The legal slugfest between Sony Computer Entertainment of America and George “Geohot” Hotz has officially concluded, as announced by the two in a joint statement this morning. As stated on the PlayStation Blog, Geohot has agreed to a permanent injunction as part of the settlement, which means he can never discuss or publish security circumvention techniques for Sony products in the future. According to leaked settlement documents, every violation pinned to Geohot will carry a $10,000 fee, to a maximum of $250,000.
“It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier. I’m happy to have the litigation behind me,” Hotz said.
Hotz’ statements on his personal blog were not so diplomatic.
“As of 4/11/11, I am joining the SONY boycott. I will never purchase another SONY product. I encourage you to do the same. And if you bought something SONY recently, return it,” Hotz posted, referring to the in-store boycott being organized by hacking collective Anonymous.
In that same post, Geohot promises that “there is much more to come on this blog,” but as he is prohibited from talking about anything substantive (or else suffer a huge fee), it’s hard to imagine what that will be.
Hotz recently became a figurehead for consumer rights after being sued by Sony for publishing a method to restore user-installed operating systems to the PlayStation 3. Because of this, many donated money to Hotz, thinking the money would be used for a legal battle to set a precedent for user’s rights. However, in settling, he’s avoided a legal battle and the associated moral argument. This has caused unrest among many of his contributors.
“George Hotz accepted donations on the implied premise that he was gonna take the fight to Sony in court. Many hoped this would set a legal precedent for the right to modify your own property,” reddit user Xatom posted. “Fucker caved.”
This is not the only instance of misdirection in the consumer rights advocate camp of late. The recent DDOS attacks by Anonymous on Sony also disabled the PlayStation Network for legitimate users. This caused several users ambivalent to the debate to view Anonymous as the enemy, prompting internal disagreement and a video that somewhat apologized for the move.