GeoHot and Sony Settle PS3 Jailbreak Case

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GeoHot and Sony Settle PS3 Jailbreak Case

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It's a peaceful ending for George "GeoHot" Hotz after all - the infamous PS3 jailbreaker and Sony have settled their differences out of court.

The legal battle between GeoHot and Sony had more than its fair share of twists and turns, but it's now reached a surprisingly anticlimactic (if not unexpected) ending: Earlier today, Sony and GeoHot announced that they'd reached a settlement in the matter.

While the full terms of the settlement aren't clear (and likely never will be), what we do know is that Hotz consented to a "permanent injunction" in the matter, likely in exchange for Sony agreeing not to try and sue him back to the stone age. In all likelihood, this permanent injunction is a long-form version of the preliminary injunction that forced Hotz to take down the PS3 "jailbreak code" that allowed console owners to bypass the PS3's security.

"Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us," said Sony's General Counsel Riley Russell. "Our motivation for bringing this litigation was to protect our intellectual property and our consumers. We believe this settlement and the permanent injunction achieve this goal."

For his part, Hotz seemed glad to have it all over with. "It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier," said the hacking mastermind, "I'm happy to have the litigation behind me." Presumably he's off to try his hand hacking Windows Phone 7 with Microsoft's blessing.

"We want our consumers to be able to enjoy our devices and products in a safe and fun environment and we want to protect the hard work of the talented engineers, artists, musicians and game designers who make PlayStation games and support the PlayStation Network," added Russell. "We appreciate Mr. Hotz's willingness to address the legal issues involved in this case and work with us to quickly bring this matter to an early resolution."

We'll probably never know the circumstances that led to this, but it's interesting to speculate. Was Hotz beginning to feel the legal pressure in the face of silly statements like claiming to have never heard of Sony America? Or was it Anonymous' anti-Sony attacks that pushed the media giant to the bargaining table? Or perhaps Sony simply didn't want to lose a lawsuit and set a dangerous (for them) legal precedent.

Either way, while this battle may be over I can't help but feel as though nothing has truly been resolved in the grand scheme of things. Oh well.

I hope this means that GeoHot is going to give all of that money for legal defense back. If he doesn't, I have a feeling he'll be in court once again before it's all said and done.

(PlayStation Blog)

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Yay! This means that Sony can continue to treat hardware purchased by their customers as company property! A great day for us all.

A tie.

Everybody loses this one.

This is good news. Hopefully both parties can go on and do something a little more worthwhile now.

Yeah, I doubt Anon had anything to do with this. Glad it's over, though.

Good thing people donated money so he can fight this. What an epic battle. /sarcasm

Was it worth it?

JDKJ:
Smart move, Georgie Boy. 'Cause you were most certainly on your way to getting about 12 inches of Sony penis up your rectum.

And if you don't immediately return the money that was donated your Legal Defense Fund, I just might class-action your ass for fraud, false pretenses, theft, and any other claims I might be able to cook up against you.

You do realize he has paid his lawyers up till now right? And he said he would donate whatever is left over when he accepted the donations.

As long as the money is used to pay his lawyers up till now, and the rest is donated like he claimed up front, there is no fraud. And he sure as hell shouldn't pay it ALL back, it's not like the lawyers worked for free up till now.

Honestly, this seems like somewhat of a victory for GeoHotz, think about it, the root key got out, and he didn't go to jail or owe Sony millions of dollars, sounds like a victory to me at least.

I think this settlement was Sony's doing. I think their legal team was going to have a hard time proving their case and the risk of failure would have opened some pretty big doors for others to walk all over them.

You don't settle a case if you think you are going to win and can set precident. You settle if you have a fear of losing.

Goddammit...that's so fucking boring. I was really hoping that SOMEONE would get screwed in this case...

So in other words...nothing really happened.
Bah.
Also, It seems like Sony still kinda won,considering they got all they wanted, while GeoHot didn't get his hacking freedom.

He doesn't have to give the money back, he said he'd donate the remains to some group... so hopefully he follows through with that.

Anyway, kind of shitty that it's over. I would have liked to find out what the legal system thinks of Sony more or less claiming ownership of all their sold PS3s.

Well, that settles nothing.

I can't really hold it against an individual for not "standing up as the lone voice against the corporate yatta yatta blah blah blah" when the likely result would be spending the next year or more in and out of court rooms and possibly spending the next several years of your life in prison and/or bankruptcy.

Still, the only possible good thing that could have come of this was that we might get some legal precedent regarding consumer rights, and that remains up in the air. And you know this isn't going to be the last time it comes up.

Hopefully the pro-consumer-rights people won't decide on the basis of this that it isn't worth circling the wagons next time.

Boo! Now we have to wait for another lawsuit for Sony to get told in a court of law that they don't own consoles we buy. :( Still no justice for everyone who got screwed over by Sony forcing everyone to choose between Install Other OS or PSN services.

Yep, today is a bad day to be a Sony customer for sure. I think I'm going to go play some Xbox.

Snake Plissken:
Goddammit...that's so fucking boring. I was really hoping that SOMEONE would get screwed in this case...

Bah.. I think we all got screwed with this one.

WHAT! *throws his popcorn to the ground*

Worst ending ever! I want my money back.

danpascooch:

JDKJ:
Smart move, Georgie Boy. 'Cause you were most certainly on your way to getting about 12 inches of Sony penis up your rectum.

And if you don't immediately return the money that was donated your Legal Defense Fund, I just might class-action your ass for fraud, false pretenses, theft, and any other claims I might be able to cook up against you.

You do realize he has paid his lawyers up till now right? And he said he would donate whatever is left over when he accepted the donations.

As long as the money is used to pay his lawyers up till now, and the rest is donated like he claimed up front, there is no fraud. And he sure as hell shouldn't pay it ALL back, it's not like the lawyers worked for free up till now.

Honestly, this seems like somewhat of a victory for GeoHotz, think about it, the root key got out, and he didn't go to jail or owe Sony millions of dollars, sounds like a victory to me at least.

Wrong. If tell you I want your money because I'm going to use it to wage a legal battle that will benefit you also by setting a legal precedent when I prevail before the Court and then I bail out on my promised legal battle long before the point of ever prevailing, then, my friend, that is most certainly fraud and obtaining property under false pretenses.

Arachon:
Yay! This means that Sony can continue to treat hardware purchased by their customers as company property! A great day for us all.

This... FFS this shit needs to be ruled on once and for all... every time these companies are winning they'll screw over anyone they can and every time their "superiority" is questioned or they seem to be losing there's a "settlement"... well effing great

Also I'm sure Sony is "glad to put the litigation behind them"... it was a constant stream of bad PR every few days for them and they'd be screwed even more if they lost.

Am I the only one who doesn't give a shit about being able to mod my system at will? I bought a PlayStation3 to play PlayStation3 games.

Callate:
Well, that settles nothing.
Still, the only possible good thing that could have come of this was that we might get some legal precedent regarding consumer rights, and that remains up in the air. And you know this isn't going to be the last time it comes up.

nope, cases settled out of court absolutely do NOT set any precedent in the American legal system. That's part of why big companies often choose to do it.

its disappointing that nothing truly got resolved in this, at least Sony didn't have him killed

John Funk:
GeoHot and Sony Settle PS3 Jailbreak Case

So you'll be retiring that picture, right?

In my mind, this was the outcome Sony was always hoping to reach. Out-of-court settlements usually go much better in relatively untested legal ground like this, and this decreases the chances of Sony somehow losing the case on a technicality.

In the end, a lot of folks are going to hold this as another example of "big company scaring little person into settling," but I really have to wonder if there's any other way for things like this to end. Sometimes the "underdog" is actually wrong, and a company shouldn't have to use kid gloves to give someone a "fair chance" when they're in the right.

I'm glad it's done, though. Sony got what it wanted, and no one is a gajillion dollars in the hole. Sony hasn't outlawed hacking of the PS3, they've just made it illegal to publicly post the root key. The sky isn't falling.

Wolfram01:
He doesn't have to give the money back, he said he'd donate the remains to some group... so hopefully he follows through with that.

Anyway, kind of shitty that it's over. I would have liked to find out what the legal system thinks of Sony more or less claiming ownership of all their sold PS3s.

No, what he said he was going to do was donate to the EFF any surplus left over after his successful defense of Sony claims against him. He not only failed to successfully defend those claims, he failed to even mount a real defense. He should return every cent he's collected and pay his attorneys out of his own pocket.

I fail to see how this resolves anything for Sony. Hotz won't hack the PS3 anymore, but all his code is out in the wild already. They didn't "protect" anything. The only hope they could have had was to make an example out of Hotz, but they don't get to even do that.

dang, I was hoping he'd go out in a hail of gunfire shouting "FREEDOOOOOOOOOM!"

JDKJ:

danpascooch:

JDKJ:
Smart move, Georgie Boy. 'Cause you were most certainly on your way to getting about 12 inches of Sony penis up your rectum.

And if you don't immediately return the money that was donated your Legal Defense Fund, I just might class-action your ass for fraud, false pretenses, theft, and any other claims I might be able to cook up against you.

You do realize he has paid his lawyers up till now right? And he said he would donate whatever is left over when he accepted the donations.

As long as the money is used to pay his lawyers up till now, and the rest is donated like he claimed up front, there is no fraud. And he sure as hell shouldn't pay it ALL back, it's not like the lawyers worked for free up till now.

Honestly, this seems like somewhat of a victory for GeoHotz, think about it, the root key got out, and he didn't go to jail or owe Sony millions of dollars, sounds like a victory to me at least.

Wrong. If tell you I want you money because I'm going to use it to wage a legal battle that will benefit you also by setting a legal precedent when I prevail before the Court and then I bail out on my promised legal battle long before the point of ever prevailing, then, my friend, that is most certainly fraud and obtaining property under false pretenses.

Can you please to me how saying that you are going to donate whatever excess money you have to charity and then doing so is fraud?

John Funk:
"Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us," said Sony's General Counsel Riley Russell. "Our motivation for bringing this litigation was to protect our intellectual property and our consumers.

Not to hate on "the man" or anything, but I'm pretty sure that sentence would be more accurate with the words "and our consumers".

I'm pretty sure nobody saw him beating Sony in court anyways, but I'm a little sad nothing ever came of

Arachon:
Yay! This means that Sony can continue to treat hardware purchased by their customers as company property! A great day for us all.

this statement ^ : \

JDKJ:
Smart move, Georgie Boy. 'Cause you were most certainly on your way to getting about 12 inches of Sony penis up your rectum.

And if you don't immediately return the money that was donated to your Legal Defense Fund, I just might class-action your ass for fraud, false pretenses, theft, and any other claims I might be able to cook up against you.

Hero, my ass. You's a punky-ass bitch. You had a choice: git down or lay down, And your sorry ass just laid down.

Not to spark an argument, but please settle down, you're not going to prove anything to anyone here by raging at what was obviously going to happen in the first place (which is, not getting a refund from someone you donated to).

Honestly if anyone donated money to him in the first place then I'd be surprised anyone would expect to get it back.

So Sony plays it safe, probably a good move.

Snake Plissken:
Goddammit...that's so fucking boring. I was really hoping that SOMEONE would get screwed in this case...

I agree. This is like "There Will Be Blood" ending with a pleasant round of "Kumbaya" around the campfire.

Lawsuits take the fun out of everything. Can't we go back to coliseum fights to solve our judicial differences??

This is a great loss for all but at least not as big as it could have been of one of the parts.

Is this jailbreak code available anywhere else?

I wonder if anyone else will continue Hotz's work (and if Hotz will secretly help him).

Radeonx:

JDKJ:

danpascooch:

Can you please to me how saying that you are going to donate whatever excess money you have to charity and then doing so is fraud?

[quote="Radeonx" post="7.276537.10744220"][quote="JDKJ" post="7.276537.10744157"][quote="danpascooch" post="7.276537.10744068"][quote="JDKJ" post="7.276537.10744039"]Smart move, Georgie Boy. 'Cause you were most certainly on your way to getting about 12 inches of Sony penis up your rectum.

And if you don't immediately return the money that was donated your Legal Defense Fund, I just might class-action your ass for fraud, false pretenses, theft, and any other claims I might be able to cook up against you.

You do realize he has paid his lawyers up till now right? And he said he would donate whatever is left over when he accepted the donations.

As long as the money is used to pay his lawyers up till now, and the rest is donated like he claimed up front, there is no fraud. And he sure as hell shouldn't pay it ALL back, it's not like the lawyers worked for free up till now.

Honestly, this seems like somewhat of a victory for GeoHotz, think about it, the root key got out, and he didn't go to jail or owe Sony millions of dollars, sounds like a victory to me at least.

That's not where the fraud occurs. The fraud occurs in stating that you will accept my money and use it to accomplish Object X and then deliberately failing to accomplish Object X. Plain and simple. The promise to donate a surplus to the EFF was the surplus left over after Object X was accomplished. But Objective X was never accomplished. Therefore, there's no surplus.

Bitch move, Hotz. Thanks a lot for caving to the corperation when you had the support of millions behind you. Real good Fuck You to all those people that donated to your legal funds and to everyone involved with Anonymous since you just invalidated everything they did as well.

Hope you're proud.

JDKJ:
Wrong. If tell you I want you money because I'm going to use it to wage a legal battle that will benefit you also by setting a legal precedent when I prevail before the Court and then I bail out on my promised legal battle long before the point of ever prevailing, then, my friend, that is most certainly fraud and obtaining property under false pretenses.

That's like suing a football team because you bet money on one of their games and they lost.

His lawyers fought, and it became apparent that a settlement was the only way not to lose. So they settled, rather than lose. If he'd gone "heroically" into battle and lost, your money would be just as "wasted."

If you donated money to the cause, that's all you did. You donated money to increase his chances of getting the help he needed to win. You didn't purchase a guaranteed win, and he didn't accept donations on the condition of "no surrender." In some ways, it's like demanding your money back because the foundation you donated to hasn't cured cancer yet, or the foundation had to disband before cancer was cured.

My feelings are that Sony realised that was a fight just wasn't worth it. If they did win, there was no chance of recovering their costs, let alone any damages. If they lost, it would have spelled the end of console gaming as we know it.

On that last point, Geohot famously got a judgement in favour of jailbreaking the iPhone, on the grounds that apple's licensing practises were restrictive, and thus couldn't be protected by the DMCA. Now, Sony and Microsoft get a cut of the profits from every copy of game sold on their platform, in the form of a license fee. If a judge were to rule that such business practises could not be protected, that would have opened the floodgates for unlicensed development, and would have killed stone dead any incentive for companies to invest in new consoles.

Dastardly:

JDKJ:
Wrong. If tell you I want you money because I'm going to use it to wage a legal battle that will benefit you also by setting a legal precedent when I prevail before the Court and then I bail out on my promised legal battle long before the point of ever prevailing, then, my friend, that is most certainly fraud and obtaining property under false pretenses.

That's like suing a football team because you bet money on one of their games and they lost.

His lawyers fought, and it became apparent that a settlement was the only way not to lose. So they settled, rather than lose. If he'd gone "heroically" into battle and lost, your money would be just as "wasted."

If you donated money to the cause, that's all you did. You donated money to increase his chances of getting the help he needed to win. You didn't purchase a guaranteed win, and he didn't accept donations on the condition of "no surrender." In some ways, it's like demanding your money back because the foundation you donated to hasn't cured cancer yet, or the foundation had to disband before cancer was cured.

Oh, yes you did purchase a guaranteed win. That's the guarantee that Hotz made when he solicited the money.

Thank god for that. It would have been bad if either side had won.

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