Geohot Supporters Angry He Settled With Sony

from the don't-complain-until-you're-in-his-shoes... dept

Via Slashdot, comes the news that a bunch of George Hotz' (geohot) supporters are angry he decided to settle with Sony, as we recently discussed. Part of this is due to some of Geohot's own bluster during the lawsuit, including this statement:
"What if SCEA tries to settle? Let's just say, I want the settlement terms to include OtherOS on all PS3s and an apology on the PlayStation blog for ever removing it. It'd be good PR for Sony too, lord knows they could use it. I'm also willing to accept a trade, a legit path to homebrew for knowledge of how to stop new firmwares from being decrypted."
So, you can see why some may be upset that he didn't back that up. Others were more upset about the fact that they contributed money to his defense fund in the belief that he would fight the lawsuit. I can understand why some are angry, but I think it's tough for people who haven't faced a lawsuit to recognize the stress that being sued puts on a person. Even if I hope someone will often "fight the good fight" on a particular legal issue, it's usually difficult to fault an individual for settling if a reasonable opportunity presents itself. Yes, this will often prolong certain problems, but it's unfair to expect a single individual to take on a larger issue sometimes.


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    umccullough (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 7:19pm

    Settlement terms aren't completely known

    As he mentioned in response to many angry comments in his blog - the settlement terms are confidential, and he cannot discuss them. He tries to point out that the permanent injunction is not the full settlement terms, but only the court-related portion.

    So, we really don't know what Sony is obligated to do here as a result of the settlement (if anything).

    I'm just suggesting that a lot of people have come to the conclusion that "Sony won" but we don't really know that for sure.

     

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      keiichi969 (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 7:26pm

      Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

      Exactly.

      If Sony had such a slam dunk case they wouldn't have settled. I think once the settlement terms come out fully, we'll all be surprised.

      At this point, who knows, maybe Geohot kept his promise and got what we all wanted.

       

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        Casey Bouch (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 8:25pm

        Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

        I believe it's more likely that Sony simply folded to pressure. They realized they were creating a PR nightmare and were being viewed widely as bullies.

        I also don't think Geohot was in a position demand anything in a settlement. Did he really hold any cards in this case or was it simply a legal defense? Was he counter-suing?

         

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          keiichi969 (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 9:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

          The cards he was holding, was that a loss for Sony would basically say that, yes, we as consumers, can do whatever we want with what we purchased. That it would be legal to jailbreak all our electronic devices, not just the iPhone.

          That thought scares the bejesus out of the Sony execs.

           

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        darryl, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:42pm

        Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

        Geohot settled with Sony, not the other way around.

        Basically Geohot backed down, that would imply that he worked out that he had no effective case.

        if he had a strong case he would have pursued it, but he obviously did not have a strong case.

        He worked that out, and HE settled with Sony.

        BTW: 0.0000000000001% of Sony users would even be aware of this trivial matter, and most of those would probably side with Sony.

         

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          The eejit (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

          WRONG. If it was merely that tiny amount it would basically bem myself and one other person here. It's clearly not.

           

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            Richard (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 3:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

            No - you are wrong - Darryl's figure implies that (assuming the entire population of the planet are Sony users) 0.000006 of a person wpuld be even aware of this case. Since Mike, you, me , Darryl (assuming he is actually a person), Geohotz, and at least one person inside Sony are definetely aware of the issue that makes Darryl wrong by a factor of at least a million - which is better than the accuracy of the rest of his comments btw....

             

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              known coward., Apr 14th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

              I am a sony user, and I am aware of this trivial matter.

               

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          FuzzyDuck, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:34am

          Re: Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

          > if he had a strong case he would have pursued it, but he obviously did not have a strong case.

          FTFY:
          If he had lots of money and years to waste on litigation he would have pursued it, but he obviously did not have the money or the time needed for this case.

          Geohot's settlement only shows what's wrong with the legal system, you don't win because you are right but because you have enough money to pay for the right lawyers.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 9:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

          I'd ask if you realize that everything you just said (or rather, made up) applies equally to Sony, but you cannot read, so why bother?

           

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          wvhillbilly (profile), Apr 17th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

          Don't forget, this was a multi-national company with (B) Billions of dollars to spend on litigation against one individual who had perhaps .000000001% of the resources Sony had to bring against him, which was going to drag him 3000+ miles across the country to defend himself, make him pay his own expenses and legal counsel, and rip him to shreds. If others had not come to bat and contributed to his legal fund, he probably would not have had enough to pay his air fare to California.

          This was Sony using a wrecking ball to swat a fly. Hotz saw a way out and took it. How can you blame him?

           

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      Rekrul, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

      Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

      So, we really don't know what Sony is obligated to do here as a result of the settlement (if anything).

      They're obligated not to bankrupt him with endless lawsuits.

      I'm just suggesting that a lot of people have come to the conclusion that "Sony won" but we don't really know that for sure.

      Of course they won. They got him to stop tampering with their systems and making that information public, which is what they wanted all along. If you think Sony actually made any concessions in this case, you're living in a fantasy world.

      If I had to guess, I'd say that probably the only reason that Sony offered him a chance to settle was to avoid negative publicity, not because they were afraid they'd lose. When was the last time a court sided with an average person against a giant corporation in a copyright dispute?

      Even if Sony were to lose, they could easily bankrupt him by keeping the lawsuit and appeals going for years, making a shambles out of his life. In today's world, it really doesn't matter if you're right, if the other side has enough money, they can still ruin your life.

       

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        abc gum, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 8:16pm

        Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

        The lawyers won, everyone else lost.

         

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          Jay (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 8:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

          It's the sad truth of the world...

          The newest mercernaries wear a suit, carry a briefcase, and quote cases similar to a preacher with the bible.

          No matter who wins, everyone else loses.

          *sigh*

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 7:45am

        Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

        "Of course they won. They got him to stop tampering with their systems and making that information public, which is what they wanted all along. "

        But the info is already public and all this case did was make it more public. So if that is what they wanted this case certainly had the opposite effect, al la miss striesand(sp?)

         

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        Joe P, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

        Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

        Well, technically SCEA does not hold the copyright to the PS3 hardware. As SCEA was sueing geohot for violating software he never aquired on the PSN or through SCEA the case may have been about to be thrown out because of this.

         

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      Steven (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 8:06pm

      Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

      Actually the terms were leaked with the original story (and discussed briefly on Groklaw).

      http://psx-scene.com/forums/attachments/f6/26802-settlement-george-hotz-case-127-stipul ation.pdf

      Personally I'm not angry at hotz for settling, although the settlement terms seem very heavy handed against Hotz (basically he can't touch anything Sony ever again), and goes against what many believe to be our basic rights, He's a twenty-something guy against a massive multinational corporation that had shown itself to deal very underhandedly. This fight would have drug on for years and the fight alone would have irreparably set Hotz back in his career.

      I am disappointed that we didn't get a clear ruling, or possibly challenge the very legality of things like the DMCA and the limits to TOS, but that may not have come anyway.

       

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        keiichi969 (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 9:47pm

        Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

        Actually that's just the stipulations of the settlement, not the actual settlement itself.

        Everyone keeps looking at that and thinking its the entire settlement. Its not. Its merely the terms that have to be upheld for the settlement to proceed.

        The actual terms have not been released, and neither party is allowed to talk about it until after its been approved by everyone, and they agree to release the terms.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 4:13am

        Re: Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

        Interesting, the site that the link leads to is offline:

        "Sorry, currently the forums are OFFLINE!

        We will be back in about 2 to 3 hours!!

        Sorry, for the long downtime, but we need to do some major works!

        Thanks for all your support, we are working to improve things for all!

        -=(Gary from O.P.A.)=-"

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 5:49am

      Re: Settlement terms aren't completely known

      - the settlement terms are confidential, and he cannot discuss them.

      I wonder if any of the people who donated feel there was a contract for action that is now broken. And I wonder how many of them will sue for, oh say, settlement terms revealed.

       

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    blaktron (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 7:43pm

    Another way of looking it though, is that Sony didnt end up with a court decision setting precedent that unlocking the PS3 is illegal.... its just a settlement, and he DID technically break the DMCA (as loathsome as that is), so its better this than get ruled against.

     

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      umccullough (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

      Re:

      and he DID technically break the DMCA

      Yes, the technicalities here are what I was most interested in seeing...

      Because technically, he located and distributed the key to their DRM, which would suggest it wasn't entirely "circumvented" (insomuch much as holding the shift key down while you put a DRM-infested audio CD cancels the auto-run from running). Poorly-implemented DRM should not be protected as such. Now, on the other hand, since it did take significant effort to locate this key - it's arguable that he was attempting to circumvent it.

      On the other hand, he also was not (allegedly) attempting to circumvent it for purposes of copyright infringement - does that then make the DMCA null/void in this case?

       

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        blaktron (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 8:31pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh, this DRM was not poorly implemented. It took 3 years for them to crack this thing. Took less than 5 months with the 360 to figure out how to fool the DVD drive. Sony had a pretty complex certificate system preventing games from playing even if hacked firmware on the drive said the disc was ok. So he clearly broke the DMCA as its written, or he literally stole it from Sony, but i highly doubt that.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 9:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It didn't take 3 years, it took less than a year... Before that, there was no need for hacking the machine because there was other os. The people who hack devices usually don't do it for piracy, they do it so they can have full control of the device they legally purchased and knowledge....

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          For people who don't read the intertubes...

          Failoverflow published their paper on 29th Dec 2010. Geohot published the metldr key around 1 Jan 2010. What's that, 10 days? Pretty good DRM.

          http://events.ccc.de/congress/2010/Fahrplan/events/4087.en.html

           

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        alephen, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:04pm

        Re: Re:

        perhaps off topic, but

        "Poorly-implemented DRM should not be protected as such."

        that thought actually causes me a shudder.

        i can not morally separate the sentence from "if you dont have 'good enough' virus protection, sending you viruses should be legal." "if you do not have enough security in your home, the law shouldnt call it tresspassing." is it as bad as "if a woman walks alone, then a rapist shouldnt be charged?"

        when did poorly implemented security become liscence to do whatever one wants?

         

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          umccullough (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          When did circumventing DRM equate to copyright infringement?

           

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            alephen, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            so you think it is ok to rob your neighbor ever since drm was copyright infringement? more likely you are simply justifying your support for criminality, as that is common, i am more comfortable with it.

            the fact is we dont know if it is copyright infringement or not. but that statement is indefensible on its face.

             

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              paperbag (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 4:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The fact that you even bring up physical theft (robbery, which usually involves force/violence) shows you have no clue.

              This was a civil case, not a criminal case.

               

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              wvhillbilly (profile), Apr 17th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              How is this robbing your neighbor? If you rob your neighbor he no longer has the thing you robbed him of.

              If you circumvent DRM, all you've done is gained access to something you already had, whoever you got it from still has what he had. How is that stealing?

              Hotz had a legally purchased PS3 which came with an advertised feature of being able to run Linux and be used as a personal computer. Sony without Hotz's consent and with no reasonable justification unilaterally removed that feature from his PS3 after he had paid to have it. Hotz found a way to get it back. How is that stealing? Seems to me the only stealing that was done was Sony removing Other OS, which Sony had vigorously advertised and promoted, and which thousands of PS3 owners had paid a premium to get.

              Not only that, but Sony/SCEA now has gained case law that extends the reach of the DMCA to hardware access, as well as software. If I correctly understand the DMCA as written it says nothing about hardware, only unauthorized access to a copyrighted work. Hardware is not a copyrighted work, it is a tool. True, it may contain some copyrighted items like IC chips and Bios, but that does not make the hardware a copyrighted work, any more than sticking a copyrighted CD in your car's CD player makes your car a copyrighted work.

               

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          umccullough (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Let's think about it another way:

          If I point out how poor your security is, did I commit a crime?

          If I produced a key that happens to fit the lock on your house, but I didn't use it to commit a crime, am I punishable by law?

           

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            alephen, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            that is far from the same thing. more closely he tried security code after security code until he found the right one for my house. then he posted it on the web with instructions on how to get in and a list of the cool stuff i owned inside.

            maybe that is illegal, maybe it is not, but i surely hope it would be.

            and your statement justified since you found my code (through countless tries,) you should be able to go in and take my stuff.

            that is surely illegal.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Actually, none of that has been proven legal or illegal, and this case was settled out of court.

              It seems the Library of Congress believes that doing so on a phone is legal.

               

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              Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              more closely he tried security code after security code until he found the right one for my house. then he posted it on the web with instructions on how to get in

              Closer still: He tried security code after security code until he found the right one to get into his own house. Then he posted it on the web with instructions on how everyone else could get inside their own house too.

               

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                alephen, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 12:19am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                still even more closerer still!

                he bought a house with a locked closet and agreed to the seller that they would never open that locked closet. then he tried code after code to get into that locked closet.

                 

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                  The eejit (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:15am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  No, because the closet was locked with a remote key, which you didn't know about.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:21am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Maybe a closer analogy would be renting an apartment with a provision of the lease being that you are not allowed (legally) to make modifications to the apartment. Then one day while you are gone the owner of the property enters and removes the toilet. Legally the toilet is the owners property that you were only leasing, but it's a feature of the apartment you had leased from the owner.

                   

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                  krusty-g (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Closerest: He bought a house with an awesome games room. The guy he bought it off comes along and locks the door to it, saying that it shouldn't be usable because the floors are unstable (and if someone gets hurt in there it's your fault!).
                  He decides he's a responsible guy, and reckons he should be able to decide how he uses all the rooms in the house he bought, especially since he bought the house based on that really cool room which was a main selling point (the dodgy floors didn't seem to be a problem before). So he tries to open the door. He's pretty nifty with locks and eventually figures it out.
                  Since he knows other people have had the same thing happen in their own homes he shares his knowledge.

                   

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                  indieThing (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 2:08am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I don't think he agreed to anything. When I buy something like a console, I don't get given a contract to read and sign. I can therefore do what the hell I like with my property. And I do mean property, not some vacuous attempt at making virtual bits magically real.

                   

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              Richard (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 3:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              that is far from the same thing. more closely he tried security code after security code until he found the right one for my house. then he posted it on the web with instructions on how to get in and a list of the cool stuff i owned inside.

              But, although that sounds bad it should not be illegal. The only consequence of making it illegal is to make it hidden - so the owner doesn't know that his code has been broken.

              If it is legal then - when someone posts you code on the internet - you simply change the code. Prosecuting the person who broke the news won't help because it is almost certain that the person who broke the news isn't the ONLY person who broke the code....

              If changing the code is not convenient than your security system is bad.

              The DMCA enocurages bad security (AKA security by obscurity).

              I suggest you go read the Argonne Security maxims to find out how and why you are wrong.

               

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              Cappy, Apr 19th, 2011 @ 11:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "more closely he tried security code after security code until he found the right one for my house. then he posted it on the web with instructions on how to get in and a list of the cool stuff i owned inside."

              Not quite. Using your security code analogy, what would have been closer was him figuring out, using his own alarm system that he purchased, that by switching a few wires, you could once again use your alarm system to monitor your home remotely again - a feature that was removed when the alarm technician came out to perform "maintenance" on your system. He then posted instructions on how you could do the same thing to your system.

              I see nothing wrong with this. In fact, many technological advances were/are because of people "hacking" things to make them do something it wasn't intended. I can remember a time during the early days of the computer/technology era where it was ENCOURAGED. How can we foster innovation when corporations are so quick to slap a lawsuit on someone who decides to make their electronic dog dance? (google Abio Sony Lawsuit for those who missed this)

               

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            Darryl, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It is called "intent"

            If you make a key that fits a lock that you are not legally allowed to open.

            The simple legal question that will be asked of you is.

            WHY ????

            why would you go to the effort to make a key if you NEVER had ANY intension of using it ?

            Motive:

            what motivated you to make that key ?

            sure you can say 'but I never intended to use it', but that would be a lie, you cannot say what you would or would not do in the future.

            That fact you made the key and have it in your possesion implies that you have it FOR A REASON.

            WHAT IS THAT REASON ?

            If you did not have an "INTENT" or Motive to use that key then WHY DO YOU HAVE IT ?

            how do you know if that key works and will open that lock if you have NEVER tried it ?

            so the fact you say you have a key that WORKS, means you have tested it and proven it to work. which is an admission of guilt.

             

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              The eejit (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is called "intent"

              man what? So the fact that something was taken out for a flimsy reason and Hotz tried to put it back in is automagically illegal, even though you purchsed the item with that advertised.

              Gotcha.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 2:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is called "intent"

              look! an entire community devoted to breaking locks for no other reason than because they find it fun.

              http://locksport.com/index.php/discover-locksport/

              breaking a lock, be it physical or digital, is not automagically intent.

               

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              IronM@sk, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 3:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is called "intent"

              Ah, Darryl. Once again you prove you know absolutely nothing about the human race. Why do we do such things as you describe? Because we can.

               

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            crade (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 7:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I must admit, if you were on the corner selling your keys with the addresses sticky-noted on them to shady-looking twitchy guys in hoodies and hockey masks I would be hoping for some kinda law to shut you down.

             

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          Nom du Clavier (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not to put too fine a point on it, but doesn't the DRM circumvention clause of the DMCA explicitly state that the copy control has to be 'effective'.

          Apart from - if read logically - meaning that if broken (and thus no longer, if it ever was, effective) it shouldn't be unlawful to circumvent, it's therefore also quite clearly different from trespassing.

          It's hardly a license to do 'whatever one wants', you'd still get to make copies of games and distribute them. I think your strawmen just went up in flames there.

           

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            Nom du Clavier (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            you'd still not get to make copies and distribute, that is.

             

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            alephen, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            copied from this site "Section 1201(a)(1), which now bans circumventing a technological protection measure which that "controls access" "

            the above seems to answer your question no. your arguement seems to be 'it is illegal to break in unless you are able to break in.' the statement above seems to suggest *any* level of security, even the weakest, is sufficient to give them protection.

            my strawman is not yet afire.

             

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              Nom du Clavier (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What happened to the clause I mentioned? Curioser and curioser. Apparently that Catch-22 loophole got 'fixed' not by repealing the turd, but by replacing it with something even more end-user unfriendly. Yay, progress! /sarcasm.

              Nevertheless, your equating circumvention of access control on a device you yourself own with breaking and entering or rape is still no less of a strawman argument.

              Conflating someone else's property (house) with your own (bought and paid for device). I can understand moral outrage at the former, but to get all riled up about tinkering with your own damn property and comparing it to rape??? In what universe is that even remotely similar? I think you forgot to point out the children we must also be thinking of.

               

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                alephen, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:32pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                you completely misread my post.

                i never equated rape to breaking into the machine. i commented and even quoted and said 'off topic' to emphasize i referred to the statement that if property is poorly secured it should not be protected.

                so strawman still safe.

                 

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                  Nom du Clavier (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 12:27am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I think we'll have to agree to disagree. The core of contention appears to be that you think it's perfectly acceptable to deny someone the right to tinker with something he or she owns, whereas I see that as prior constraint.

                  Unless the device is leased from the manufacturer they should have no say in how you use it unless that use on its own is illegal.

                  In other words if running Linux on your PS3 is not unlawful (and I think we can agree that it's not, given that it's a former advertised feature), then removing the access controls to reinstate that functionality should not be either.

                  Trespassing onto someone's property is on its own unlawful.

                  Modifying something you own on the other hand? Shouldn't what you do with it after your modify it be what is judged? There are after all already perfectly fine laws on the books to deal with the copying and distribution of games.

                  If you want to talk about hypocrisy, why isn't Sony taken to task for removing the OtherOS feature? Users got to choose between being able to play games or using this feature, but either way they lost functionality they paid for.

                  There is something seriously wrong when circumventing access controls to restore a feature is somehow problematic when the feature being removed to begin with is not.

                  I went back and reread your post. You mention you cannot morally separate breaking DRM because it's poorly implemented with attacking a woman because she walks alone. You're welcome to think that, of course. I just don't see how they're even remotely the same species of argument or how the morality of one impacts the other.

                  I'm perfectly fine with condemning attacks on women while at the same time thinking that DRM shouldn't exist, let alone be protected by law. But honestly, why even bring up trespass and rape in a discussion that has nothing to do with it?

                  You're welcome to think differently, of course. I'll agree to disagree with you.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    again you mischaracterize my stance. i think it is perfectly fine for someone to sell something with conditions. i feel if the purchaser agrees to the conditions then decide they dont like them so they are going to do whatever they want then they are bad people.

                    we are a society of laws, which are agreements. it seems the pirate community does not care about the laws that society has agreed upon, and since they cannot, or are too lazy, to change them, they say to hell with society.

                    and i compare that to every other criminal attitude. is there a victim in piracy? who the hell cares about music, the real victim is society.

                    if you get to decide what agreements you keep, why should anyone else be held to any agreement? if you get to decide what laws you want to follow, what right have you to suggest anyone be refused the same freeedom to lawlessness?

                     

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                      chillienet (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 4:24pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "i think it is perfectly fine for someone to sell something with conditions. i feel if the purchaser agrees to the conditions then decide they dont like them so they are going to do whatever they want then they are bad people."

                      Ahh, here is where I think you are missing the point. Sony sold a product and then, well after the sale, added conditions to the product. The purchasers did not agree to the conditions at the point of sale because they did not exist. Do you still think that these conditions are valid? Do you still think that the people that ignore these added conditions are bad people?

                       

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                      Nom du Clavier (profile), Apr 15th, 2011 @ 4:33am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "if you get to decide what agreements you keep, why should anyone else be held to any agreement?"

                      So it's fine for Sony to turn the tables retroactively and without recourse for the purchaser, but the purchaser telling Sony it doesn't work that way is somehow worse?

                      Do you even see the hypocrisy in your own assertions?

                      You know what hurts society? Thinking in black/white absolutes.

                      Also society agreed upon these laws, really? The copyright extensions that were bought and paid for by special interests somehow had popular consensus?

                      Society had those thrust upon them. Rather than having works enter the public domain as they should have been - which would have been in society's interest - society got the short end of the stick, once more.

                      So when you're talking about 'deciding what agreeements to keep', make sure to keep that in mind, the other side of the coin, the society who has had far more agreements unilaterally changed upon them. Why should they honor an agreement that was changed from under them when it's no longer what they agreed to?

                      As an aside, as someone who pays to use Spotify on a rooted Android phone, I'm perfectly fine in reconciling loathing for DRM with paying for music.

                       

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "when did poorly implemented security become licence to do whatever one wants?"

          When the supposed "security" is actually something the manufacturer of the equipment you paid your own money for put into it, to prevent you from using your equipment how you want.

          To make your analogy work, it'd be a bit more like the builder of your house stationing a security guard in your home to prevent you from using one or more of the rooms in a manner contrary to the licence you purchased when you thought you were buying the house.
          In the Sony case, of course the builders were really cool and regularly redecorated the house around you but then decided to remove all access to one or more of the rooms.
          And if you do manage a workaround to still be able to use the rooms you wanted to use, rooms that may or not have been a major factor in your original decision to purchase said house, then you are guilty, guilty and you can be compared by some moralists to rapists, viruses, not forgetting the ubiquitous pirates.

          Perhaps we should make the comparison between preventing rape and DRM when DRM is about preventing harm coming to you rather than about forcing you to do things the way some 3rd wants you to.

           

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            Nom du Clavier (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            See, that version of the analogy I can agree with.

            Both rape and DRM have a 3rd party force something on you against your will. Therefore circumvention of DRM should be applauded, not maligned. It's like kneeing a rapist in the groin (and using capsicum spray for good measure).

            It suddenly makes a lot more sense when put this way, thanks AC!

             

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    Jay (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 8:00pm

    Sony, Geohot, and the law

    Linkage

    Look, I'm not angry with him. He isn't supposed to be the only man fighting this. He got off pretty well, with never having to mess with Sony again.

    The hack is still out, Sony still has a bad product, and Geohot doesn't have to worry about all of the wrath of a major corporation that was losing the jurisdiction battle.

    Also, Sony's cred is damn near in the gutter. They cost themselves potential income by trying to pursue someone showing the defaults of their machine. It's time for them to man up, say "ok, how do we fix this" and stop trying to litigate the issue out of the way. It ain't gonna happen. Neither is the new EULA that they've changed. So all in all, more people are staying away from Sony until they put out a better product (or go out of business, whichever comes first).

     

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    Casey Bouch (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 8:31pm

    Effective Boycott?

    There are a handful of people in the inter-webs shouting "Boycott Sony". While I'm not shouting it from the highest mountain top, it will be quite some time before I knowingly give money to Sony. I might even go out of my way a few times to see if a product or movie feeds their coffers... but what can we really do?

    Cause if there is something else... I want to know.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:53pm

      Re: Effective Boycott?

      Well aside from taking to the streets with pitchforks looking for someone to blame, a boycott is really the only way to approach it.

      The issue is false advertising, they marketed the device as supporting the feature of other os support and then at whim removed the feature. Refunds should be given to those patrons who wish to discontinue use of their devices.

      Not buying Sony products in the overall scheme of things won't hurt their business. They're an international corporation and even if you get 1,000 people to stop buying things from Sony - their profit margin won't notice it.

      It boils down to what function you want the ps3 to perform, I bought mine for gaming and not the xbox360. The ps3 and the producers who make games for it I find to be far superior.

      I still think what Sony has done was pretty messed up, however when it comes to consoles I still think they offer the best product and won't deny myself that just to stick it to em. The question becomes who's really being "hurt" - you for denying yourself a superior product, or a billion dollar corporation loosing out on 0.00000001% of their sales? Admirable perhaps, practical perhaps not.

       

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    Jesse (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 9:12pm

    Totally understand Geohot decision. Lawsuits are impossible as an individual (even as a small business).

     

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    J.J. (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 9:54pm

    To all those blaming Geohot ...

    This was never an even fight, from GeoHots point of view he never had a chance at winning, not when the other side has near unlimited funding and could very well keep this case going in court until GeoHot died from old age.

    This was very much a David Vs. Goliath legal fight, and sure, everyone always roots for the little guy, but to sneer at him for chosing to not fight a losing battle against overwhelming odds is a bit harsh.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:21pm

    When faced with a major corporation who in turn is out to ruin people you once tweeted to about a random bit of code as well enters into this.

    Geohot was not the only person named in all of this, and while he might have wanted to fight people having Sony sending threat letters and investigators to them as well might not have been in positions like Geohot.

    Given who he is, and what he has done to date there are several corporations who understand what an asset he could be to them. It is hard to sign a contract with someone Sony can then option to take away from you by hauling him across the country and keep him in court rather than working for one of their competitors.

    The community seems split in 2.
    1 - Hates Geohot because they think he made it so people could cheat in the games and pirate games. They do not want to understand the difference between making a gun and shooting a gun.

    2 - People who are tired of the heavy handed actions of corporations not allowing you to own what you pay for. That tinkering is a crime punishable by bankruptcy is wrong.

    This way Geohot can move onto his next project, Sony be damned. They made a product that could have been good and then took away features. People want to accept that good for them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:45pm

    Look Sony was getting slammed in the Techie and Gamer communities, in all likelihood Sony would have won the court case but with a much diminished consumer reputation.
    I think that's why Sony settled.
    Do I wish George Hotz would have continued to fight, hell yea, if only to further destroy Sony's ability to screw with us. (rootkit)
    I still don't buy Sony, I don't go to Sony movies, I don't do anything Sony.
    I Say Boycott Sony.

     

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    alephen, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:52pm

    my on topic opinion:

    if when you buy something there is an agreement attached to it, you certainly should abide by that agreement.

    we are a free society and there are remedies. DRMs are not nearly as repressive as the birmingham bus situation rosa park faced. (both the DRMs are far less infringing and the recourse for individuals to fight DRMs far less oppressive.) what did she do when she didnt like the rules posted by the bus? didnt ride the bus, with likeminded people, and the rules changed.

    if you dont like DRMs dont buy items with DRMs, set up boycotts, petitions, etc. cost sony so much money that it makes no fiscal sense for them to include DRMs. then buy the DRM-less playstations and boycott the other games and viola!

    if too many people dont mind DRMs you may lose. that happens in a democracy. if you decide you dont like a law, and since you cant get it repealed you just wont follow it... the terrorist in sweden wanted sweden out of afghanistan, most swedes disagreed with him, so he said 'well i dont like the law so i will blow up a market and force them to change it.' he was at least 100% as sincere in his beliefs as you. and you are 100% as wrong.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:21pm

      Re:

      You may want to take a history lesson.

       

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        alephen, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:35pm

        Re: Re:

        "You may want to take a history lesson."

        meaningless. unless you mean i said birmingham instead of montgomery. mea culpa on that.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You apparently missed the part where Rosa Parks didn't like the law, couldn't get it repealed, didn't follow it, got arrested, and was then compared to a terrorist years later.

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 7:54am

      Re:

      if when you buy something there is an agreement attached to it, you certainly should abide by that agreement.

      If I pop into the local Best Buy, I can pick up the console I want, however not only can I not read the agreement in toto before this impulse buy, the seller can change that agreement at any time without letting you know.

      That's completely ridiculous.

       

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    Jay (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 10:52pm

    Sony lost

    Link

    We only know what Sony got, and Sony wants to keep what Hotz got a secret so idiot Sony fanboys can pound their chests and the rest of you can mislabel Hotz as a sell-out.

    Sony lost. on the 27th Hotz's legal team filed a VERY compelling motion to dismiss. It was found out that "Blinkmaniac" WASN'T Hotz (therefore Hotz's assertion that he's never created a PSN account is true), AND the final terms to SCEA's search of Hotz's hard drive were surprisingly in favor of Hotz. On top of all that, Hotz's maneuver of threatening to crack the Xperia Play (which would have been perfectly legal) drove SCEA and Sony proper to capitulate.


    I know we haven't looked into the minutiae of the details, but I think Sony did back down. They were holding a Dead Man's Head.

    Geo pulled out a flush and trumped them.

     

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      alephen, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:19pm

      Re: Sony lost

      i wonder how many people that view a corporation like sony threatening lawsuits if hotz didnt do what they want would defend this mans threatening to hack xperia play if sony doesnt do what he wants.

      i have no idea if either happened, but i have faith in hypocrisy that many here feel this way.

       

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        The eejit (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:22am

        Re: Re: Sony lost

        WEll, considering Sony's recent actions globally and their attitude of emtitlement, I'll be unlikely to buy anything of theirs again, and neither will my family. That's 10-15 lost consumers.

        I will, furthermore, actively go out of my way to trash Sony's products, in an atttempt to remove more consumers from "purchasing" their wares. How's that for free-market?

         

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    identicon
    FLO, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:29pm

    then

    I believe most supporters upset Geohot settled with Sony has the geohot's jailbreak.
    Then they can simply create a blog a put master key + Jailbreak. They will get sued by Sony and they will understand the situation Geohot faced. I believe then no one will do it. Why Geohot should suffer for others?

     

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    identicon
    FLO, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:30pm

    then

    I believe most supporters upset with Geohot settled with Sony have the geohot's jailbreak.
    Then they can simply create a blog a put master key + Jailbreak. They will get sued by Sony and they will understand the situation Geohot faced. I believe then no one will do it. Why Geohot should suffer for others?

     

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    identicon
    Michial Thompson, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 3:41am

    Ahhh the big hero took the money and run

    So everyone hero just took the money and ran from the lawsuit...

    But then would you expect anything less from someone who really did do the majority of PS3 owners wrong in the first place?

     

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      Jay (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 7:30am

      Re: Ahhh the big hero took the money and run

      Thank you for an unsupported assumption.

      Next time, try a better debate since he's already said he doesn't plan to use that money for his own personal gain.

      *Thumbs up*

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 7:50am

      Re: Ahhh the big hero took the money and run

      "did do the majority of PS3 owners wrong in the first place?"

      are you another one of those idiots who thinks geohots hack leads to online cheating?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re: Ahhh the big hero took the money and run

        To be fair to Michial, he's just an idiot in general.

         

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        Any Mouse (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 11:02am

        Re: Re: Ahhh the big hero took the money and run

        It's just 'little michee.' If Mike posts it, michee automatically decries it, no matter what it is. Sad he can never back up his assumptions.

         

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      Niall (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 11:03am

      Re: Ahhh the big hero took the money and run

      How exactly did he "do the majority of PS3 owners wrong in the first place"? By restoring *stolen* functionality from a privately owned piece of (actual) property? It wasn't like they blocked access to a server and he hacked back in. All he did was break the lock that Sony put on with no effective permission.

      You know, this must be the first post you've done that didn't have a condescending (and usually irrelevant) "Little Mikee" in it. Kudos for that :)

       

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    Observer on deck, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Even with his nose up...

    I still find it rather humorous that he claimed he could teach them how to prevent decryption of their firmware. Hackers will always get their way, they will always get their toys to do exactly what they want.

    No law, judgment or settlement will change that. As far as I'm concerned Geohot is getting his just-desert, and he can rub his ego in it for all I care. In the grand scheme of things, he's all talk - a child who managed to accidentally get involved in something he has no concrete understanding of whatsoever.

     

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    Gene Cavanaugh, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 6:46pm

    Geohot folding

    A Techdirt-instigated letter-writing campaign against Sony might have helped????

     

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    wvhillbilly, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

    Sony & GeoHot

    Perhaps if a few thousand people were mad enough at Sony to smash their Sony stuff and ship it back to Sony/SCEA FedEx collect, or better yet pile it on their front steps maybe they'd get the message.

    Trouble is, some of these swell headed bean counters only think of the bottom line NOW, and give no consideration to the long term. They don't seem to know what good will is, how fragile it is, and how easily and by how many ways it can be damaged. They seem to think they can treat potential customers like dirt, sue them into bankruptcy just because they do something they don't like, and benefit from it. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. You reap what you sow.

    Geohot could have been a great asset to Sony if they'd listened to him, but just because he went around their perceived controls they decided to crucify him instead, and in doing so have angered a major portion of their customer base. Sadly the suits never seem to think about that angle, they just see anybody getting anything without paying them an arm and a leg in the process as stealing from them. They never think about peripheral benefits like exposure and good will.

    Perhaps they should take some clues from the Open Source community. They know how to do things right.

     

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    Cappy, Apr 19th, 2011 @ 11:16pm

    Huh?

    @darryl
    "Geohot settled with Sony, not the other way around.
    Basically Geohot backed down, that would imply that he worked out that he had no effective case.
    if he had a strong case he would have pursued it, but he obviously did not have a strong case."

    Geohot was the defendant in this case. That means, Sony would have to offer the settlement. It's not like Geohot went to Sony and said "You know what. I've been thinking. Let's forget this whole thing and I promise I won't do it again. Okay?" No. Sony saw that they couldn't fight this case and the OtherOS class-action suit without offering conflicting information/testimony (ex: arguing privity Geohot's case and arguing against it in the OtherOS case). From $ony's point of view, losing the OtherOS case will cost Sony lots of money in damages. Even if they win against Geohot, it would have cost them time, money, and negative publicity for next to nothing in return. They also knew this was a PR nightmare and needed a way to stop looking like bullies. This settlement was purely financial for Sony. Otherwise, they wouldn't have even offered a settlement.

     

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