Sony drops court case against hacker George Hotz

Games console maker Sony has suddenly cut a deal with hacker George Hotz, ending what was promising to be a really nasty court battle.

Under the deal, Hotz has agreed to stop breaking into Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles and er… that’s it.

Hotz said that it was never his intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier and he was happy to have the litigation behind him.

Sony went to court early this year to stop hackers who figured out how to “jailbreak” PS3 consoles.

Hotz had written and posted code that would allow PS3 owners to run Linux, but it could equally be used to allow them to run pirated software, argued Sony.

Sony claimed Hotz violated federal law by posting information online. It then went through some rather nasty legal disclosure procedures in a bid to get the case heard in San Francisco, rather than Hotz’s New Jersey.

However it did mean that all his emails and the addresses of everyone who might have downloaded the program ended up in the paws of Sony.

Sony told AP that its motivation for bringing the litigation was to protect its intellectual property and consumers. It said that the settlement and the permanent injunction achieved this goal.

Sony said that it appreciated Hotz’s willingness to address the legal problems involved in the case, and to work with it to bring the matter to an early resolution.

This was the same outfit which recently accused Hotz of giving them a locked hard-drive and running off to South America.