Sony cuts deal with PlayStation 3 hacker

Apr 11, 2011
Sony on Monday said a US hacker has agreed to stop breaking into PlayStation 3 (PS3) videogame consoles as part of a deal made to drop a lawsuit filed by the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

Sony on Monday said a US hacker has agreed to stop breaking into PlayStation 3 (PS3) videogame consoles as part of a deal made to drop a lawsuit filed by the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

"It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier," hacker George Hotz said in a joint statement released by Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA). "I'm happy to have the litigation behind me."

Sony went to court early this year to stop hackers who figured out how to "jailbreak" PS3 consoles to operate on software other than that originally installed by the firm.

SCEA accused Hotz of violating federal law by posting online information that could be used to circumvent the PS3 security system and allow play of pirated videogames.

A judge granted Sony a restraining order against Hotz, a 23-year-old New Jersey resident, and the case was to be heard in a federal district court in San Francisco.

Sony wanted Hotz taken to task for violations of the US and a Abuse Act.

Hotz, who is credited with being the first person to go public with a way to hack into an iPhone, has denied doing anything wrong.

"Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us," said SCEA general counsel Riley Russell.

"Our motivation for bringing this litigation was to protect our intellectual property and our consumers," Russell said. "We believe this settlement and the permanent injunction achieve this goal."

"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," Russell continued.

"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."

Hotz was not involved with recent cyber attacks on Sony websites and Internet services, according to the PS3 maker.

Internet vigilante group Anonymous had vowed retribution against Sony for taking legal action against hackers who cracked PS3 defenses to change console operating software.

A message signed by Anonymous at website anonnews.org early this month announced an "Operation Payback" campaign aimed at Sony because of its cases against Hotz and Alexander Egorenkov.

The case against Egorenkov, who also maintains his innocence, is playing out in Germany.

Anonymous argued that PS3 console owners have the right to do what they wish with them, including modifying them.

The hacker group threatened to retaliate against Sony by attacking the company's websites.

Explore further: Sony's PlayStation back online after Christmas hack

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Quantum_Conundrum
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2011
It seems ridiculous that a company can sell you a computer product, so now you "own" it, and yet the "law" can tell you what software you can and can't run on it.

Isn't this a violation of the 4th ammendment?

Maybe it's actually a re-defining of the term "Own" or "to own," because if a corporation can legally command you as to what you can and cannot do with property after you paid the purchase price, then...

So it's "illegal" to modify a playstation even if you "own" it?

That has got to be one of the most absurd things I have ever seen/heard in my life.

In the past, lots of people, including universities and small research firms, bought several playstations and modified them to make "cheap" multi-core super computers out of them because they were so cheap. At one time, there were even guides telling you how to make an 8 core super computer from playstation machines.

So were the universities "breaking the law" also?

Why weren't they taken to court previously?
maxcypher
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2011
As I read it, Sony is trying to protect the copyrights of game developers by preventing the mods that allow pirated games to be played on their consoles.
TheQuietMan
5 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2011
Of course, that also includes your ability to write code. It isn't that simple.

When they first came out with this console, one of the advertised features (a major feature) was the ability to run other operating systems such as Linux on it. Then, without explanation, they reneged.

The whole mess is a classic example of how businesses are abusing their power and having laws detrimental to the public interest passed for the businesses benefit. It is a common theme nowdays.
FrankHerbert
1.1 / 5 (57) Apr 11, 2011
FREE MARKET! NO REGULATIONS!(unless they are lobbied for by corporations and affect individuals, in which case we'll call them laws :-) )
Jaeherys
3 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2011
I'm sure that big lot of text that you are supposed to read and agree to when you first run the system probably mentions something about how they don't like hacking.
Moebius
3 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2011
To the pro-hacker idiots: What do you think the effect would be if they had their way and anyone could modify the system to run pirate games and the game hackers who get the pirate games get their way and pirate games are available to everyone too?

Or are you too stupid to figure out that people would stop making the games and companies would stop making systems?

Whoever YOU work for, you get paid to provide a product or service. How would you like it if someone stole that product or service from you and gave it away? How long do you think you would have your job or company?
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (55) Apr 11, 2011
Hackers and pirates aren't the same thing, retard.
Moebius
1 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
Hackers and pirates aren't the same thing, retard.


I didn't say they were but they enable each other moron, or didn't you read the article.
MarkyMark
5 / 5 (1) Apr 12, 2011
Hackers and pirates aren't the same thing, retard.


I didn't say they were but they enable each other moron, or didn't you read the article.

By the looks of things he didnt read the article.
Beard
5 / 5 (1) Apr 12, 2011
To paraphrase a writer from Cracked: "I feel like it's a situation where a sinking ship is trying to threaten the water with its cannons."

File sharing is inevitable, unless you want to live in an authoritarian state. 4000 year old business practices will have to adapt to the information age.

This will be especially interesting if a molecular assembler is ever developed. Suddenly all physical objects are without scarcity and only information has value. Information which can easily be copied and shared.
Moebius
1 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2011
Beard:
File sharing is inevitable....


So if you write a book it would be OK with you if a pirate immediately PDF's it and posts it online so everyone could download it to their hacked Kindle before you could sell a single copy? Your incentive to write would be what then? (notice the difference between pirates and hackers, again)
epsi00
3.3 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2011
Well, it's like Toyota selling you a car but saying that you can only drive your car on its pre-approved network of roads. And you can't sleep in it too since that would drive the Hotels business into bankruptcy.

How ridiculous!

When you buy food, you take it home and do whatever you please with it ( just imagine super markets putting conditions on how you should prepare your food ). But if you buy windows7 or a PS3, you can only use it in a certain way or you get sued and silenced.
Simonsez
2.5 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2011
Well, it's like Toyota selling you a car but saying that you can only drive your car on its pre-approved network of roads. And you can't sleep in it too since that would drive the Hotels business into bankruptcy.

No, it's more like Toyota selling you a car and then suing you because you installed a stolen stereo and used it to play burned CDs containing illegally downloaded music.

Either way, it's overstepping bounds.
CHollman82
3.5 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2011
This is wrong.

Once you purchase something you should be free to do with it as you wish. Modifying, hacking, "jailbreaking" etc are NOT illegal activities and there are legitimate reasons to do these things besides and beyond piracy.

This country is turning to shit, and I'm getting tired of it.
FrankHerbert
0.9 / 5 (52) Apr 12, 2011
Let's put GPS controlled safeties on guns so they can only be used at government approved locations and times. Why would you oppose this? You obviously want to commit a crime with that gun if you do.
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2011
Your incentive to write would be what then? (notice the difference between pirates and hackers, again)


Uh... you like writing? This is the Star Trek society I love so much. You do things because you have a passion and talent for them. One day production methods will be so advanced, most things will have no value anymore. At this time, everyone will have whatever they want and will build, design, and create, not to obtain material things, but to improve life and express their inner desires.
Thrasymachus
1.5 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2011
I'm not aware of a single case where piracy actually caused the collapse of the industry it was parasitic on. If anything, pirated music and software increase demand for those goods, as more people who otherwise wouldn't have bought them are introduced to them, find they like them and want more, and turn to more legitimate and less risky means to acquire them.

But in any event, I don't believe this case was about whether or not you could break into your PS3 after you bought it, you can, it just voids your warranty. I believe it was more about posting the information about how to do it publicly, since that information revealed proprietary secrets about the PS3's operating system. It should make a difference how that information was obtained, if Hotz did nothing illegal to acquire it, then it should not be illegal for him to disperse it as he sees fit. However, settlement in a court makes issues of law moot.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2011
Your incentive to write would be what then? (notice the difference between pirates and hackers, again)


Uh... you like writing? This is the Star Trek society I love so much. You do things because you have a passion and talent for them. One day production methods will be so advanced, most things will have no value anymore. At this time, everyone will have whatever they want and will build, design, and create, not to obtain material things, but to improve life and express their inner desires.


We aren't there yet, not even close. It's a fantastic idea but it is entirely impossible at the moment due to raw human nature. Maybe as we evolve into a more and more enlightened society (if that even happens...) then we can consider something like this. The modern day analog is communism, and it is impossible to implement in a way that satisfies the majority.
kaasinees
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 13, 2011
I'm not aware of a single case where piracy actually caused the collapse of the industry it was parasitic on.


In fact piracy can help to promote music and games.
The problem is they produce crappy products nowadays and then they want to blame it on piracy...
Coolguy
1 / 5 (4) Apr 17, 2011
wow It seems the people who support the hacking are not very intelligent in the economics of things. If Software developers knew the system they were writing for was open to being hacked in a way that could distribute their intellectual property for free, why would they even bother spending millions of dollars to design a game that woul only bring in hundreds of dollars before being distributed freely Ignorant people. Selfish as well.

Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2011
To the pro-hacker idiots: What do you think the effect would be if they had their way and anyone could modify the system to run pirate games and the game hackers who get the pirate games get their way and pirate games are available to everyone too?

Or are you too stupid to figure out that people would stop making the games and companies would stop making systems?
Except the majority of software is created and distributed for free both at the onset of the industry and today. Your point isn't on solid ground.
Whoever YOU work for, you get paid to provide a product or service. How would you like it if someone stole that product or service from you and gave it away? How long do you think you would have your job or company?
Depends on whether my product was of better quality than the ripoff. Indy games come out constantly. Most of them are crap. No one pays $60 for crappy indy games.
Coolguy
1 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2011
Everyone has the absolute right to do anything with their PS3 as they wish, however, if your tampering can contribute to financial loss, property damge, etc. then your actions would qualify as illegal. Feel free to hack, write code, or throw it against the wall, but as soon as your system changes then you should no longer qualify for updates. When they removed the linux OS option with their update, they gave you permission to not update, but you would not be able to use their PSN. This is actually fair. However, if you compromise your system to obtain profitable software for free, or want to ruin the online experience for the legit players, you should be banned.
Sin_Amos
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2011
Sharing deemed illegal by the interests that want strict control of their monopoly is inherently corrupt. Copyright in the US is beyond belief, where someone rips off an idea they get from a sci-fi serial, and patent the device or software in general terms without proof-of-concept. That means you have to do no work to see the idea realized, but wait for someone to crack it and then sue. That is reprehensible, yet manifested daily in our judicial system. We have those copyright trolls that want only to profit on the work of others, which goes to all technological sectors where original ideas are only built on the backs of those that came before them. That said, I would rather live in a society where we focus on solving the problems before assigned capitalistic value. Money is an improper tool when assigning wealth to work. If money was truly a translation of productivity, the top two percent would be broke.
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (50) Apr 17, 2011
It's also funny (sad) that every time Mickey Mouse's copyright is about to expire the Congress extends the length of copyrights.
Silver_the_Fox
not rated yet Apr 25, 2011
Actually, the Mickey Mouse thing is pretty funny.

But I digress. Here's the deal, if its copyrighted, you can do whatever you want with it, but you can't resell it afterward. If you make a million copies of a game, that's fine, but you aren't allowed to distribute it in any form or fashion. If you jailbreak a console, so be it, have fun, but you aren't allowed to sell it, use it on THEIR network, or rent it out. Otherwise, go crazy.

Any Questions?
Silver out.
J-n
5 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2011
Or are you too stupid to figure out that people would stop making the games and companies would stop making systems?


That's right! Game companies stopped making computer games 10 years ago because of the rampant pirating of their games. Remember when Music Companies used to exist? Too bad the rampant pirating of music via "Mix Tapes" TOTALLY RUINED their industry back in the 80s. If Dell didn't sue people for installing alternative OS's (Linux, BeOS, etc) on their computers they would have been out of business YEARS ago.

/sarc off

The computer gaming industry has not only weathered the storm of piracy but has still managed to do QUITE well. Computer gaming companies use DRM and other anti-hack/cheat programs to make sure their networks are relatively free of hackers, and people who didn't pay for their programs.

Suing customers is NOT the way to go. It is the LAZY and cheap way of doing it though. What else can you expect from a business who only cares about today.
Silver_the_Fox
not rated yet Apr 26, 2011
Can't argue with that.

Kudos.

Silver out.

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