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Sony Sneaks Class Action Clause into Mandatory PS3 Update

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News Posted: Fri, Sep 16 2011 3:29 PM
Someone needs to send Sony the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" because the company clearly isn't getting it. We can point to the whole rootkit fiasco, but who needs to look back that far when Sony's shenanigans never seem to stop? Following that big mess with the security breach to its PlayStation Network (PSN), Sony is trying to force PS3 owners to waive their rights to join a class action lawsuit, even if such a request might not be enforceable.

Here's what you'll find nestled in the latest mandatory system update:
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 LEGAL 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. THIS PROVISION DOES NOT PRECLUDE YOUR PARTICIPATION AS A MEMBER IN A CLASS ACTION FILED ON OR BEFORE AUGUST 20, 2011.
You read that right. Sony is saying you can't enter into a class action lawsuit unless they agree to let you, though the firm graciously states if you filed one prior to August 20, 2011, you may proceed. Gee, thanks.


So is that all there is to it? Not exactly. You can decline the new ToS and Sony will nuke your account and return any money you have sitting in it, but that seems rather drastic. The other option is to opt-out of the new clause, but you can only do that by sending a letter:
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.
What's funny about this is that Sony even acknowledges it's not sure this sort of thing is legal in the first place. Toward the end, Sony ditches the all-caps and states:
If any clause within this Section 15 (other than the Class Action Waiver clause above) is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that clause will be severed from this Section 15,and the remainder of this Section 15 will be given full force and effect. 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, to the fullest extent allowed by law, any trial by jury.
Sony isn't the only company to include a clause like this, but whether or not Sony or anyone else would be able to enforce it is another question entirely. Regardless, if you do decide to write Sony a letter and opt-out, be sure to send a Certified letter.
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rrplay replied on Fri, Sep 16 2011 5:07 PM

pretty sneaky I suppose.Maybe the legality issues explains why the .pdf was temp unavailable at times earlier today..

http://www.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com/SEN-legal-docs/TERMS_OF_SERVICE_AGREEMENT-EN.pdf

Oh well ..certainly No problem here to have the choice to Not buy any Sony products.

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RTietjens replied on Fri, Sep 16 2011 6:40 PM

I'm opting out by continuing my boycott of Sony products, which I started when Sony got caught distributing computer viruses on audio CDs as an "anti-piracy" measure. And that's for life, Sony.

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AKwyn replied on Fri, Sep 16 2011 7:13 PM

I know the other companies should be ashamed to be even putting this clause on their ToS. But Sony?

They don't seem to realize that people don't like their actions... This will surely make more people lose faith in the PlayStation (and Sony) brand; I mean couldn't they do more self-damage to their image?

 

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rrplay replied on Fri, Sep 16 2011 8:57 PM

Looks like Sony has moved or are still working on something again with the Terms of Service and Agreement .because in the above mentioned link to the .pdf [which is not available again .It had a quite a bit of items that looked they were being edited and crossed out with strike through in red.

On  the bright side it was actually pretty easy to read and understand because some of the finer print was pretty clear and easy to understand in Red even with the strike-through letters   Oh well

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realneil replied on Fri, Sep 16 2011 9:03 PM

RTietjens:
I'm opting out by continuing my boycott of Sony products, which I started when Sony got caught distributing computer viruses on audio CDs as an "anti-piracy" measure

Me too. They lost any of my money way back then as well. Plenty of other companies provide great quality goods at decent prices, so not having Sony products around is no problem.

Long ago, I used to choose the SONY brand more often than not.

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

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Inspector replied on Fri, Sep 16 2011 11:39 PM

am out, staying out. Sony use to be that top company in me but ever since i had the interest in tech things change :)

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omegadraco replied on Fri, Sep 16 2011 11:48 PM

There is no way that these new terms would be considered legal in a court of law. People have a right to receive arbitration. Plus class action suits though pretty worthless to the consumer (they make the lawyers tons of money) are one of the only threats companies have. I agree time to renew the commitment to boycotting against Sony.

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gazd1 replied on Sat, Sep 17 2011 5:09 AM

To tell the truth, I can't see them keeping this clause for too long. Then again it depends how their sales go & if they think that they can succeed in keeping this clause alive while going through a class action court case, I suppose.

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Just another good example why to make our own gaming PCs. Ever since Sony got into making movies, they could care less about product and support. Always research venders including customer support, and warranties. And IF they back their warranties as they say. Unlike some companies these days (not to mentions any names).

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jonation replied on Sun, Sep 18 2011 4:58 PM

realneil:

Plenty of other companies provide great quality goods at decent prices, so not having Sony products around is no problem.

Long ago, I used to choose the SONY brand more often than not.

could not agree more. complete disconnect from reality and people.

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RAsh replied on Sun, Sep 18 2011 6:52 PM

Happy I never got back into the console aspect of gaming if this is what all it entails. Rather disappointed with Sony® they go and try to make an amends for the whole PSN network fiasco and they turn around and pull this. *tsk tsk*

 

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rrplay replied on Sun, Sep 18 2011 6:55 PM

jonation:

realneil:

Plenty of other companies provide great quality goods at decent prices, so not having Sony products around is no problem.

Long ago, I used to choose the SONY brand more often than not.

could not agree more. complete disconnect from reality and people.

what even sneakier IS the on-line availability of the document along with the revisions made since the initial post.Users are apparently see the new terms upon sign up.or by waiving the rights away.How they differ form the OP not sure but changes were made ever so slight in the above mentioned .pdf Way too much 'smoke and mirrors' or business as usual [these days and NOT mime from Sony.

 

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AKwyn replied on Sun, Sep 18 2011 9:25 PM

DLouisiana:

Just another good example why to make our own gaming PCs. Ever since Sony got into making movies, they could care less about product and support. Always research venders including customer support, and warranties. And IF they back their warranties as they say. Unlike some companies these days (not to mentions any names).

They've been making movies and music since the 1990's; all through the acquisitions of Columbia Pictures and CBS Records.

And I have to agree, I mean even Microsoft (who's been known as a monopoly this past decade) can at least keep their Xbox Live service up, protect it from attack and even offer features that I doubt the PS3 even has (even though the main selling point is that the PS3's online service is free.) Personally, My disapointment with the PS3 is that I've heard that the Xbox 360 would have better specs (really the graphics, which coming from a DX10 chip came across as pretty good.) Sony should of gone back to NVIDIA and asked them to include GeForce 8 features into the RSX processor; that way it'd compete better with the Xbox 360 plus allow developers of the PS3 some access to more graphical features; but instead what we got was the most powerful GeForce 7 chip ever produced. Still, I do admire the developers for utilizing the really powerful Core CPU to make up for some of the lacking features.

Back on topic; I've been angry at Sony because they neglected the flaw for whatever reasons they've had and for some reason they've let their consumer base down by failing to inform them of the flaw and for failing to even fix the flaw in the first place. They've left their valuable information in their hands, they've left their trust and yet Sony doesn't even seem to care whether or not that information could fall into the wrong hands. Sony has to climb a really steep hill to regain their trust, and I don't even see them trying.

 

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