Well, that was decidedly anticlimactic. The case between Sony and PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz is over, with both sides reaching a settlement agreement. The exact details of that settlement are not being disclosed, but Sony has won a “permanent injunction” against Hotz.
The case was settled on 31 March, and both sides are happy with the outcome. According to Riley Russel, SCEA’s General Counsel: “Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us. 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.”
The permanent injunction forbids Hotz from publishing any information regarding his PlayStation 3 hack. Hotz said that he never intended “to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier.” He is also relieved to have the whole thing behind him.
While not quite the dramatic outcome people were expecting, industry analyst Michael Pachter believes that this is exactly the outcome Sony would have wanted. According to Pachter, “it’s a win for Sony”.
The analyst is convinced that Sony’s award of a permanent injunction against Hotz will send a clear message to other hackers: “I’m confident that most hackers will see the potential for litigation – and the costs involved – as a deterrent, at least in those countries that have laws respecting intellectual property rights.”
No mention has been made of the online attacks by Anonymous, although Sony’s hosting provider was quoted as saying that the attacks were more of an “annoyance” for their network technicians than any real threat. What’s also interesting is that the Anonymous attacks occurred after the lawsuit was actually settled, but that’s probably because the news of the settlement has only recently been made public. Whether or not the outcome of the Sony versus Hotz case will dissuade future Anonymous attacks remains to be seen.