Sony Settles PS3 Jailbreaking Lawsuit Against Geohot

from the perhaps-it-was-getting-too-hot dept

Sony has been getting widely slammed across the gaming and tech press for its bizarre and self-destructive lawsuit against George Hotz (Geohot), for jailbreaking the PS3 in order to re-enable a feature that Sony had long-advertised, but then deleted off of people's existing PS3s. The entire lawsuit made little sense, and Sony's quixotic attempt to continue to pursue it just got more and more bizarre, with the company even seeking and gaining access to the IP addresses of people visiting his website or watching the YouTube video he put up. However, it appears that the two sides have now settled their lawsuit, with Geohot agreeing to an injunction of some sort that apparently bars him from helping make PS3s more valuable in the future. Congrats, Sony, you've made your gaming devices less valuable. Quite a legal "victory" there...


Reader Comments (rss)

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    identicon
    Dave, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    Win!!

    Another win* for the mammoth corporation vs. little guy!

    *Where win = a bunch of lawyers got paid.

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

      Re: Win!!

      Indeed, I've been holding off on getting a PS3 partly because of this mess.

      At least the lawyers got fed.

       

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        Whisk33, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 4:55am

        Re: Re: Win!!

        Just buy a cheaper used one. Then Sony will think they "Lost" another sale to the used market. You can save money and lol your way to the bank.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:04pm

      Re: Win!!

      I know it helped win them a DDoS they are paying a boat load of money to fight off.

       

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    iamtheky (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    What more is there exactly to be accomplished. He pulled their pants to the ground and they said "ok, just dont pull them down any further."

     

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    Mike C, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Win for Microsoft

    Xbox wins again!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

      Re: Win for Microsoft

      Yes they did! They got hacked earlier!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

      Re: Win for Microsoft

      Word. Sony gets nothing from me in the future. It pisses me off because I hate M$, but they are the lesser of two evils in this case.

      And before anyone says "But the Wii is..." Just stop. I'm older than 12.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 5:07pm

        Re: Re: Win for Microsoft

        And before anyone says "But the Wii is..." Just stop. I'm older than 12, and under 65.
        ftfy

         

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          Kingster (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 5:01am

          Re: Re: Re: Win for Microsoft

          Why ya'll be hatin' on the Wii?

          I have one. Two, in fact. The wife uses it for the Wii Fit stuff, the kids play play 'em for their games, and I love the Super Mario Brothers, Smash Brothers, and MarioKart.

          When I want some good M rated gaming, I go to the PC - forever the haven of a) great players, b) hardware that can keep up with the games (and vice versa), and anti-hacking mods. Plus, I can keep the kids out of the games, and, not play in a common area.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

      Re: Win for Microsoft

      Shush kids. Go back to your Halos and Metal Gears. The grown-ups (PC) are busy making their games better. Why? Because we can, unlike you.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 1:44am

        Re: Re: Win for Microsoft

        if only the DRM would let everybody play their legally purchased games...

         

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          Kingster (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 5:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Win for Microsoft

          Let me fix that for you, regarding the consoles:
          "If only the DRM, and the firmware, and the network, and... and... ad infinitum would let you use your legally purchased hardware to do what you want with it..."

          Sure, there's lots of instances of oddities in DRM on the PC... But the most common issue I hear is somebody was doing something they weren't supposed to, got busted, and lost their account.

          But... Here's the beauty, of some things like Steam... I can put my saves "in the cloud". I can play any of my games on ANY of my PCs (not at the same time), and I don't need to carry discs with me. I don't hack/cheat. I haven't had a single problem yet. Not like when the wife would misplace game discs on me.

           

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            PaulT (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 6:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Win for Microsoft

            "Let me fix that for you, regarding the consoles:
            "If only the DRM, and the firmware, and the network, and... and... ad infinitum would let you use your legally purchased hardware to do what you want with it...""

            All of that relates to PC games (hardware/driver updates, patches are required for online play as well as server access, etc.). But I've never had a console try to prevent me from playing a single player game because I was offline at the time - which some PC DRM does as a matter of course.

            Don't get me wrong, I'm no kind of console fanboy. But generally speaking you have less expense and less problems with console gaming.

            "But the most common issue I hear is somebody was doing something they weren't supposed to, got busted, and lost their account."

            Funny, the most common thing I hear about is spyware infecting your machine (hosing it completely in extreme cases) and not allowing you to play even a single player game if you're not online.

            No system's perfect, but the DRM crap put me off PC gaming a long time ago, along with the constant need to upgrade. Not to mention having to hack my legal property to play an installed game if my laptop and my discs were in different countries at the time, or the old game was just in a box somewhere.

            It's been a good thing generally - I was never an RTS player, and not a hardcore FPS player so I just get games I like on 360/PS3 and don't have to worry about whether it will work by design or DRM failure. This has also allowed me to move everything I do outside of work on to Mac and Linux...

            Steam's great, and I do have a couple of games on my Mac. But, I don't miss PC gaming at all. A shame that some people use mentions of consoles as a chance to act all fanboy (witness the mention of a Wii and its reaction elsewhere in this thread). I own all 3 current gen consoles, a PC, and iPhone and a Mac. It's only the PC that I don't use for any kind of gaming. Your opinion may differ, and that's fine, but no need to sell me on the benefits or otherwise of your preferred system.

             

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    Squirrel Brains (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Sony is delusional if they think they can close pandora's box. If it isn't Geohot, then it will be someone else. That someone else will work hard to stay under the radar. Instead of embracing the PS3 hacking community and thus having some level of influence, they have thrown it all away.

     

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    HM, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    I wish it included an injunction against the morons who think this hack allows for online cheating, to keep them from posting...anywhere, ever.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    Shame, would have been nice to get some legal precedence in this case.

    I can understand Geohot wanting to get out of the courtroom though and I can't fault him for taking what sounds like a pretty sweet settlement (basically, don't do it anymore, at least until the PS4 comes out).

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

      Re:

      We already had legal precedence. It was already decided you could legally jailbreak your iPhone, but the court came back and said that the ruling doesn't apply here, admitting that it's a contradiction in logic.

      Sounds like political BS to me.

       

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    Gwiz (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:03pm

    A quick read through the comments on the link up there was pretty funny. I would have commented myself, but you have to have a playstation network account.

    I found it humorous because most of the commentators portray Sony as the best thing since sliced bread and GeoHot as satan's right hand man.

    As far as I can tell, all GeoHot did was utilize his right to reverse engineer a product he had purchased in order to restore functionality that was taken away.

     

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      Greevar (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      He didn't even do it per se. From what I've been reading, failOverflow actually made the hack and GeoHot just made it available.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:02pm

        Re: Re:

        From my understanding, they began the hack. They found some key pieces the geohot used to bust it wide open. So he couldnt have done it without them (well maybe he could but he used their research) and they hadnt really gotten anywhere till he came in and finished the work.

         

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      Monarch, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 6:28pm

      Re:

      Sony Fanboys are just like Apple Fanboys. The companies could piss in their Cheerios in the morning, and the fanboys would eat it and ask for more because it's from Sony or Apple.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

    I am a bit confused did Mr. Hotz just agree to not publish the software he previously wrote to modify ps3 firmware or that he would not create new software or other ps3 workarounds?

     

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      I would like to know this too.

      * Does it only apply to his previously published work?
      * Does it apply to PS3 modifications in general?
      * Does it apply to modifying any Sony products in general?

       

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        umccullough (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Per what I saw on psx scene (link to their article maybed posted somewhere below if it succeeds moderation)..

        The official document basically states that he is not to attempt to gain "unauthorized access" to *any* Sony product - nor assist others in doing so.

        He has also updated his personal blog stating that he now is boycotting all Sony products, so I would guess he intends to never touch one again as a result of this injunction.

         

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          Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The official document basically states that he is not to attempt to gain "unauthorized access" to *any* Sony product - nor assist others in doing so.

          So as long as he publishes anonymously, it's all good. =P

          He has also updated his personal blog stating that he now is boycotting all Sony products

          I stumbled across a well-reviewed product just today that I was thinking about buying, but then recoiled when I realized it was Sony-produced. No more for me. They're on my shit-list with Creative now.

           

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    fogbugzd (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Passed on Sony

    I was shopping for a TV over the weekend. Passed on the Sony, even though I thought it had a better picture.

     

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    PRMan, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    I was at Fry's over the weekend...

    I was at Fry's over the weekend and I asked for hand sanitizer when I discovered that I had actually touched a Sony product. One guy laughed hysterically.

     

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    Elder-Geek, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

    Clueless

    Big corporations are so clueless at what will be good business for them in the long rung. It reminds me of a line from Scott Adams "Dogbert Management Handbook".

    Managers go to Management retreats and ask 2 questions.
    1. How can we get more work for less money from employees.
    2. Why is employee morale so low?

    Whatever advantage they gain in the sort term, is outweighed that some more open and thus innovative platform will surpass them in the future.

     

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    Anonymous coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:51pm

    Read the comments on the ps blog, its insane how misinformed those people are

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Okay so Geohot isn't allowed to publish the hack anymore...okay but what has Sony accomplished? Everyone else, myself included, can still publish the hack and there's nothing Sony can do about it. Here it is:
    erk: C0 CE FE 84 C2 27 F7 5B D0 7A 7E B8 46 50 9F 93 B2 38 E7 70 DA CB 9F F4 A3 88 F8 12 48 2B E2 1B
    riv: 47 EE 74 54 E4 77 4C C9 B8 96 0C 7B 59 F4 C1 4D
    pub: C2 D4 AA F3 19 35 50 19 AF 99 D4 4E 2B 58 CA 29 25 2C 89 12 3D 11 D6 21 8F 40 B1 38 CA B2 9B 71 01 F3 AE B7 2A 97 50 19
    R: 80 6E 07 8F A1 52 97 90 CE 1A AE 02 BA DD 6F AA A6 AF 74 17
    n: E1 3A 7E BC 3A CC EB 1C B5 6C C8 60 FC AB DB 6A 04 8C 55 E1
    K: BA 90 55 91 68 61 B9 77 ED CB ED 92 00 50 92 F6 6C 7A 3D 8D
    Da: C5 B2 BF A1 A4 13 DD 16 F2 6D 31 C0 F2 ED 47 20 DC FB 06 70

     

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      Greg G (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:01pm

      Re:

      +1

       

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      Donnicton, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

      Re:

      No! What have you done! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!

      Now Sony can demand the IP addresses of everyone that visits Techdirt!

      Gotta get out of here... gotta lay low for a while... maybe change my name and flee to Vegas, disappear off the map for a bit... can't let Sony get me....

       

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        Rikuo (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

        Re: Re:

        Don't worry, how do you know the above string of characters is correct? I could have changed one here or there, making it useless. ^^

         

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          Donnicton, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 4:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          According to the PS3 model number debacle in their offensive against Hotz, a few numbers or digits wrong here or there doesn't matter. What matters is that you're a criminal, a filthy, filthy criminal.

           

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        Anonymous American, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

        Re: Re:

        You can't stop here! This is bat country!

         

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    umccullough (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    PSX-Scene has documents

    For those interested in reading the court document(s), psx-scene.com has them here:

    http://psx-scene.com/forums/f6/settlement-george-hotz-case-84881/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Looks like a win for GeoHot

    A comment on slashdot had a link to what seemed to be the settlement. From a quick read, it looked like a win for geohot. If I read it correctly, he had to pay nothing to Sony and he did not have to admit any wrongdoing. He is only forbidden forever to do things to products of corporations with Sony in their name, plus some other Sony subsidiaries which do not have Sony in their name (Sony has to send him a list of these).

    I saw nothing on my quick read about him having to take back the things he published; he just cannot distribute them anymore.

     

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      umccullough (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 4:05pm

      Re: Looks like a win for GeoHot

      Yes, the public docket only appears harsh, but basically they're just saying: you can't hack any of our stuff now.

      As for the actual settlement, apparently the details are confidential. Per geohot's blog, he cannot discuss them, but assures people that he has fought for their rights.

      I guess time will tell, or a leak ;)

       

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      nasch (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

      Re: Looks like a win for GeoHot

      "He is only forbidden forever to do things [that should be perfectly permissible]..."

      I'm not sure I'd call that a "win" exactly...

       

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    ReallyEvilCanine (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 4:19pm

    Geohot

    Am I the only person still wondering why this guy's real name is shorter and easier to speak than his intarwebbernets moniker?

     

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      Chargone (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 8:25pm

      Re: Geohot

      quite possibly, given that the point in a handle (as they used to be called) is to connect your posts/articles/whatever with one annother as being by the same person, while obscuring who that person actually is in the real world, and thus length and conveniance is a fairly irrelivant factor.

       

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    Pixelation, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 6:23pm

    Hopefully Wikileaks will get a copy of the settlement...

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 10:32pm

    Makes sense, but is still fubar!

    Sony was losing tonnes of $$ selling PS3's for non-gaming use. They were figuring on making a profit by selling games, so all those systems sold to those who wanted to use them for other purposes (personal supercomputers, US Navy and Air Force, for example), were at a significant loss. As a result, they did the "deed" to stop such sales cold. As a business person, I understand their rationale. As a consumer, it is unacceptable for a vendor to change the rules AFTER I have purchased their product! So, another nail in Sony's coffin. I do not spend a penny that will end up in their pockets, if there is any way I can avoid it... Rootkits, breaking advertised functionality, dishonest business practices all. So, I encourage all consumers to boycott Sony. Let us all vote with our pocketbooks, and put them on notice that no matter how "kewl" their technology is and products are, others are competitive, and don't abuse our trust to quite such an extent!

     

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      Whisk33, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 5:06am

      Re: Makes sense, but is still fubar!

      "Sony was losing tonnes of $$ selling PS3's for non-gaming use"
      This was true in the beginning, but I believe since even before the slim was released, Sony was making some profit on each console sold. Don't remember the exact numbers though.

       

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 10:32pm

    Makes sense, but is still fubar!

    Sony was losing tonnes of $$ selling PS3's for non-gaming use. They were figuring on making a profit by selling games, so all those systems sold to those who wanted to use them for other purposes (personal supercomputers, US Navy and Air Force, for example), were at a significant loss. As a result, they did the "deed" to stop such sales cold. As a business person, I understand their rationale. As a consumer, it is unacceptable for a vendor to change the rules AFTER I have purchased their product! So, another nail in Sony's coffin. I do not spend a penny that will end up in their pockets, if there is any way I can avoid it... Rootkits, breaking advertised functionality, dishonest business practices all. So, I encourage all consumers to boycott Sony. Let us all vote with our pocketbooks, and put them on notice that no matter how "kewl" their technology is and products are, others are competitive, and don't abuse our trust to quite such an extent!

     

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    Shon Gale (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Sony Sucks!

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 12th, 2011 @ 7:30am

    Anonymous ....

    While i believe in coincidence I do not trust it. It seems strange to me that as soon as 4Chans Anonymous took an interest in SONY and DDoS'd them and started gathering info on the heads of SONY and their families that this case was settled.

    It amuses me that Anonymous is a bunch of do gooding, evil hunting, ally to good, nightmare to scum bag corporate types.

     

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    identicon
    green2, Apr 12th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    I know it is not good manner to advertise myself without approval on this site, but I am desperated and even if you don't like what I say, please read and give me help. I made my mind to sell my virginity. If you have little time to read my story, please visit my blog(http://virgingreen.wordpress.com) or email(green2345@live.com) me. If you are interested in taking my virginity, you are giving me hope and helping me. I even didn't know that I became the one who leaves comment like this on where I used to enjoy reading articles. Please only send me email if you are interested. Don't send me with disrespect words. I am sorry if you dont feel uncomfortable about this but at least hope you could understand how I am desperate.

     

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