Settlement in George Hotz Case

Sony Computer Entertainment America (“SCEA”) and George Hotz (“Hotz”) today announced 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.

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pedrami912806d ago (Edited 2806d ago )

It ended peacefully.....

I wonder, will anonymous still go through with the boy-cotting on 16th ?

theonlylolking2806d ago

It took a while but at least it is settled.

hay2806d ago (Edited 2806d ago )

Well, I think everyone wins.
Gamers, when anon will f*ck the hell off right now.
Sony, no need to waste more money on this lawsuit.
Gamers, if settlement injunction covers PS3 hacking/jailbreaking.
Hotz, his ass is safe, but he can still hack if won't be caught.

Need details.

lociefer2806d ago

i just hope anonymous get caught or gtfo

Acquiescence2806d ago (Edited 2806d ago )

after such a high profile case.

But at least we won't get any articles on N4G about that smarmy-faced asshat GeoHot anymore, and it'll make Anonymous's in-store boycott this week look even sillier than it was before.

And hopefully no more rap videos as well.

Dragun6192806d ago (Edited 2806d ago )

After so many retarded articles over Geohot & Anonymous.
Finally, all this BS can end.

Istanbull2806d ago

Sony just made someone their b!tch.

ImHereNow2806d ago Show
EYEamNUMBER12806d ago

after all the crying everyone around here was making doing all the "sony is gonna own him" etc etc
they just settle and hes not allowed to post a code that's already all over the internet?
meh it was obvious he would get off from this

i lol at everyone who was going on about this case BUT also yawn at how anti climactic this was
i was at least expecting something to happen at the end

ziggurcat2806d ago

@ ImHereNow:

no, you fool, this means that hotz conceded that he had no case and settled before he got put through the ringer.

evrfighter2806d ago

Lol sooo many ppl were calling for his head here at n4g.

Huge victory for hotz. Huge. Well done

Christopher2806d ago

***$ony had NO CASE better to go out on a settlement then being the loser***

Actually, it proved otherwise. GeoHot wouldn't have settled if there wasn't a case to be had.

People have to recognize here that GeoHot caved in on the ideals he said he was out to defend, meaning his right to do what he wants with what he purchased. Taking that away from him is a bigger win than most people understand.

StanSmith2806d ago

From reading the press release, it seems to me that hotz isn't supportive of what anonymous are doing and opted to reached a settlement with Sony.

Dante1122806d ago

Great for both sides. But wtf at the psxscene forums, they're pretty mad at Geohot for settling. I thought they would be happy to hear the news though.

StanSmith2806d ago


Cheers for that link. It provided me with some lol moments! They are seriously pissed at hotz lmao!

gaffyh2806d ago

@EYEamNumber1 - Actually this is a permanent injunction, meaning he has to cease all activities against Sony in the future too. He could still do it anonymously (which he should have done in the first place the idiot!), but if it ever get's traced back to him, he's in the sh*t.

Focker4202806d ago Show
sikbeta2806d ago


thanks for that link man, reading all the crying in that site is totally hilarious ROFLMAO! XD


Sony win on this one, the guy can't touch any Sony product and release all the codes or whatever thing that can affect the security of saying product, if he does it, he'll pay 10k to 250k cash!

HolyOrangeCows2805d ago (Edited 2805d ago )

*Gamers want GAMES, not hacker "rights"
*Illegally distributing others' IPs isn't "freedom of speech"
*Geohotz is a hack; he's just as happy stealing credit by rushing out a "concept CFW" with stolen code as he is actually hacking something.

I guess GeoSteals realized he wasn't doing anyone any favors, including himself. E-penis wasn't worth millions in debt, no one wanted his "help" in hurting the game industry for the "right" to distribute others' copy-protected intellectual properties, and the effects would only be negative.

NateCole2805d ago

Well i for one am glad its settled peacefully.

I think Sony never wanted to ruin this kids or other hackers life. Sony just wanted to protect their investment which is what this settlement will do.

Despite all the garbage Hotz and Anno said about Sony being the evil corp out to destroy everyone's freedom. This settlement clearly shows how mature Sony is and what their intentions were all along which is to plug the hole that is Hotz.

Sony was never the evil corp that was out to set a precedence to get a win for the corporate big boys to stomp over the little mans freedom. I always said that that was hogwash.

Mahr2805d ago

Oooh, injunction against buying future Sony products, that has to sting.

On the bright side, the Homebrew community just got Showtime Media Player running stable 1080p on the PS3, and Region-free Blu-ray is on the horizon. Thanks, geohot!

harrisk9542805d ago

Are you kidding? This thing was over in a flash, blink-and-you-missed-it... These types of cases usually drag on for years.

OneSneakyMofo2805d ago

Better to settle now than spend five times that much in court costs. Like someone said above, Sony made someone their bitch. You know Hotz is thinking he beat Sony, but truth is, Sony just didn't feel he was worth fighting him in court over, lolol.

Thugbot1872805d ago

This whole thing shows Sony's mismanagement. First off Sony huge support for home brew to get popularity to the PS3 when it came out was a misstep. PS4 you can bet they won’t do that again. The other issue is instead of hiring GeoHotz and asking him for help on cleaning up the security flaws, they attack him in a lawsuit. Anonymous got one of their main demands drop the GeoHotz lawsuit…. Plus they made Sony’s staff look stupid.

KDubyah2805d ago

Nawh, far more people than these few hackers you hear bout want OtherOS..

+ Show (20) more repliesLast reply 2805d ago
Misterhbk2806d ago

So no one got paid but I want to know what this injunction means. Hotz will no longer own a ps3? Hotz will not use sony's intellectual property? Or he just won't post them online anymore?

Could be anything. Need more details.

shwiggity2806d ago

an injunction pretty much means that hotz must stop from doing certain actions (e.g. posting his hacks online) or else he will be charged with a criminal offense, facing possible jail time

Misterhbk2806d ago

Yeah, I know what injunction means but I want to know exactly what his injunction is.

shwiggity2806d ago

Yea, im not sure if we will ever find out. I doubt sony would post the details, but i feel like hotz might put it on his blog or something

Eamon2806d ago

Same enquiry. I read the article but it didn't properly explain what the terms of the settlement are.

My guess is that geohot will stop his work on the PS3 but not get sued.

But this doesn't solve whether jailbreaking a PS3 is legal or not.

morganfell2806d ago

Jailbreaking the PS3 is still illegal. That has never changed. It could change in the future but right now the PS3 and other game consoles are not excepted under the DMCA in the same manner as devices such as the Iphone are allowed to be jailbroken.

ziggurcat2806d ago

@ eamon:

jailbreaking the PS3 was never legal.

gamingdroid2806d ago

Actually I sort of wish (at Hotz expense though, so I don't blame him) it went all the way.

I view this as a freedom of speech and consumer rights being stepped over. This doesn't just apply to Sony, but MS and even Nintendo all have the right to remove features at will, restrict your usage and this has never been contested in a court of law.

Ideally, I would also like the law to allow for programs to allow modification of software at will as long as it isn't to allow the software to do illegal purposes.

This is really the only way to get around the fact that for almost all human time in business we are allowed to change our product and discuss how we changed it. Nobody stopped me from publishing information on how I modified my car (within legal means), my house, my wrench.... yet I modify my console and all hell breaks loose!

ziggurcat2806d ago

you are allowed to modify your PS3's hardware all you want. this case was never about the PS3's hardware, it was about the *software*.

your analogies all reference different types of *hardware* modifications.

gamingdroid2806d ago

"your analogies all reference different types of *hardware* modifications."

That was the point I was trying to make. Your hardware these days is essentially useless without the software. If it is, then the freedom of use of your products have now been essentially limited. Why should one hold software to a different standard then hardware?

The mere act of installing your own software these days, might get you in trouble unless you have specialized equipment that doesn't use the manufacturers software to load yours.

I'm saying, it shouldn't be like that and is a major issue. In the future, you might find your wrench has a chip with software so you can't use it any way you want! You car (probably already does) have chips to control certain fuel injections and hey they might just want to disable it for whatever reason....

Is that really a future we all want?

ComboBreaker2805d ago (Edited 2805d ago )

GeoHot: "Hey, hackers, donate some money to help me in this legal case."

*Hackers donated thousands and thousands of dollars to GeoHot*

GeoHot: "Now that I have all these money, time to settle so I don't have to pay anything."

*GeoHot settled and use hackers' money to buy himself a brand new car. He LOL-ed at hackers. *

Mahr2805d ago

"Jailbreaking the PS3 is still illegal"

Not in Spain.

Some good day, the same will be true for the Land of the Free.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 2805d ago
SarahFox2806d ago

so glad this garbage is over, I hope I never see his face on tv again

-Alpha2805d ago

We still have to deal with Anonymous' annoyances, but at least this dude is put behind us.

Kee2806d ago

Okay, I don't understand law, someone will have to explain this to me.

snaz272806d ago

seems to me sony is scared after all, i mean why even bother taking him to court in the first place? Lol, i like others on this page would like to know exactly what the injunction covers... But so much for all the people saying he's going to jail etc... And maybe anon did help his cause after all... I'm quite suprised it ended like this to be honest, i'm a bit gutted, i wanted this to go all the way! Seems sony didn't, but then i guess you could say hotz didn't either seen as he settled... Hmmm well guess more info will come out in the wash.

gamingdroid2806d ago (Edited 2806d ago )

Yeah, I think Sony backed off.

Essentially, it is a political move. Sony had really nothing to gain in the first place other than "trying" to scare hackers. When that didn't work (as we have seen donations poured into Hotz when needed), the only face saving way of getting out is through a settlement with some terms in favor of Sony to make them look better.

You could say it is a small insignificant win with a lot of bad publicity for Sony.

Hackers, cheaters and pirates will continue... unfortunately. How about Sony spend some of that money going after the cheaters, hackers or support that recently shuttered game!

Jdoki2806d ago

Don't think Sony is scared. Both sides would have agreed this. If Hotz thought he had a case then he didn't have to settle - he seems fairly egotistical, so I can't see he would have backed down unless absolutely necessary. If Sony had a water tight case they wouldn't have offered settlement.

Sony win/Hotz loses, because Hotz has effectively been gagged. Sony also have shown they are willing to invest time/money in to pursuing someone, and shown how serious they are in protecting their IP. Considering most 'hackers' are probably bedroom coders, it might have acted as a good deterrent.

Sony lose / Hotz wins, because the hack is out there for those that didn't update their FW, and Hotz' work was already done - it's other people that have carried on the work with trying to hack the firmware, and Sony have little chance to catch them.

Both sides win because neither have to pay their lawyers any more!

lee_ten2806d ago

sony is scared of a guy who probably lives in his mom's basement. okaaay...

snaz272806d ago

i don't really think sony wanted to chance their arm of this being a test case either! Imagine if it were ruled that hotz was in the right and he had every right to do what he did! Lol it would open the flood gates just like with the iphone... It's defo strange anyway, why go to all the trouble of getting search warrants and gaining access to peoples ip addresses just so they could settle!... And i have to laugh at all the disagrees, i only own a ps3 but there are so many fanatics on here that you can't say a negative thing against sony lol, i feel for these people, and i offer anyone that disagreed a big hug to soothe their owwies lmao.

snaz272806d ago

how has hotz been gagged? The info is already out there lol... I thought that's why they were suing him... If sony had a water tight case why would they settle? Wouldn't the best message to send be to finish it through and have the courts rule? Who knows what's gone on behind the scenes, maybe they said hotz to take the injunction? We'll never know i guess, and that's my point, it's not definative is it?

GarandShooter2806d ago

'Imagine if it were ruled that hotz was in the right and he had every right to do what he did!'

Never would have happened. Copyright laws are there for a reason.

'If sony had a water tight case why would they settle?'

What could Geohot possibly have that Sony wanted, other than for him to cease his actions, which he has?

Further, if he had an air tight case, with the possibility of counter suing, do you think his lawyers would have turned down their percentage?

@ droid

A lot here are acting like Sony dropped the case. The fact is, nowhere does it state who initially offered the terms of the settlement. I can easily see Geohot's lawyers going to Sony's and saying: "Look, we're willing to cease our activities forever voluntarily, if you're willing to cease pursuing this suit."

Seems far more plausible to me than Sony backing off, who by the way had no need to 'save face'.

joeorc2806d ago

Hotz called it just like Sony the fact that George has a perma. injunction is quite clear who really wanted to settle.

This was about hacking the software, an pretty much Hotz Really would have been in deeper trouble if he did not do something like this.

The fact that he took a perma. injunction is pretty clear why.

that's far less than the other trouble that could face him further.

cemelc2805d ago

Well theres a pdf of the settlement here:

The guy got pwned, read the Stipulation.pdf and youll see that the guy kneeled before sony...LOL the guy was all talk and no show.

Nivalis2805d ago

"If sony had a water tight case why would they settle?"

What would they gain from taking it all the way if he has to ask for donations just to pay for his lawyers?, kids broke, they wouldn't get a dime - so they switched it and made sure he or anyone he works with, EVER, can have anything to do with hacking any Sony product, EVER.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 2805d ago
rabidpancakeburglar2806d ago

I very highly doubt that anonymous will back off, they are the type of arseholes who thrive on creating havoc

Prototype2806d ago

I'm glad this is over with, now we can go back to the typical "our games is better than yours"

Now watch the millions of articles "sony/geohot won and heres why..."

mastiffchild2806d ago

Hotz will have annoyed a lot of people who blindly gave donations for his costs expecting him to duke it out in court with their cash. Why? Because he set himself up as a martyr for their cause-he was the one troing to take the high moral stance in the face of the "evil" corporate aggressor etc. THAT'S why, I think a few people are wound up at him for settling-and a silent settlement at that might show he didn't have too strong a position or may have had to do more back scratching than he'd like made public(though, surely, Sony, will be in a similar boat and th mystery serves as a scarier deterrent than public details showing both sides cuddled up in the end to some extent)-and esp after setting himself up as a new age Jesus for Hackers' rights.

I still don't believe, for a millisecond, that he did what he did without KNOWING he was aiding piracy but life's too short to care too much and suffice to say I think anyone claiming this as a result for either side will be WAY off the mark. Many hakcres have stood firm in the face of corporations of late so if Hotz was all in charge he would have gone for it-no doubt in my mind. By the same yardstick Sony wanted to scare people from doping the same to future consoles and a settlement isn't anything like as good as a proper sentencing and punishment for Hotz meted out by a judge. Nether side got anything like what they wanted lout of this-Hotz will be pleased to be free and not bankrupt and we can only wonder what Sony got in return from him-information, expertise or even straight up ratting his mates out-who knows? But they've got something or they wouldn't have settled and would have backed their lawyers for longer than Hotz could afford to his-financially speaking they could have done what he couldn't.

Most likely there wasn't going to be a quick way out for either side and an offer was made by one side and when both felt they had something of use they quit it and decided to keep schtum for all involved-cos NOBODY will look very good.

AaronSponk2805d ago

This is a huge win for software and hardware developers.

Hotz "accepting" a permanent injunction means he's publically admitting to doing wrongby aiding piracy and theft.

Permanent is a very long time, folks.

jke822805d ago

ya gotta wonder if this sets the fact that geo did indeed harm sony and set the tone to make a monetary civil suit possible to recoup losses because of piracy on the ps3 not sure if it would any legal students think it makes sense

OhMyGandhi2805d ago (Edited 2805d ago ) about instead of boycotting them, he could have simply sold the console or whatever. Give up on Sony's products only as a personal matter for him to deal with alone.Going the extra step is quite laughable, and extremely immature.

if I buy an Ipod, and it doesn't act or respond exactly as I want it to, I don't launch a massive crusade against apple because of my hurt feelings.

I barely have enough enthusiasm to brush my teeth three times a day, where he gets this sort of energy to do all this is beyond me.

llMurcielagoll2805d ago

Speaking of Anonymous, they came out of nowhere with the the message threatening Sony and stole V's mask as its background or their icon probably. Did some Denial of Service attacks, then Poof disappeared.

Is it possible they got bored because Sony didn't give a rat's @$$? Or its part of their evil plan to disappear then strike back again with something up their sleeves?

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 2805d ago
Godmars2902806d ago

The lawyers. Though I bet that Hotz will come out of this claiming a win, as apposed to being allowed to walk away from this not ruining his life more than he has.

joeorc2806d ago

some may say that george won this but really no, not at all an it seems he's very luckey to gather this asw his penalty.

permanent injunctions are a penalty!! not something you get if you win...!

a perma. injunction...WOW!

I mean what we do not know the full point's of the injunction, but they could be quite severe. I mean check out this one.


zootang2806d ago

Maybe hotz paid sony in code?

Lord_Doggington2806d ago

Hotz won the money.

Anonymous won the day.

Arksine2806d ago

Wrong. A settlement was reached, Hotz didn't win any money. What he did manage to do is lie to everyone who donated to him though. By agreeing to his injunction, he wont be touching the Xperia Play or any other Sony Product.

I'd be willing to bet he spilled what he knew about anyone else that hacked the PS3 as well. Of course those idiots posing as Anonymous will claim that this is their doing, however this settlement has likely been in the works for some time.

Ravage272806d ago


Looks like Hotz can't touch the NGP now...though the attention whore in him won't be able to resist it. For Sony, this could be a nice trap to get his ugly ass into jail.

Eamon2806d ago

To be honest, it only means geohot won't be able to gain credit for any hacks that happen in the future.

He may hack other Sony products but post them anonymously.

2806d ago
mastiffchild2806d ago (Edited 2806d ago )

No, not really. Sony would have LOVED to have got the full result over Hotz. It would have served as a massive threat to future hackers-they wouldn't give two shits about what Hotz could actually pay in reality.

Fact is Sony either didn't have quite enough to get exactly what they wanted or Hotz offered them something pretty juicy in another direction(ratting out others or whatever)and forced their hand. Hotz, I believe, would also have loved to have won the case(other hackers have stood firm with seemingly similar cases and won so why not hotz with all the support he had, mm?)but, for whatever reason, knew he couldn't.

Thing is Sony only have themselves and the shareholders to answer to-Hotz, meanwhile, set himself up as the martyr in all this and settling with the "bad" guys is more embarrassing for him than for Sony I'd suggest.

Overall, though, anyone suggesting a massive victory for either side is barking mental or, more likely, suffering from wishful thinking. The most likely answer, but it's only my opinion, is that hotz offered them something, dunno what, Sony weighed it up against the cost and risk and publicity of court and decided not to make the lawyers any richer or wind up people like anon more than needed.

It definitely doesn't send out the scary message Sony would have wanted to future would be hackers BUT it sure as hell doesn't make Hotz' high moral stance look convincing either. All we can tell is Hotz got away without being bankrupt and have to guess what Sony got, and they'll have to have gotten something, in return. So much for standing up for a belief though, eh Geo? If you wanna be a martyr you really HAVE to go the whole nine yards-even moreso when you've had "your" people funding your side of the sodding case. I doubt many donated in the hope Geo would settle to save his own hide without making any point about hackers freedom to do what they wished.

cemelc2805d ago (Edited 2805d ago )

To all the ppl defending HOTZ:

Read the Stipulation.pdf and enjoy how hotz got his a$$ handed to him by sony.

The settlement goes something like this:

Sony:"Hotz hand over your balls"
Hotz:"there you go"

You dont believe me? read the pdf...LOL

jerethdagryphon2805d ago

basically the injunction states that he cantnot do anything to gain access to any sony product he cannot assit others in it or distribute it even if somone posted a link on his blog to the latest firmware update that could be seen as distributing it

the fines are 10k per infreaction non ditributing

and 250k per distribution and you can bet sony will be keeping an eye on him and the scene

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 2805d ago
2806d ago Replies(1)
Lord_Doggington2806d ago

haha why would you think this? sony were the ones to start the litigation in the first place. the code had already been distributed. they wanted retribution.

and they suddenly "settle"?

honestly, this sounds like anonymous and hotz both bitch slapped sony.