Sony, George Hotz reach mutual settlement

Posted by Mark Raby

If you wanted to see George Hotz rap about his injustice in front of a jury, well, too bad.

Hotz, the notorious PS3 hacker who gained even more attention for posting a rap song on Youtube about Sony during the legal proceedings, has signed an agreement that will put the whole mess behind him.

"The parties reached an agreement in principle on March 31, 2011. As part of the settlement, Hotz consented to a permanent injunction," Sony's senior director of corporate communications Patrick Seybold wrote in a PlayStation Blog post.

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

Since the lawsuit was filed last year, the case has been a media circus. Every new filing was grabbed and dissected by blogs and news outlets, and the case itself was full of twists. Hotz was ordered to surrender his PS3 as evidence, but Sony accused him of altering the device's hard drive before doing so. Sony also criticized Hotz for leaving the country when he was supposed to be following court mandates.

Hotz's legal team was just as fierce, blasting Sony for getting unnecessary subpoenas for Paypal, Google, and any other company that could provide some sort of data about Hotz. Hotz's lawyers argued it was a total non-issue, and lambasted Sony for wrongly insisting the trial be held in southern California, thousands of miles from Hotz's home but only a quick drive from Sony's headquarters.

Supporters of Hotz said Sony was going too far and had no reason to sue him. Recently, attackers took down various Sony websites and servers in protest to the Hotz case.

Not everyone agreed with Hotz, though. Some said he knowingly broke the rules, facilitated illegal software piracy, and should be tried to the full extent of the law.

"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," said Sony general counsel Riley Russell.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.