Sony Attempts to Block All Future PSN Class Action Lawsuits

Hevva

Shipwrecked, comatose, newsie
Aug 2, 2011
1,500
0
0
Sony Attempts to Block All Future PSN Class Action Lawsuits



New amendments to the PSN's terms and conditions mean that Sony now requires you to ask its permission before you can sue it.

Sony has amended the terms of service and user agreement for its online services to the effect that users must now waive the right to file unapproved class action lawsuits against the company if they wish to use its services. Users will be asked to agree to the new terms the next time they log in to any of Sony's online services. The PSN security breach [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/109620-Sony-Hit-With-Class-Action-Lawsuit-Over-PSN-Breach] will not be affected by these changes.

The new clauses, termed "Binding Individual Arbitration," stipulate that "any Dispute Resolution Proceedings, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class or representative action or as a named or unnamed member in a class, consolidated, representative or private attorney general action."

The document makes it clear that no class action lawsuit may be filed "unless both you and the Sony entity with which you have a dispute specifically agree to do so in writing following initiation of the arbitration."

Users can choose to opt-out by contacting Sony in writing within 30 days of agreeing to the new terms. By doing so, the user will forgo arbitration (out of court settlement) but will keep their right to file a class action lawsuit. One of the new sections also hints at "Binding Individual Arbitration" being a little weaker than its initial hyperbole suggests, adding that "if the Class Action Waiver clause is found to be illegal or unenforceable, this entire Section 15 will be unenforceable, and the dispute will be decided by a court and you and the Sony Entity you have a dispute with each agree to waive in that instance."

Given that a class action lawsuit filed against Sony in April over the PSN security breach (in which the personal details of upwards of 77 million users were compromised) could end up costing it around former Homeland Security officer [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/109611-Credit-Card-Breach-May-Cost-Sony-24-Billion]).


Source: Gamasutra [http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/37262/Sony_Amends_Online_Terms_To_Block_Class_Action_Lawsuits.php]

Permalink
 

castlewise

Lord Fancypants
Jul 18, 2010
620
0
0
Tubez said:
Wow... Is that really legal?
Probably not. There have been other cases where EULA's have been overruled because they asked the consumer to give up their rights. Not many cases, but some.
 

FalloutJack

Bah weep grah nah neep ninny bom
Nov 20, 2008
15,489
0
0
That's funny, 'cause not only is it illegal, but it's also stupid. Do you know what a class-action lawsuit is without the class-action part in it? It's a million individual cases where people pull you in a million directions, collectively murdering you because you have to deal with ALL the cases ALL the time. You would actually drain Sony's manpower this way.
 

CrystalShadow

don't upset the insane catgirl
Apr 11, 2009
3,829
0
0
There is no way in hell this is legal.

There's arguments already about whether TOS/EULA conditions as a whole are even valid at all, but even if they are I suspect in most legal jurisdictions this is not in any way allowable.

Then again, the law can be such a mess, maybe I'm naive. But this just doesn't seem like it can possibly be legal.
 

Signa

Noisy Lurker
Legacy
Jul 16, 2008
4,742
0
41
Country
USA
If this is left to fly, the already dead-and-buried American court system will have its grave pissed on. Just imagine if anyone could say that for anything.

McDonalds:"You can't sue me! I didn't give you permission."
*Starts spreading E-coli cultures on burgers as if it's mayo*
 

Kapol

Watch the spinning tails...
May 2, 2010
1,431
0
0
This is incredibly stupid. So in other words, unless we agree to never sue Sony again in class-action lawsuits no matter what they do (which could go far as bricking every console ever due to one of their incredibly frequent patches), we cannot use our systems that we puchased legally anymore. That's not fair at all. Here I was about to break down and start saving up for a Vita too. Balls to that if Sony is going to keep showing much just how idiotic their company can be sometimes.
 

Covarr

PS Thanks
May 29, 2009
1,559
0
0
Ironically, they're opening the doors for a wave of people not agreeing to the new terms, and then suing them over this TOS change. Good work, Sony.

P.S. Thanks
 

GonzoGamer

New member
Apr 9, 2008
7,063
0
0
Kapol said:
This is incredibly stupid. So in other words, unless we agree to never sue Sony again in class-action lawsuits no matter what they do (which could go far as bricking every console ever due to one of their incredibly frequent patches), we cannot use our systems that we puchased legally anymore. That's not fair at all. Here I was about to break down and start saving up for a Vita too. Balls to that if Sony is going to keep showing much just how much idiotic their company can be sometimes.
That was the first worry that popped into my head: What the hell are they going to screw up now so much that they?re expecting us to sue them?
Perhaps they?re going to start selling ps2 games on psn and they want to ?accidentally? brick all the consoles that still have the BC function. One thing?s for sure, they?re expecting us to get royally pissed off about something they?re planning.
I just don?t know how many more features they can take away from the damn thing.

I thought this was going to be one of the stipulations of signing back onto PSN when it went back online.
 

Kapol

Watch the spinning tails...
May 2, 2010
1,431
0
0
GonzoGamer said:
Kapol said:
This is incredibly stupid. So in other words, unless we agree to never sue Sony again in class-action lawsuits no matter what they do (which could go far as bricking every console ever due to one of their incredibly frequent patches), we cannot use our systems that we puchased legally anymore. That's not fair at all. Here I was about to break down and start saving up for a Vita too. Balls to that if Sony is going to keep showing much just how much idiotic their company can be sometimes.
That was the first worry that popped into my head: What the hell are they going to screw up now so much that they?re expecting us to sue them?
Perhaps they?re going to start selling ps2 games on psn and they want to ?accidentally? brick all the consoles that still have the BC function. One thing?s for sure, they?re expecting us to get royally pissed off about something they?re planning.
I just don?t know how many more features they can take away from the damn thing.

I thought this was going to be one of the stipulations of signing back onto PSN when it went back online.
Exactly. It seems a bit weird to wait till this long after the whole incident to add in this little loop-hole. So either they want to cover their asses in case something else happens in the near-future (which likely means something is/has happened that we don't know about), or they just really don't care about their customers at all and want them to waive all rights without even knowing it. Of course, this is really a dick-move anyways because I'm sure they realize (and are counting on the fact) that the vast majority of people don't read the agreement anyways. So basically they're trying to take away their customer's rights without them realizing it.
 

drkchmst

New member
Mar 28, 2010
218
0
0
Signa said:
If this is left to fly, the already dead-and-buried American court system will have its grave pissed on. Just imagine if anyone could say that for anything.

McDonalds:"You can't sue me! I didn't give you permission."
*Starts spreading E-coli cultures on burgers as if it's mayo*
Without being specific, I actually have heard of a McDonalds that had its milkshake machine test positive for fecal coliforms...yep those black bits aint vanilla bean.

Are MSoft, Sony and Nintendo all competing for the worst policies to piss of the most people? I'd never thought I'd say I prefer an MSoft product over anything else but I think the day has come...So very sad.
 

midpipps

New member
Feb 23, 2009
328
0
0
GonzoGamer said:
Kapol said:
This is incredibly stupid. So in other words, unless we agree to never sue Sony again in class-action lawsuits no matter what they do (which could go far as bricking every console ever due to one of their incredibly frequent patches), we cannot use our systems that we puchased legally anymore. That's not fair at all. Here I was about to break down and start saving up for a Vita too. Balls to that if Sony is going to keep showing much just how much idiotic their company can be sometimes.
That was the first worry that popped into my head: What the hell are they going to screw up now so much that they?re expecting us to sue them?
Perhaps they?re going to start selling ps2 games on psn and they want to ?accidentally? brick all the consoles that still have the BC function. One thing?s for sure, they?re expecting us to get royally pissed off about something they?re planning.
I just don?t know how many more features they can take away from the damn thing.

I thought this was going to be one of the stipulations of signing back onto PSN when it went back online.
Funny thing is they are not actually stopping you from suing them in fact they are setting up a system of arbitration before full suit for individuals which does sound kind of fishy since I did not see in the terms where they specify which entity would arbitrate the proceedings. After the 60 day period of arbitration if that has not resolved the issue it is set to go to a court if you would still like to continue with the proceedings. The only thing they are trying to stop is the class action suits which even then inside the TOS changes it specifically says if this section holds up to court of law. So technically if someone or some people fought it and it did not hold up it basically becomes a null and void section.

Now don't get me wrong it still sounds shady and does not sound legal but. The normal class action does nothing but fill the pockets of the lawyers and give the actual consumers filing the suit a small chunk of change or some other really small compensation. So other then costing the company money it could be using to fix the problem they are paying their lawyers and the class action lawyers.

I can see both sides of this argument. I can see what sony is trying to accomplish and can also see why users will be mad about it.

If you want to read the TOS.
http://www.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com/SEN-legal-docs/TERMS_OF_SERVICE_AGREEMENT-EN.pdf
 

Jodah

New member
Aug 2, 2008
2,280
0
0
Keep in mind they aren't preventing you from filing a lawsuit in general. Any individual is still able to sue to their hearts content. This just "prevents" class-action suits.

That being said, I doubt it will hold up in court if it comes to that.
 

The Artificially Prolonged

Random Semi-Frequent Poster
Jul 15, 2008
2,755
0
0
No way would this stand up any court. Sony you still have alot of to make for with the psn hack fiasco, and now their trying to strip more consumer rights with their user agreement.
 

Redd the Sock

New member
Apr 14, 2010
1,088
0
0
If it were that simple I think it would be in every legal contract everywhere. Why argue for tort reform if you can just slip in a clause to say if you want to use the product you have to essentialy wave the right to sue if something goes wrong.

Onthe other hand, if TOS have any legal bearing it's already pretty one sided. It's a contract that one party can alter at will and the other has the choices of accept it or void it without negotiation or consideration so it's no surprise they'd put in some dick level clause solely to benefit them.
 

McMullen

New member
Mar 9, 2010
1,334
0
0
The one-sidedness of the software market is just astounding. I'm not sure I know of any other market where the merchant gets to assign itself all the rights and privileges while leaving the consumer with only the risks, obligations, conditions, and liabilities, and then unilaterally closing loopholes that break that trend as soon as they are found.
 

ryo02

New member
Oct 8, 2007
819
0
0
just dont go online and if its in a game and forces you to agree before you can play well you read it you signed it but you never sent the letter (so to speak) to sony since you never went online hence any agreement cant be official right?.

yeah I know this is for psn but they pull this crap with games themselves.
 

Delock

New member
Mar 4, 2009
1,085
0
0
Hevva said:
One of the new sections also hints at "Binding Individual Arbitration" being a little weaker than its initial hyperbole suggests, adding that "if the Class Action Waiver clause is found to be illegal or unenforceable, this entire Section 15 will be unenforceable, and the dispute will be decided by a court and you and the Sony Entity you have a dispute with each agree to waive in that instance."
Is this them basically saying that they didn't even bother to look up if this was legal or not?