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Sony and Hotz settle PS3 hacker case

on 11 April 2011

Sony Computer Entertainment America and hacker George "GeoHot" Hotz today announced a settlement in the controversial PlayStation hacker case, in which Sony sued Hotz for posting information about how to bypass the PS3's security system. To resolve the lawsuit, Hotz agreed to a permanent injunction (a final order of a court that a person or entity permanently refrain from certain activities, like fiddling with PS3's security settings).

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

“Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us,” echoed Riley Russell, General Counsel for SCEA. “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.”

Sony alleged that Hotz's posting violated U.S. federal law (specifically, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, among other copyright infringements), encouraging people to pirate PS3 games. Hotz, who also jail-broke Apple's iOS platform, denies any wrongdoing in exploiting security flaws through an exploit in the system's "OtherOS" functionality.

The lawsuit spawned a number of attacks on Sony's websites and PlayStation Network service by the hacker group "Anonymous," with which Hotz is not related.

“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.”

Sony and Hotz reached an agreement on March 31, 2011.