It’s a peaceful ending for George “GeoHot” Hotz after all – the infamous PS3 jailbreaker and Sony have settled their differences out of court.
The legal battle between GeoHot and Sony had more than its fair share of twists and turns, but it’s now reached a surprisingly anticlimactic (if not unexpected) ending: Earlier today, Sony and GeoHot announced that they’d reached a settlement in the matter.
While the full terms of the settlement aren’t clear (and likely never will be), what we do know is that Hotz consented to a “permanent injunction” in the matter, likely in exchange for Sony agreeing not to try and sue him back to the stone age. In all likelihood, this permanent injunction is a long-form version of the preliminary injunction that forced Hotz to take down the PS3 “jailbreak code” that allowed console owners to bypass the PS3’s security.
“Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us,” said Sony’s General Counsel Riley Russell. “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.”
For his part, Hotz seemed glad to have it all over with. “It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier,” said the hacking mastermind, “I’m happy to have the litigation behind me.” Presumably he’s off to try his hand hacking Windows Phone 7 with Microsoft’s blessing.
“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,” added Russell. “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.”
We’ll probably never know the circumstances that led to this, but it’s interesting to speculate. Was Hotz beginning to feel the legal pressure in the face of silly statements like claiming to have never heard of Sony America? Or was it Anonymous’ anti-Sony attacks that pushed the media giant to the bargaining table? Or perhaps Sony simply didn’t want to lose a lawsuit and set a dangerous (for them) legal precedent.
Either way, while this battle may be over I can’t help but feel as though nothing has truly been resolved in the grand scheme of things. Oh well.
I hope this means that GeoHot is going to give all of that money for legal defense back. If he doesn’t, I have a feeling he’ll be in court once again before it’s all said and done.