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PlayStation (Games) Sony The Courts Games

Sony's Case Against Geohot Has Been Settled 469

matt_gaia writes "According to Sony Computer Entertainment America, they have reached a settlement with GeoHot (George Hotz), where Hotz has consented to a permanent injunction, but still denies any wrong-doing in the whole affair. Sony said, '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.'" I wonder if Anonymous will proceed with their anti-Sony campaign.
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Sony's Case Against Geohot Has Been Settled

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  • Oh, stuff it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by intellitech ( 1912116 ) * on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:08PM (#35783154)

    'Our motivation for bringing this litigation was to protect our intellectual property and our consumers.'

    If SCEA was ever interested in protecting consumers, they never would have brought suit against GeoHot in the first place.

    • Re:Oh, stuff it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:12PM (#35783196) Homepage

      If SCEA was ever interested in protecting consumers, they never would have brought suit against GeoHot in the first place.

      That part is so they can act like part of the motivation is so people don't write hacks to their modded systems that lets them cheat at the on-line games.

      I'm of the opinion that it's 99% protecting of their IP/locking down the console, and 1% protecting consumers ... and even that only as a PR thing.

    • Re:Oh, stuff it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:28PM (#35783412) Homepage Journal

      I responded many years ago before the rootkit by not buying Sony products and by recommending Samsung, LG, or even Vizio screens for clients who need large wall-mounted screens in their offices, conference rooms, etc.

      I started avoided Sony when I found their replacement parts costs to be obscene when I wanted to repair my DVP-S360 DVD player - I paid a premium for the Sony for the feature set (mainly the full-feature front-panel controls) and it turned out the entire run was bad and became known for failing just after warranty. I priced out replacement parts but by then competitors were offering DVD players that could play various mpeg4 videos and the part I needed cost more than competitor offerings, and I could even get a Sony DVD player for a few dollars more.

      Another thing is in a lot of Sony products they use resistors in place of fuses, making troubleshooting more time consuming. Between that and cold solder joints in their televisions, it was obvious Sony decided to just start phoning it in, earning sales now based on their past reputation for being innovators and a quality manufacturer.

      Now they engage in shameless malfeasance (installing rootkits on hard drives of legitimate paying customers), engage in fraud (sell product based on features, e.g., OtherOS, and then take it away) and then attack the consumer directly when they try to take back control of their own hardware and help others enjoy their right of first sale.

      Then, in various products (from MP3 players to notebooks to cameras) they kept pushing their stupid MemoryStick form factor, despite the existence of very workable existing standards (CF, MMC/SD, or even XD), an obvious means to increase revenue through their own costly proprietary (yet slow and low capacity) sole-sourced accessories.

      When did this pattern start? Remember when Sony used to be pro consumer (e.g., sony walkman, VCRs and the betamax case, dual deck cassette systems, etc)? Did their anti-consumer agenda start when Sony bought up music labels?

      Frak Sony. They're not too large to fail and if enough people say ENOUGH, they will either fail or they will change their ways and bring back the Sony we once knew.

      • in the 70's and 80's, sony was a respected hardware maker. their audio gear ranged from cheap to very very fine. they made a lot of high end pro audio gear, too.

        in the 90's they started to lose themselves.

        in the 00's, they totally jumped the shark and I've been avoiding them and their products since.

        the brand is dead to me as much as possible. I can't control any internal sony parts or chips but I can at least avoid paying for sony gear that is branded sony.

        my life has not suffered one bit. there isn't

        • here isn't one thing sony makes that ONLY sony makes.

          Only Sony makes "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley.

          you can live a sony-free life pretty easily.

          How do I go into a grocery store without hearing Sony music?

        • by IMightB ( 533307 )

          I completely agree. The last *good* products Sony made were the Walkman's. After that they became a POS brand that replied on the reputation they built in the 80's.

        • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

          Problem is their BLuRay play is one of very FEW that have discreet on and off signals. Required for anyone that has a real home theater or for board room automation. LG being retarded removed discrete on and off ir commands. Panasonic designed all their BLuray players to be for the brain dead and hostile to automation by removing almost all discreet commands.

          Only other choice is to go to a $4500.00 denon pro BluRay that does not play a bluray any better than a $199 unit.

      • When did this pattern start? Remember when Sony used to be pro consumer (e.g., sony walkman, VCRs and the betamax case, dual deck cassette systems, etc)? Did their anti-consumer agenda start when Sony bought up music labels?

        That and movies. When they incorporated content into their business model, they lost their way.

    • Re:Oh, stuff it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:37PM (#35783510) Journal

      Sony could help but dismiss as fast as possible once they realized they didn't even have a shred of a case in california. I'd bet money the settlement involves paying off all of Hotz's legal fees.

      It cracks me up that they state that hotz accepted a permanent injunction as a "loss" but it doesn't even say what the injunction was for.

      So Sony basically ran the hell away on this. I'm actually quite surprised if Hotz agreed to keep this settlement private, as it would do wonders to not have it private.

  • Wow.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:09PM (#35783170) Homepage Journal

    I'm amazed at the comments on the linked Playstation page.

    Some folks are (almost) calling for Hotz' head. And people think Apple's fans drink the KoolAid...
    • Some folks are (almost) calling for Hotz' head. And people think Apple's fans drink the KoolAid...

      And I'm pretty sure that Sony isn't posting comments on their own website. Right? They would never do such a thing.

      • Re:Wow.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shimdaddy ( 898354 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:20PM (#35783310) Homepage
        I don't think it's Sony astroturfing. I think it's just gamers who see action like GeoHotz's as a gateway to piracy -- if they spend a good deal of their time in online games (which can be totally ruined by cheaters), I think their comments are understandable (though I still don't agree with them).
      • It's not just the PS Blog. Go to just about any gaming website and read the comments about this story and you'll see the vast majority support Sony. It's just on tech websites like /. or ars technica that you see a lot of people against Sony.

        • Re:Wow.... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by tophermeyer ( 1573841 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @02:30PM (#35784178)

          I saw someone else post this point elsewhere on the thread.

          Gamers want a smooth gaming experience. Most gamers expect that to entail an online network free from hackers exploiting games and not being required to sit through 20-30 minute updates every two weeks. The majority of gamers see Hotz as opening doors for hackers/exploiters and as being responsible for Sony's prevention measures.

          Outside of the pro-Linux "software should be free" crowds, most people just want to see Hotz go away.

    • Re:Wow.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:19PM (#35783292)

      I'm amazed at the comments on the linked Playstation page.

      Some folks are (almost) calling for Hotz' head. And people think Apple's fans drink the KoolAid...

      You see people identify with products all over the place - and if you look closely at your life, you may be doing it too.

      I've seen people base their identities on what they have; which is quite a childish thing to do if you ask a developmental psychologist - basing your identity on what you do means you're stuck in adolescence by the way.

      Go to a photo site and you'll see people get all riled up if you say anything against "their" brand of camera. Same goes for power tools - you'll see Ridgid and DeWalt fanboys.

      Cars - same thing.

      Apple's fanboys have nothing on the Harley Davidson fanboys.

      • Go to a photo site and you'll see people get all riled up if you say anything against "their" brand of camera. Same goes for power tools - you'll see Ridgid and DeWalt fanboys.

        So true - go to any Nikon forum and you'll see Canon fans posting crap, go to Canon forums and see Nikon fans posting crap - usually in the form of gross misinformation to "prove" their choice of camera is better, completely ignoring the fact that they're just tools and there is no one single BFH that works for all situations.

        It seem

      • Re:Wow.... (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @03:32PM (#35784918)

        Apple's fanboys have nothing on the Harley Davidson fanboys.

        Pshaw. Those bikers don't hold a candle to us iFanboys of the Cult of Steve. Their bikes aren't made of brushed aluminum, their carbon footprint is disgusting, and I think they might even use paint rather than anodization for their coloration process. How last century.

        I'd go on, but I just got a call on my iPhone. Apparently there's a social event being put on by the local Mac User Group tonight, and I need time to load my (PRODUCT) RED iPod (to show my support for eliminating AIDS in Africa, of course) with my favorite tunes. Plus, choosing which black turtleneck to wear can be such a pain sometimes. If only there was an app for that...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elashish14 ( 1302231 )

      All the commenters have PSN accounts and are reading what appears to be the official PS blog. In other words, they must be in KoolAid up to the ears.

    • The reason they're so out for blood is because they don't actually understand what was happening or what this case was really about.

      They all assumed that Hotz was basically allowing games to be hacked and crap, ruining their online experience, when Hotz work actually had nothing to do with it.

      Ignorance is leading the farmers with pitchforks and fire, like it always does.

    • by MrHanky ( 141717 )

      It's just that those people don't care about the fact that they don't own what they've bought -- they're more afraid of being owned when playing games. The console is theirs in that they get to keep it permanently, and apart from that it's just a gateway to a games service. They were never going to use it for anything but further consumption of things they don't own. Come to think of it, Sony and Apple are pretty much the same in that regard.

    • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:49PM (#35783648)

      In their defence, the whole purpose for the vast majority of users when buying a PS3 was to have a gaming machine and some semblance of fair competition in multiplayer. The forums are naturally more full of fanboys than anywhere else. Any PS3 hack directly interferes with the notion of a fair playing session against other people. As much as it got Sony free press, PS2 linux... I'm sorry PS3 linux was only ever there to try and skirt around EU import tariffs. It didn't work. Sony really doesn't want you using PS3's for astrophysics clusters or airforce research (I helped build a cluster for astrophysics work). They sell at a loss because they want you to buy games. I'm sure the airforce cluster is great press, but the vast majority of the research just costs them money they don't get a tax break for.

      All MMO's go after botters. Shouldn't I be able to run whatever software I want on my own machine?

      The olympics go after people who have too much cold medication or whatever else. Shouldn't you be allowed to take whatever your doctor recommends for your health?

      The US congress thought steroid use in baseball was so important they dragged barry bonds and co. to washington to talk to them. This is when they are trying to deal with a trillion dollar deficit, they're willing to waste days of peoples time on steroids in baseball. And you think sony fanboys are overreacting to a hack? At least the sony fanboys are actually participating in, and affected by cheaters directly.

      Not that Sony is blameless. They should never have allowed 'other OS linux' on the PS3 in the first place, they should not have gone around threatening to sue everyone under the sun who might have been intrigued by geohot. But if you're a MMO player, you're glad to see the banhammer go out to gold farmers, botters etc. Sony is trying to balance on one hand the developers and hardcore gamers (who roughly have aligned interests in terms of security), and hacker types who should be free to toy with their own stuff, but not at the expense of the network experience of everyone else.

      Lets be honest. Sure, a PS3 jailbreak hack lets you run homebrew games, and may re-enable partially functional PS2 emulation, and brings back linux support. But it also lets you mess with the memory state of your machine and hack the game as you're running and it lets you pirated games. Homebrew has no real value on a PS3. PS2 emulation, I'm not sure on, I'm betting sony didn't just take it out for the fun of it, it's probably really hard, if not impossible to do properly and provide a good experience. Linux... well it shipped with linux so I guess they should still support it. But that goes into the next problem, which is the whole network experience of 40 odd million players (obviously not all of whom actually use the network functionality) can be easily disrupted by even a handful of people hacking which is really a serious problem. Avoiding that is sort of the point of having a console in the first place, and being able to steal stuff from the playstation store isn't exactly something I support either. I don't think pirated games (blu-ray/DVD) is a huge issue, though I could be wrong, I suppose once the hack is out here some cheap PS3 game knockoff manufacturers could pose problems if they want to get into that business.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Suckle on the teat of the powerful for long enough, and you begin to believe that what is good for them is good for you.

    • Like shimdaddy said, you have to understand their perspective. If you're reading slashdot, there's a good chance that you like to tinker with stuff and zap yourself. If you're reading the PS3 blog, you're probably a gamer who has probably dealt with cheating before. When they hear "modded box," they automatically think "aimbot" because that's been their only experience with modded consoles. When we hear "modded box" we think of a job well done. They can't understand why someone would *want* to modify their
      • by Alsee ( 515537 )

        If you're reading the PS3 blog, you're probably a gamer who has probably dealt with cheating before.

        Yes, if you're reading the PS3 blog you've probably dealt with LOTS cheating before. In particular let me run down the forms you cheating you deal with on a daily basis, and the approximate percentage of each category:

        Cheating category 1, 55%:
        You (meaning the PS3 typical blog reader bitching about cheating) are a clueless loser and you got your ass handed to you by some player who has no-life... a player who has 500 hours of game experience... a player who has expert game knowledge. In your non-existent ga

  • I'm sure Anonymous will now go away. They're known for being lenient in cases like this. Oh wait, no. You gonna get raped.

  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:13PM (#35783212)

    Dollars to donuts says that SCEA's ridiculous discovery campaign (under the pretense of a jurisdictional dispute) either already turned up less than they'd hoped or was starting to draw enough opposition from the subpoena targets to make this an extremely expensive battle that could never possibly achieve their desired result.

    • My first thought also, this is a full retreat by sony.
      Would have liked to see geohot win in court but he probably didnt want to spend years there, which is understandable...

    • I suspect that Sony also didn't really want to tangle with Anonymous. Mostly because it would be inconvenient and expensive, and their customers would suffer.

  • Dear Sony staffer (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CarsonChittom ( 2025388 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:13PM (#35783214) Homepage

    Dear Sony staffer whose job is to make "Yay Sony! Boo Geohot!" comments on that press release posting:

    It's clear from a cursory examination of the comments on that press release that you exist. Does it hurt having your soul sucked out?


  • Wow, what a bunch of Sony fanbois.

    • Wow, what a bunch of Sony fanbois.

      Well, given that it's a self-selected sample of people who have signed up for a Sony website, and probably have accounts on the PSN, are you surprised?

      I mean, if I go onto an Xbox Live forum where I'd need to have an XBox Live account (and therefore quite likely an XBox) ... I would expect fanbois to be all over that as well, and the prevailing belief would be that it's the Best Thing Ever.

      It was never going to be an unbiased group, not on -- I suspect if yo

    • Wow, what a bunch of Sony fanbois.

      Well yeah. It's an official Sony blog that requires you to be signed in with your PSN tag to post. There would be no reason to go there if you weren't a fan of the products. It's like calling attendees at a Star Trek convention or customers in an Apple store fanbois.

  • What about all the IP addresses that Sony managed to collect? When will a settlement be reached for that?
  • Sure, it's protecting your intellectual property. But how is something like this protecting consumers? From what?

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:20PM (#35783308) Homepage

    When you have a super-heavyweight company like Sony coming after you, issues such as "merit" simply don't matter as much as how much hurt they can put on you.

    Meanwhile, Sony wouldn't have settled so easily if they didn't have something to lose in all of this. I hope our "hero" Geohot was aware of this. It was kind of like our hero, "Lindows" who fought back against Microsoft and won, for the most part, by threatening Microsoft's trademark over Windows. So I have to wonder if anyone else can pick up this ball where Geohot left it. It's not like the secret isn't out.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    [COMPELLED TRUTH=ON]'Our motivation for bringing this litigation was to protect our intellectual property from our consumers.’[/TRUTH]

  • looking for these? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:22PM (#35783330)

    erk: C0 CE FE 84 C2 27 F7 5B D0 7A 7E B8 46 50 9F 93 B2 38 E7 70 DA CB 9F F4 A3 88 F8 12 48 2B E2 1B
    riv: 47 EE 74 54 E4 77 4C C9 B8 96 0C 7B 59 F4 C1 4D
    pub: C2 D4 AA F3 19 35 50 19 AF 99 D4 4E 2B 58 CA 29 25 2C 89 12 3D 11 D6 21 8F 40 B1 38 CA B2 9B 71 01 F3 AE B7 2A 97 50 19
        R: 80 6E 07 8F A1 52 97 90 CE 1A AE 02 BA DD 6F AA A6 AF 74 17
        n: E1 3A 7E BC 3A CC EB 1C B5 6C C8 60 FC AB DB 6A 04 8C 55 E1
        K: BA 90 55 91 68 61 B9 77 ED CB ED 92 00 50 92 F6 6C 7A 3D 8D
      Da: C5 B2 BF A1 A4 13 DD 16 F2 6D 31 C0 F2 ED 47 20 DC FB 06 70

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )

      Mod parent down. There's no point in modding it up, because now that Sony has 'achieved [its] goal' no one will possibly be able to read the parent post nor make use of its contents, no matter how high it is moderated.

  • I was hoping for some serious Sony whoop ass and was willing to donate more but looks like Sony saw the writing on the wall and "agreed to settle" to save face. Oh well back to not buying anything with Sony on it.

  • I can sort of understand why he settled: Hell, I'd settle if I realised it would likely take years of my life, if not thousands of dollars to fight.
    But still, the rant, as seen on Geohot's site [], still gives me a bit of a feeling of dealing with a hypocrite.

    Then again, I'm a big hypocrite for wanting someone else to pursue something, which I would probably also settle as soon as possible.
  • by fprefect ( 14608 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @01:57PM (#35783742)

    I'm sure if Geohot hadn't been so diligent about his methods and avoiding the various license traps, they'd have gladly pushed this through to the bitter end and made an example out of him.

    Clearly Sony is happy to use the legal system to intimidate modders, but isn't interested it taking this case far enough to establish a legal precedent that runs contrary their own interests. Must be nice to have deep enough pockets that you can throw lawyers at a problem until it goes away, or you lose interest and "settle".

  • by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @02:26PM (#35784102) Homepage Journal

    Didnt take long for the details to get leaked..

    Here is the info you are looking for
    127-stipulation.pdf []

    N :)

    • So if I read that right, GeoHot is now
        * bound by any Sony eula, regardless of wether he ever saw it
        * prohibited from opening up any Sony product even to simply replace a fuse

      Well played, Sony.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton