The hacker who settled with Sony after the company sued him for modifying his PlayStation 3 console is getting a lot of flak for not taking the fight further.
On Monday Sony Computer Entertainment America settled with George Hotz, also known as Geohot. The company had filed suit against Hotz in January for not only modifying his PlayStation 3 console so that it could run other operating systems, but for publicizing his method on the Internet. Sony claimed the actions violated copyright. Hotz said he was modifying a console that belonged to him.
The terms of the settlement were not fully disclosed, though part of it involved enjoining Hotz from modifying a Sony console or publicizing any exploits of its systems again. If he does he will have to pay $10,000 for each violation.
On Hotz's blog, Geohot Got Sued, Hotz posted Monday that he is joining the Sony Boycott, and never buying another product from Sony again. As of Tuesday morning there are 320 comments. Many fault Hotz for not trying to force Sony to allow users to put other operating systems on the consoles.
Hotz himself may have set the stage for some of the criticism. In an earlier blog post he wrote, What if SCEA tries to settle? Let's just say, I want the settlement terms to include OtherOS on all PS3s and an apology on the PlayStation blog for ever removing it. It'd be good PR for Sony too, lord knows they could use it. I'm also willing to accept a trade, a legit path to homebrew for knowledge of how to stop new firmwares from being decrypted.
One commenter, MX, says, Sure, it's nice that it's over and people can move on with their lives... but I just think people expected a bit more of a fight than this.
Some were more pointed, such as Night Breed. So basically you settled for a job and took people's money giving them a false hope of settling for their rights? What do you plan to do with the money that was donated to you to provide a cushion for the legal battle? I hope you will be paying all those people back since you obviously didn't live up to your word.
Others also said they were disappointed after contributing funds for Hotz's legal battle. Hotz I paid because I thought you were fighting our fight, not just to save your own a--... Anyway thanks for your efforts and good luck and anytime you feel like repaying my £10 feel free, and just for the record I never used your hack I just paid because of what i THOUGHT you were standing for.....
Another commenter, webmaster, called for those who donated to contact PayPal and rescind them, and called Hotz a fraud. I bet you they paid him off in the settlement. Things just got settled like that so quick. Geohot is fraud and all you geohot supporters are a bunch of losers like him.
Not everyone was angry, and a few were supportive. You did a great favor to many, and there are plenty of others to pick up the torch. It's all about fear. They'll never make it illegal for everyone. We've (You've) won this one, said commenter BricksLamp.
Jason Blanton wrote: I think he made the best decission [sic] possible all things considered. You have to pick your fights, and we all had nothing to gain by Geohot winning or losing this battle.
Hotz did not comment on the settlement or the blog comments.