AfterDawn: Tech news

New PSN service agreement requires Sony permission for class action lawsuits

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 15 Sep 2011 9:07 User comments (16)

New PSN service agreement requires Sony permission for class action lawsuits New Terms Of Service for Sony's PlayStation Network make it nearly impossible for their customers to sue over any future data breaches.
The TOS changes were rolled out as part of a consolidation of Sony online services into Sony Online Services. The new terms affect both PSN and Sony Entertainment Network customers.

The TOS sets out a dispute resolution process designed to make it as difficult as possible for Sony to be sued by users of their online services:

If you have a Dispute with any Sony Entity or any of a Sony Entity's officers, directors, employees and agents that cannot be resolved through negotiation within the time frame described in the ?Notice of Dispute? clause below. Other than those matters listed in the Exclusions from Arbitration clause, you and the Sony Entity that you have a Dispute with agree to seek resolution of the Dispute only through arbitration of that Dispute in accordance with the terms of this Section 15, and not litigate any Dispute in court. Arbitration means that the Dispute will be resolved by a neutral arbitrator instead of in a court by a judge or jury.


A "Dispute," as defined in the new TOS covers all disagreements, "whether based in contract, statute, regulation, ordinance, tort (including, but not limited to, fraud, misrepresentation, fraudulent inducement, or negligence), or any other legal or equitable theory."

The most controversial new language requires Sony to approve their customers' participation in class action lawsuits.

You read that right. If you want to join a class action lawsuit, you must first get permission from Sony during the arbitration process:

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, 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.


Hidden in the arbitration clause (Section 15), there are instructions for opting out of the arbitration requirements, but you have only 30 days from agreeing to the TOS to do so and you must notify, Sony in writing:

RIGHT TO OPT OUT OF BINDING ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER WITHIN 30 DAYS. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE BOUND BY THE BINDING ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER IN THIS SECTION 15, YOU MUST NOTIFY SNEI IN WRITING WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE DATE THAT YOU ACCEPT THIS AGREEMENT. YOUR WRITTEN NOTIFICATION MUST BE MAILED TO 6080 CENTER DRIVE, 10TH FLOOR, LOS ANGELES, CA 90045, ATTN: LEGAL DEPARTMENT/ARBITRATION AND MUST INCLUDE: (1) YOUR NAME, (2) YOUR ADDRESS, (3) YOUR PSN ACCOUNT NUMBER, IF YOU HAVE ONE, AND (4) A CLEAR STATEMENT THAT YOU DO NOT WISH TO RESOLVE DISPUTES WITH ANY SONY ENTITY THROUGH ARBITRATION.


Read the entire TOS document below:

Previous Next  

16 user comments

115.9.2011 10:04

Lawyers....getting paid for being useless......


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

215.9.2011 11:59

to be fair I would not sue them because they got hacked.

315.9.2011 12:29

It is Sony but it's not just Sony.

The current fetish the big corps have for getting people to 'be deemed' (you actually agreed nothing, explicitly) to have given up their rights is outrageous......but tells you everything you need to know about the contempt they hold their payting customers in.

This sort of crap ought to be illegal, in no other avenue of life can you be deemed to have agreed to strip yourself of your rights just because you bought & used a product, just because the manufacturer/seller says so.

It would be funny if it was so tragic.

415.9.2011 13:06

sounds to me like their network still can be hacked if they so worried about people suing them

515.9.2011 13:17

I heard that any corporation can technically put any words on their TOS they want, but even if users agree if deemed unfair surprise by the courts, it would not hold up. I'd be surprised this doesn't go against any amendment in the USA.

Either way I kind of pissed now that I rid myself of my CFW to go back to OFW.

615.9.2011 14:41

Sony being Sony. It would not hold up in the courts. Liabilty for a breach of PERSONAL information is held to higher regard than whether you can sue. If a game is bad or you have a consistant network failure, you more than likely will not be able to sue. However, if your personal information is compromised, then all bets are off. DISCLAIMER: I am NOT an attorney, but have dealt with something along these lines(a lot smaller scale) with expressed language from a corporation.

715.9.2011 17:04

Wow. I don't see how Sony's going to last into the future. How absurd that they even think that this could be a legitimate route to take, there is no way a court (then again, this is America...) would dismiss something as serious as stolen identifying information because Sony wants people to acquire Sony's permission to sue Sony. It's one of the most ridiculous things I've seen in a ToS agreement. These things really should be illegal, or at least never upheld in court.

Mad world.


~*Livin' Electronicallly*~

815.9.2011 22:10

How in the world is this going to stand up in court?

Quote:
The most controversial new language requires Sony to approve their customers' participation in class action lawsuits.
How can the company being sued control who's suing them? I will never understand all the bs companies place in their TOS that customers, such as myself, agree to without reading. Nor will I understand how their able to get away with it. But whatever, I don't own a Sony product so this isn't affecting me at all.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Sep 2011 @ 11:13

916.9.2011 22:03

You should sit down & actually read the sort of idiotic crap they include in the average EULA (End User License Agreement).

Like I said, in this instance it's Sony but they are far from the only ones pulling this crap.

It's been happening for quite some time & my bet is at some stage a court is going to go along with the idea that this is established normal practice & continue feather-bedding the richest corps on the planet.

It's just incredible but such is our justice system (all over the world) these days.
Bunch of corrupt b**tards the lot of them.

1016.9.2011 22:56

T&Cs TOSs

don't mean much in a court of law, as they are bound by the law, if you were to go into a class action case, you still could as Sony wouldn't be able to stop you nor can or could they say hey you agreed to this blah blah as the laws override all the stuff in T&Cs etc.

1119.9.2011 5:36

How would they know who's clicked to agree the T&C?
My child could have clicked on this without my knowledge and by mistake.
Or if I have friends around they may just click on this while I am getting some cold one's out of the fridge.

1219.9.2011 10:50

I have read the whole document and I must notice people that what is said in this "news" is true, but only half-way.

First, you need to know that they base their "view" from the state of California. In other words, if your state or country got more harsh laws and rules than Californias, it makes those invalid. Its written in capitals in the agreement.

About the "Cant be sued" thing, theres how it works with the new agreement :
If it for minor court, then it start with negotiation, then you CAN sue if not agreement is made, but only as long as it keep itself into "minor court".

If its under 75,000$, you will start in "silent" negotiation for 60 days. In other words, this is between you and Sony. If no agreement is done withing that time frame, "silent" legal course will be taken. (Not to the court, but with a 3rd neutral party cutting the 2 sides)

If its above 75,000$, it will start with "silent" negotiation for 60 days. If no agreement is done withing that time frame, it will comes to a 3rd party cutting the 2 sides. IF that 3rd party isnt able to cut it conventionally or if one of the side doesnt agree with this 3rd party decision with "good reasoning" from the state of Californias view, this might be brought to the court.

There is a close in the agreement that notice that, if it brought to the court for one reason or another, it will be taken either in 2 cities (cant remember, but one is in California) or in the area where the disagreeing user is living. They MIGHT force that user to move to California during the process, but they will make due that the user can live there during the process.

Also, if there is one part of the agreement that isnt legal in the USERS AREA, that part is removed from the agreement. If a part of the agreement section 15 (which is the new one which explain everything about sue case) is illegal in the USERS AREA, then the whole agreement is invalid and any court action can be taken.

So, if you can officially prove that your personal data have been stolen and that you cant "fix" that by yourself and that Sony refuse to gives any help, you CAN sue them as the agreement is becoming illegal due to international common individual rights and laws. (privacy of identity)
But, if you THINK you got your personal information stolen or if you THINK you got scrammed or whatever may that you THINK you got yourself into, you CANT sue Sony and must go through "silent" negotiation.

1319.9.2011 13:04

Thanks donoghu. Broken English aside, a little illuminating if correct.

I also just had the thought that they could up and delete your account if you decide to sue them couldn't they? So long as you break any one retarded part of the ToS..

1419.9.2011 14:40

Originally posted by leemoo:
How would they know who's clicked to agree the T&C?
My child could have clicked on this without my knowledge and by mistake.
Or if I have friends around they may just click on this while I am getting some cold one's out of the fridge.
When you sign into PSN, you're forced to select "agree" or "not." If not, you can't get into PSN. Yes, anyone sign into your account can basically accept the terms if you have the password saved on the PS3. However, there's a ToS cover that as well, so it doesn't matter you signed in or your little brother did :) Honestly, I didn't read any of that crap. If I haven't read AD, I don't even know what the new ToS is about...

Peace!

1520.9.2011 4:46

Originally posted by Gnawnivek:
Originally posted by leemoo:
How would they know who's clicked to agree the T&C?
My child could have clicked on this without my knowledge and by mistake.
Or if I have friends around they may just click on this while I am getting some cold one's out of the fridge.
When you sign into PSN, you're forced to select "agree" or "not." If not, you can't get into PSN. Yes, anyone sign into your account can basically accept the terms if you have the password saved on the PS3. However, there's a ToS cover that as well, so it doesn't matter you signed in or your little brother did :) Honestly, I didn't read any of that crap. If I haven't read AD, I don't even know what the new ToS is about...
Ah right. So they've got you by the short and curlies then. F***** Sony eh!!!

1620.9.2011 9:25

Originally posted by leemoo:
Originally posted by Gnawnivek:
Originally posted by leemoo:
How would they know who's clicked to agree the T&C?
My child could have clicked on this without my knowledge and by mistake.
Or if I have friends around they may just click on this while I am getting some cold one's out of the fridge.
When you sign into PSN, you're forced to select "agree" or "not." If not, you can't get into PSN. Yes, anyone sign into your account can basically accept the terms if you have the password saved on the PS3. However, there's a ToS cover that as well, so it doesn't matter you signed in or your little brother did :) Honestly, I didn't read any of that crap. If I haven't read AD, I don't even know what the new ToS is about...
Ah right. So they've got you by the short and curlies then. F***** Sony eh!!!
Hmmm, no, they don't have a leash on me :P As of now, PSN is great, I'm enjoying the service very much. If things go sour, I can always turn elsewhere. People are forgetting that nobody forces you to buy anything when comes to entertainment.

Peace!

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive