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Sony/Hotz Settlement Details – Hotz Speaks On Settlement

After months-long intriguing encounter between Sony Computer Entertainment America and hacker George”GoeHot” Hotz came to an end. Both parties released a joint statement declaring they had settled the matter, with Hotz agreeing to a permanent injunction against publishing methods to hack the Playstation 3 online.

The documents outlining the settlement have surfaced online and these documents describe how, by the consent of both parties, the court “ordered and adjudged” that Hotz is “Permanently enjoined and restrained from” a variety of activities. These include “engaging in any unauthorized access to any Sony product under the law” and violating any SCEA license agreement or terms of use agreement “whether or not Hotz has accepted such agreement or terms of use.”

The latter part of that agreement covers a wide range of activities including:

  • Reverse engineering, decompiling, or disassembling any portion of [a] Sony Product.
  • Using any tools to bypass, disable, or circumvent any encryption, security, or authentication mechanism in [a] Sony Product.
  • Using any hardware or software to cause the Sony Product to accept or use unauthorized, illegal or pirated software or hardware.
  • Exploiting any Sony Product to design, develop, update or distribute unauthorized software or hardware for use with [a] Sony Product.
  • This is not it, agreement goes on to say that Hotz is forbidden from circumventing any any technological protection measures on any Sony product, including “any code, device, information, encryption or key” that relates to “any confidential or proprietary information” of Sony’s.

He is also prohibited from “trafficking” in any technology or information that bypasses technological protection measures on any Sony device or service, with the order mentioning the PlayStation 3 3.55 Firmware Jailbreak by name.

Should Hotz violate the injunction, he will have to pay $10,000 per violation, with a penalty cap of $250,000.

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

After the settlement, today Hotz released another far more aggressive statement on his blog commenting on the class action lawsuit filed against Sony after it removed the OtherOS function from the PS3.

“These class action lawsuits are the type that can bankrupt or do seriously financial harm to a company, and finally get Sony to realize that they are not above the law as they would like to believe”.

He continued and answered the most intriguing question, Why he settled for the dispute against Sony ?

And some of Sony’s words just really unsettle me. “You don’t have an ownership right in the software that Sony Computer allows you to use. That’s the whole point of the license agreement, it’s not an ownership interest, it is a privilege that Sony conveys on them.” Should I feel privileged to give you $300? If you take the privilege back, what can I do with my uncontested ownership physical PS3? If I stop using your software and install my own, you’ll sue me.

But most troubling of all is what Sony is doing to the people who have stepped up to represent the class. Sony has attempted to demand inspection, and by inspection they mean full copies, of not only the representatives PS3s but of their home personal computers. To any reasonable person, it’s clear Sony doesn’t expect to find “evidence” there, it’s just simply to harass the representatives. And the harassment worked on one, he pulled out of the suit citing privacy reasons. Know what Sony did? They tried to demand inspection of his things anyway. You get the message? Basically if Sony does bad things, you better not call them out, or they’ll attempt to make your life hell.

So basically he got scared off Sony’s tactics.