Sony Settles with GeoHot in PS3 Hacking Lawsuit

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The lawsuit that called down the wrath of Internet bogeymen Anonymous will go no further, as Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today that they’d reached a settlement with hacker George Hotz.

(More on Playstation vs. Anonymous: Rogue Hacker Collective Targets Sony’s Networks, Execs)

Hotz’s hacking unlocked the PlayStation 3’s super-secret root keys earlier this year, allowing users to install unauthorized software on the device. Sony maintained that Hotz’s posting of the hack on his website violated federal law and opened the door to PS3 piracy. For his part, Hotz held that he didn’t do anything wrong.

Sony issued a press release this morning, stating among other things that

Both parties expressed satisfaction that litigation had been quickly resolved. “Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us,” said 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.”

“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.”

The settlement makes mention of a permanent injunction against Hotz. Specifics on the injunction aren’t available, but, in this case, it probably means that he’d risk violating the settlement were he to fiddle with the PS3 in an unsanctioned fashion in the future. Also, Sony admits their sites and services were attacked, but doesn’t say by whom.

Depending on the severity of the injunction, it’s possible Hotz may be forbidden to use Sony’s console in general. If the settlement stipulates such, it’d be a bitter ending for someone who claimed he only wanted to extend the functionality of a device he apparently admired.

(More on Should Customers Have The Right To “Hack” Their Consoles?)