Sony and Geo Hotz settle out of court

By on April 12, 2011
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Despite the quick settlement, Hotz posted on his blog that he will be boycotting anything Sony.

After months of quarreling and accusations, Sony and famous iPhone and PS3 hacker Geo Hotz have decided to settle out of court – in what is possibly an anti-climax supporters of the hacker weren’t expecting.

Sony and Hotz issued a joint statement to announce “the settlement of the lawsuit filed by SCEA against Hotz in federal court in San Francisco, California. The parties reached an agreement in principle on March 31, 2011. As part of the settlement, Hotz consented to a permanent injunction.”

As per the agreement (full court document attached below), Hotz is now permanently banned from “trafficking in any technology” that allows one to skirt any TPM in any Sony product, including any sort of decryption code. He is also banned from assisting or distributing any confidential information that may lead others to the aforementioned causes.

If Hotz is found violating any of the terms, the settlement document clearly states that he will be tried in California and he will be fined $10,000 for each violation, up to a cap of $250,000.

In a press release, both Sony and Hotz said that they were happy to quickly resolve the problem.

“Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us,” said Riley Russell, General Counsel for SCEA. “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.”

“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.

“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.”

“It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier,” said Hotz, “I’m happy to have the litigation behind me.”

However, on his blog, Hotz wasn’t so positive and posted that from April 11, he will join the Sony boycott cause and avoid purchasing any Sony products in the future.

“As of 4/11/11, I am joining the SONY boycott. I will never purchase another SONY product. I encourage you to do the same. And if you bought something SONY recently, return it. Why would you not boycott a company who feels this way about you?

Finishing it off, he said “There is much more to come on this blog.”

The biggest winner from this agreement is of course, Sony. It has got two monkeys off its back – one with Hotz now legally bound to never snoop around in any Sony product whatsoever, and the other being the Anonymous hacker group who had threatened to attack the corporation until they were “satisfied with the results”. Win-win for Sony, not so much for those expecting homebrew on their PS3 anytime soon.

Full court document (thanks VG247!):


Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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