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Old 04-11-2011, 11:03 AM   #1
halfbent
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Settlement reached in Hotz/Sony Case

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Sony Computer Entertainment America (“SCEA”) and George Hotz (“Hotz”) today announced the settlement of the lawsuit filed by SCEA against Hotz in federal court in San Francisco, California. The parties reached an agreement in principle on March 31, 2011. As part of the settlement, Hotz consented to a permanent injunction.

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.” Hotz was not involved in the recent attacks on Sony’s internet services and websites.

In the action, SCEA accused Hotz of violating federal law by posting online information about the security system in the PlayStation 3 videogame console and software that SCEA claimed could be used to circumvent the security system in the console and allow the playing of pirated videogames. Hotz denies any wrongdoing on his part. Hotz’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction was still pending before the federal court in San Francisco but a preliminary injunction was issued requiring Hotz to take down the postings challenged by SCEA.

“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.”
via Playstation Blog

Would kind of like to know the terms of the settlement now. Hotz was pretty adamant about bringing back OtherOS in exchange for methods to block decryption of new firmwares.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:28 AM   #2
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So Sony caves into /b/. Interesting
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:33 AM   #3
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The settlement was reached on the 31st of March apparently, before the Anonymous attacks.

Sony still caved since they would have been after destroying Hotz and ideally making him commit suicide (yes, they are that big a set of dicks), as a less to others so its GOOD in a way and obviously since its not a legal judgement, no changes to consumer rights in favour of Sony.

Sadly no changes in consumer rights in ensuring we OWN our property which I assume is what it was coming to and why Sony settled.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:33 AM   #4
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Plus Sony was committing perjury in two separate cases by misrepresenting their situation so they had to put an end to one of them sharpish.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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I'm not going to be part of the "lets play everybody has a legal degree" on this thread, but I will say I still side with Sony, I know people on the developing and publishing side, Piracy sucks no matter how you shape it.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:40 PM   #6
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This wasn't about piracy, this was about Sony claiming they own your property. People need to stop, stop reading when they hit a buzzword that corporations like to drill into your head as bad.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:55 PM   #7
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Oh Sony you tricky bastards, now everything is starting to get even more interesting. You settle with the only link you could reach and the case just goes *puff*? Didn't you accuse 100+ people of wrongdoing when all this started? Don't you remember fail0verflow, does to 100 ... ? How is one to understand the "Notice of Voluntary Dismissal" ?

Can't wait for whats up next ...
(anyone actually have some legal insight ?)
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:13 PM   #8
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This wasn't about piracy, this was about Sony claiming they own your property. People need to stop, stop reading when they hit a buzzword that corporations like to drill into your head as bad.
This wasn't about Sony claiming they own your property. This was about Sony trying to look good to the companies that develop software for their system. If Sony does nothing, then the Playstation brand could go the way of the PC in terms of developers being afraid to put anything out since it will "all just get pirated anyway."

Sony felt they had to take action in order to keep developers feeling safe about the Playstation brand, thus allowing Sony to continue to collect licensing fees for all of that software.

For all intents and purposes, this was just a mass publicity stunt in order for them to save face.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:47 PM   #9
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This wasn't about piracy, this was about Sony claiming they own your property. People need to stop, stop reading when they hit a buzzword that corporations like to drill into your head as bad.
And what property is Sony claiming your don't actually own? You do in fact "own" the hardware. You do not "own" the PSN, Home, or any other systems needed for that hardware to operate as you expect. That little bit is in the EULA you probably agreed to without reading.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:56 PM   #10
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I'm surprised they backed down. He got a permanent injunction to remove the offending material and little more. Wow. Slap on the wrist.

I can only imagine that Anon taking PSN down scared the bigwigs into accepting a deal.
Win for Anon.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:57 PM   #11
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And what property is Sony claiming your don't actually own? You do in fact "own" the hardware. You do not "own" the PSN, Home, or any other systems needed for that hardware to operate as you expect. That little bit is in the EULA you probably agreed to without reading.
He didn't hack PSN, etc.

If Sony wants to ban people from PSN who mod their console they're free to do so. But, if you own a physical object you should be free to tear it apart and mod is as you like. Let Sony control PSN and I'll control my hardware. Thus, it's no concern of their what I do with my console, mod or not, unless they want to start leasing instead of selling consoles.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:13 PM   #12
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So Sony caves into /b/. Interesting
I don't see it exactly as caving into /b/, but as usual, both sides are claiming victory. What I had also read at (I do believe it was Joystiq) was that Geohot has joined the "never gonna buy another Sony product" club.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:27 PM   #13
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Sony won. If Sony were to lose the case in court then it would have been legal to hack the shit out of everything you own. Smart move Sony.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:01 PM   #14
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He didn't hack PSN, etc.

If Sony wants to ban people from PSN who mod their console they're free to do so. But, if you own a physical object you should be free to tear it apart and mod is as you like. Let Sony control PSN and I'll control my hardware. Thus, it's no concern of their what I do with my console, mod or not, unless they want to start leasing instead of selling consoles.
The problem was he published the keys that others could use to break the software, which would allow them circumvent the various security protections Sony was employing. Even that is a moot point though, because within the EULA for your PS3, along with stuff in the DMCA, is a provision specifically preventing such types of reverse engineering.

The following from http://www.chillingeffects.org/reverse/faq.cgi provides a pretty good explanation of what is/isn't allowed. The work Hotz performed was in violation of the allowable reverse engineering practices set forth by the DMCA. Specifically, "reverse engineering a product to achieve interoperability between data and program is not permitted."

Question: Is the reverse engineering of a technological protection measure illegal under the DMCA?

Answer: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) made an effort to recognize the value of interoperability to competition and innovation and included an exemption expressly allowing reverse engineering in order to preserve a healthy market in the information technology industry. Section 1201(f) of the DMCA allows software developers to circumvent technological protection measures of a lawfully obtained computer program in order "the elements necessary to achieve interoperability of an independently created computer program with other programs." A person may reverse engineer the lawfully acquired computer program only where the elements necessary to achieve interoperability are not otherwise readily available and reverse engineering is otherwise permitted under the copyright law. The reverse engineer is required to ask permission first, however. The prohibition on the dissemination of circumvention devices also applies to reverse engineering. Under the "trafficking ban", a person may only develop and employ technological means to circumvent and make the circumvention information or tool available to others solely for the purpose of achieving interoperability. Reverse engineers are not exempt from the "trafficking ban" only if they permit the device to be made available to other persons for the purpose of gaining access to protected works for infringing purposes.


Question: What are the limitations of the interoperability criteria for the DMCA's reverse engineering exemption?

Answer: Section 1201(f) allows software developers to circumvent technological protection measures of a computer program that was lawfully obtained in order to identify the elements necessary to achieve the interoperability of an independently created computer program to achieve program to program interoperability. This means that reverse engineering a product to achieve interoperability between data and program is not permitted, nor is reverse engineering for any other purpose. In Universal v. Corley, the district court in New York held that this limitation on the interoperability criterion of the exemption therefore did not apply to the circumvention of the access control mechanism protecting digitally formatted works, such as music, movies, or video games. In order to be viewed on a computer, motion pictures on DVD require software systems that enable the Content Scrambling System to be decrypted in addition to the hardware requirement of a DVD drive. From the perspective of the consumer, the inability to view their DVDs on computer players that do not decrypt CSS may seem to be a problem of software interoperability.

The issue of whether or not the use of a technological protection measure can allow a copyright owner to control the hardware products on which the protected content can be used has not yet been fully addressed by the courts. By limiting the reverse engineering exemption to interoperability between programs, the DMCA may have effectively granted copyright owners some control over the hardware products used to operate digitally protected content in addition to the content itself. Without consideration of the effect of technological protection measures, courts have held that copyright holders cannot use copyright to exercise control over products which are outside the scope of the owner's rights under copyright. For example, in the recent case of Sony v. Connectix (which did not include a DMCA claim), the Ninth Circuit held that a product allowing Sony games to be played on computers and not only on the Sony PlayStation was a creation of a new product. The court considered the reverse engineering work engaged in during the creation of the product a "transformative" use of the initial copyrighted work, making it permissible according to copyright law.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:18 PM   #15
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The problem was he published the keys that others could use to break the software, which would allow them circumvent the various security protections Sony was employing.
Sony did not have any legal claim to those keys. Geohot did not thieve them from some Sony vault, he found them on his console.

And so what if they can be used to circumvent Sony security, when it's security on a console you wholly own? That's the point of ownership, you get to mod or do w/e you want with it, including destruction of it.

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Even that is a moot point though, because within the EULA for your PS3, along with stuff in the DMCA, is a provision specifically preventing such types of reverse engineering.
The DMCA is a non-law in my eyes as it violates property rights. A EULA violation cannot be made a criminal offense, their only recourse is to do what's in their power to do: cut hackers off from PSN. The point f the DMCA was to criminalize things like this, and it's wrong.

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The following from http://www.chillingeffects.org/reverse/faq.cgi provides a pretty good explanation of what is/isn't allowed.
And at one time Blacks had to sit in the back of the bus. An immoral law is no law at all. Property rights are absolute.

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The work Hotz performed was in violation of the allowable reverse engineering practices set forth by the DMCA. Specifically, "reverse engineering a product to achieve interoperability between data and program is not permitted."
Sony and the gov has no right to enforce such a provision. It's legislative overreach.

Laws aren't going to contain hacking. The only thing that will is better hardware security. They have to do point to point encryption on the hardware throughout the entire device. The entire industry knows it, it's just relatively expensive still to put it in, because they actually have to do encryption and decryption at every bus. That might add latency too, I don't know.

When that's done, the only way to hack a console will be either to find a dumb exception someone overlooked by sheer luck, a limited solution at best, or to actually grind down the individual processors themselves and read their 45nm code etched into silicon with an atomic microscope.

That sort of reverse engineering is still something that only governments are capable of at this point, and probably not many governments at that. And even doing that, that doesn't give you an easy way to parse what you're seeing.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:33 PM   #16
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Anonymous cost Sony millions of dollars in lost sales due to PSN being down for two days. Shortly after the attack is lifted, Sony agrees to settle with Geohotz. Anyone think Sony may have given so long as Anonymous stopped the attack and posted an apology for the attack? Maybe they gave in to their attacker's demands with the condition that they keep their capitulation silent.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:37 PM   #17
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Anonymous cost Sony millions of dollars in lost sales due to PSN being down for two days. Shortly after the attack is lifted, Sony agrees to settle with Geohotz. Anyone think Sony may have given so long as Anonymous stopped the attack and posted an apology for the attack? Maybe they gave in to their attacker's demands with the condition that they keep their capitulation silent.
I think you're on to something.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:41 PM   #18
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Hotz purchased the hardware. I will not argue that point.

The question is who really owns the software. Right now, both the law and the courts are siding with software being owned by the developer, with customers "owning" the right to use that software.

In other words, the customer has the right to use that software in the intended manner, and in some cases, in a transformative manner. The source code itself, the instructions that make the software work, is owned by the developers.

Your entire argument is based the premise that customers that buy compiled source code, by nature of purchasing the compiled code, should also own the source code, and can therefore do what they like with it. Except you didn't purchase the source code! You purchased a transformation of the source code (a compiled version).

I do not like the DMCA. I think it allows content owners to overreach and does not offer nearly enough protection for fair and transformative use of digital works. The DMCA is often wielded as a way to destroy competition in the digital delivery space by content delivery Luddites. It is a flawed piece of legislature and needs to be revised to foster innovation.

But it is the current law until it is struck down in the courts through judicial interpretation of the law's constitutionality, or a case makes it through to a jury well versed in their right of jury nullification.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:47 PM   #19
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Hotz didn't violate software. I don't know why you're bringing that up.

Sony and the law should punish actual piracy, not some dude modding his wholly owned console. I have no problem with software ownership, I understand the idea of use by license.

What that mostly comes out to meaning is that you can't simply begin selling derivatives of the software. Hotz sold nothing.

Quote:
I do not like the DMCA. I think it allows content owners to overreach and does not offer nearly enough protection for fair and transformative use of digital works. The DMCA is often wielded as a way to destroy competition in the digital delivery space by content delivery Luddites. It is a flawed piece of legislature and needs to be revised to foster innovation.

But it is the current law until it is struck down in the courts through judicial interpretation of the law's constitutionality, or a case makes it through to a jury well versed in their right of jury nullification.
Agreed and all. Just frustrating. It's a case of judicial capture by industry.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:42 PM   #20
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Does this mean we can stop talking about this, now?
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