetusfart18
fetusfart18

@tachsniper, what you described is, in fact, illegal. It's only legal if you already own said game/movie/CD and you're just making a back-up in case something happens to your original copy. But if you're downloading games you didn't already own or otherwise legally obtained through purchase or received as a gift, that's called piracy, and it's illegal, whether you're selling them to others or not.

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

@luciferbelmont So if you receive something by hand from another human being without paying for said item then you are also stealing.

Avatar image for spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ tachsniper continued What really needs to happen is that IP holders need to stop thinking it's up to them to police their products. Copyright infringement is indeed illegal and a federal offense at that. Last time I checked, the US had an entire bureau designated for investigating and prosecuting federal offenses.

Avatar image for fetusfart18
fetusfart18

Sorry Georgie, I'm not going to stop playing my PS3 just because you got in trouble. I actually use it for it's intended purpose, and have quite a bit of fun with it in the process.

Avatar image for spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ tachsniper Yes, yes it is illegal. If you've never legally purchased the copy - either digitally or physically - you have no right to ownership of a copy. The obvious counter to that is "look at used games". But someone already paid for that, then legally sold their private property to a third party, at which point they can then sell it themselves. It is, however, perfectly legal for you to make copies of things you own for archival purposes or for "on the go". Such as ripping a DVD to watch on a mobile device (like the PSP or iPhone). Pirating interrupts the natural flow of commerce, for the most part. Back in the day, stores would send employees into their competitors' shops to in one way or another, block sales for that store. This of course has since been outlawed. Although no one - for the most part - profits from piracy, partaking in it blocks sales for the manufacturer. Not only for publishers, but also second hand retail. The qualifier for this is that piracy is not the big deal developers, publishers, movie studios, musicians, and writers make it out to be. At the height of Napster's popularity - when it was still a free P2P site - sales for music INCREASED. A more recent example, Modern Warfare 2 was pirated (according to Activision) approximately 100,000 times BEFORE its release. The title still went on to shatter video game retail records.

Avatar image for SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

The hacker group Anonymous announce war against Sony and proven that they can crash PSN anytime they want because of Sony suing Hotz was unjust. A week later Sony wants to do a settlement with Hotz. Seems like too much of a coincidence.

Avatar image for Kiaininja
Kiaininja

@NightDrifter05 The Immersion company lawsuit for the force feedback tech in the Playstation controllers which Sony lost and had to pay up in order to continue using it for the PS3. That's why they didn't had rumble for the PS3 in the beginning.

Avatar image for holhardy
holhardy

I dont think that this is a "big win" for sony. Now hackers know to avoid legal trouble dont agree to the terms of use.

Avatar image for luciferbelmont
luciferbelmont

@tachsniper, if you don't buy it and you download it, its stealing

Avatar image for edblevins
edblevins

This guy just needs to shut up and go away. We don't want his "help"

Avatar image for ionusX
ionusX

@MamaLuigiBarrel omg barney is telling him what to do.. now if he DOESNT listen he is serious fail

Avatar image for ionusX
ionusX

well well well looks like he just mad he can never go about playing a ps3 the way HE wants to and thank the emprah for that too. im sorry but the sooner people STOP homebrewing consoles the better your making the purpose of owning a console pointless and open yourself up to 100's of vulnerabilities and this guy knows it. so geohotz begon stop qqing and we ALL have our eyes on you. when your a bum you wont be missed.. EVER

Avatar image for Kage52124
Kage52124

I was really hoping this would help bring back OtherOS so I could have an inexpensive replacement for an old Pentium IV desktop. I now find myself much less motivated to buy a PS3 now.

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

@luciferbelmont I am not "stealing" anything never once have i said that i have or use "pirated" games or music.

Avatar image for edant79
edant79

Really that's it? Sony's terms don't seem at all overbearing. ...little nerd got lucky if you ask me.

Avatar image for tachsniper
tachsniper

@luciferbelmont and i already said Hotz was a dope for making it public. but so many want to make this about piracy, I just thought i would make it clear exactly what the hipocricy of the whole piracy issue is.

Avatar image for luciferbelmont
luciferbelmont

@tachsniper you gonna cry

Avatar image for luciferbelmont
luciferbelmont

@tachsniper your stills stealing hard work from someone shame on you

Avatar image for MamaLuigiBarrel
MamaLuigiBarrel

This guy should probably quit now before he digs himself into an even deeper hole than the one he's already in. Just my opinion.

Avatar image for GTAKing11
GTAKing11

hah wow he looks like a little highschool prick