File this under “didn’t see that coming,” but iPhone and occasional PS3 hacker George “GeoHot” Hotz have buried the hatchet–not just with pleasantries, but in legal terms, too.
Writing on Sony’s official PlayStation blog, Sony PR director Patrick Seybold said the company is today announcing “the settlement of the lawsuit filed by SCEA [Sony Computer Entertainment America] against Hotz in federal court in San Francisco, California.” Sony had sued Hotz for hacking, then publishing “root” keys which allow users to bypass the PS3’s security measures and execute self-signed code.
That was fast. Last we heard, Hotz was in South America (Sony implied he’d fled the country, Hotz replied he’d planned the trip for some time). At the time, Hotz wrote on his blog that he wouldn’t “let this ridiculous lawsuit run my life…” or “the fearmongerers [sic] win.”
And just last week, hacker group Anonymous attempted to harass Sony in reprisal for the lawsuit by launching denial of service attacks against various Sony and PlayStation Network servers.
It sounds like the agreement was reached already “in principle” on March 31, 2011. As part of the settlement, Sony says Hotz “consented to a permanent injunction.” In other words, he won’t be hacking the PS3 (and who knows what else) anytime soon.
Sony said it was happy to “put this litigation behind us” and that it believed the settlement and permanent injunction “achieve this goal.” Hotz was conciliatory as well, reiterating what he’d previously said about not wanting “to cause users trouble or to make piracy easier.”
Still undetermined: Whether hacking or “jailbreaking” the PS3 is legal–like jailbreaking an iPhone.
Update: Hotz just blogged less-than-contritely that he’s officially boycotting Sony and would “never purchase another Sony product.” He promises “much more to come on [the] blog.”
Also, per documents obtained by VG247, more details on the permanent injunction. It essentially forbids Hotz from “trafficking in any technology” that “circumvents any of the TPM’s [Trusted Platform Module] in any Sony product.” It does not forbid him from using Sony products.