Sony sued over terms of service update

New PSN terms intended to limit class-action lawsuits result in a class-action lawsuit alleging unfair business practices.

In September, Sony updated its PlayStation Network terms of service to prevent class-action lawsuits. Now that change has itself instigated a class-action lawsuit.

Occupy PlayStation Home?

According to court documents obtained by GameSpot, a Northern California man filed suit against Sony late last month on behalf of all customers who purchased a PlayStation 3 and signed up for PSN access before the September change to Sony's terms of service. The suit alleges that Sony engaged in unfair business practices by forcing consumers to either give up their right to file a class-action lawsuit or give up access to the online gaming network they effectively paid for when they purchased the hardware.

The suit says Sony buried the clause section describing the changes near the bottom of a 21-page form viewable through the PS3 and neglected to post an easily accessible version of the form online, even though it had done so with past user agreement updates. While the suit notes that Sony allowed an opt out from the class-action provision, the only way for consumers to do that was to contact the company in writing (no emails, phone calls, or online forms accepted) within 30 days.

Sony had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.

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406 comments
eric5515
eric5515

Google "change of terms provisions"

neuroboy
neuroboy

I think that after what happened last year with Sony's lapse in security and ALL customers personal details getting stolen by hackers, Sony are being pretty underhand about how they are treating customers and deserve all the stick they are now getting. The PS3 is a great machine, but Sony, like most monolithic megalomaniacal corporations, are completely evil.

Blue-Diamond
Blue-Diamond

Just a thought, what is legal is one thing, what is the right thing to do is another. Sad not many people will even think about what the right thing to do is, much less do it. What will be legal today will be illegal tomorrow and visa versa. But Gods laws have stayed constant. Remember the mark of the beast is what they let filter into your brain. Be carefull what you let in.

Petty_Steve
Petty_Steve

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

BryanParksSuper
BryanParksSuper

These lawsuits are stupid. The lawsuits before the new TOS were idiotic and served no merit. Now Sony updated it and says we can't sue them. Sony put this in because the lawsuits were stupid. Sony never lost the previous lawsuits. It's kids who think they can sue Sony cause Sony took away Linex. Most people don't know what Linex was or even used it. Sony is in the right here. So they can't be sued so what. Everybody agreed to the TOS.

blue_francis14
blue_francis14

@acer7 Yo dawg! I herd you like to sue, so I put a "You can't sue us clayse" in your PS3's TOS so you can't sue us while you cant sue us!

daveg1
daveg1

if you know the law inside out thesae days you could judt make a living against companies lol.. sony gets served by everyone theres allways someone wanting a slice.

revilnemesis
revilnemesis

okay people please shut up about how Sony deserve this, it isn't like Sony is the only one doing this in their ToS I'm pretty sure Microsoft and Nintendo are doing the similar thing Edit: and you people are probably thumbing me down because I am speaking the truth, I am not a Sony fantard I have a Wii and have been a customer of Nintendo since I was seven, but do you guys really think Sony is the only company doing anything like this? I am not saying it is okay but open your eyes almost every electronic company is probably doing this

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

Sony deserves a lawsuit after the things they have been doing over the last year. Using online passes with first party games just ruins the fact that PSN is free since their is a hidden cost to online multiplayer. Yeah, game sharing sucks, but lowering licenses to limit it without lowering prices is just sticking it the consumer. Plus they didn't do a good job at making easier to deactivate your systems. What if I only want to deactivate one or two, not all of them? Oh I have to waste a service I only get once every six months. Well, that blows. I'm not saying Sony is bad, they've just been making bad choices and need a wake up call.

Slash_out
Slash_out

@BryanParksSuper That's wrong. A Term of service can say whatever it wants but it still has to be inside the law. And can not go against our rights if it wishes to claim any validity. A TOS can very well say "by saying yes you agree to be a slave to sony" because there is NO check from other independent institutions other than Sony's lawyer before it's put online. No "Ok, this can be published" by the gvt. So it's up to us, to make sure they don't overstep boundaries. And even agreeing to that kind of Term of Agreements does not mean you are bound by it. The Constitution is above it all, then the laws, then the contracts you might sign are at the botom. If a law or any article from the constitution goes against that contract, it's not valid. Sony will loose, because they can't take away the right to defend ourselves in court. And no, this kind of things is NOT stupid, what they are doing is to defend us all. As far as I'm concerned, they are like heroes from video games, doing what others don't want to do but still wishes to be done. In games they go slain dragons, here, they go defend our rights. What's stupid is people trying to justify what Sony is doing. And even worse, criticizing what this guys are doing for us.

gladin09
gladin09

wow, o_o Sony needs some assassins...

boobush
boobush

I'm pretty sure MS did the same thing not long ago with the 360. I mean, I read the terms of agreement, since I saw that South Park episode...

BryanParksSuper
BryanParksSuper

Sony has every right to update TOS whenever they want. Most of these lawsuits are pointless. These people won't win in court. It's Sony Console they own it.

cubachino
cubachino

Good I'm glad. I too think its unfair to be forced to agree to those terms. And can someone please sue Nintendo too? They always forcing system updates through purchased games. And it ain't like I can return the game for a full refund after I've broken the seal!

another_drew
another_drew

@rohn13 sorry bro i have to disagree. i feel that the n64/ps1 were better systems than the nes. these systems evolved the gaming experience by introducing 3d but not sacrificing quality like todays systems and games.

acer7x
acer7x

Yo dawg I heard you like lawsuits... :D

worlock77
worlock77

@DarthRevan Nice post, but not really relevant to anything I said.

djforlife84
djforlife84

americans sueing... what else is new, and a northern Californian... he/she must be high as hell.

rohn13
rohn13

@buying1999 John Carmack is washed up. He knows nothing about making good games, just game engines and Epic games and the unreal engine made him irrelevant a long time ago. The NES is the best console of all time and anyone who thinks differently is a clueless fanboy.

rohn13
rohn13

While I think this was kind of sneaky by Sony all it really limits is your rights to enter class action lawsuit which never really benefit anybody but the lawyers anyway, with the millions of plaintiffs usually getting something stupid like a coupon for 2% off their next purchase from the defendant. I doubt this is legally binding for the anyone who got their ID stolen from the PSN being hacked because these terms of services update can't be used by Sony retroactively, all they really would do is possibly limit class action lawsuits against Sony if there is a future break in on the Sony network and the lose more customer info and credit cards.

shooters125
shooters125

"I hereby sue you for the right to sue you!" lol!

DarthRevan
DarthRevan

@worlock77 - the average person suing Sony is akin to showing up for a tennis match with a broken wrist against Federer. Who will win? My money's on Federer to win unless he has to retire due to injury - that's exactly the same odds of winning a lawsuit against a large corporation. I'm pro-corporation and pro-capitalism but it's a fact that companies are not liable for 90% of misconduct.

worlock77
worlock77

@Futboljunky Hardly "close to it". And changing terms of service is hardly something that gaming companies created. In fact putting notices in your terms of service that you can change the terms of service is pretty standard stuff. That gamers are, apparently, ignorant of this kind of thing does not make the game companies villians.

Futboljunky
Futboljunky

@worlock77 Armies of lawyers that most/all gamers won't have. That is, they are able to use the law to their advantage because they can afford armies of good lawyers. Which creates an uneven playing field. That still isn't above the law, but close to it.

worlock77
worlock77

@moonlightwolf01 And in those service agreements it invariably states that company has the right to change the service agreement. Rather than being "above the law" they have armies of lawyers to ensure that they are in compliance with the law.

Bufta
Bufta

i fell in love with my ps3 but she stabbed me in the back by leaving the marital house and setting up home with a Zune. The biotch!

shadow580
shadow580

Just so everyone is on the same page, everyone should auto-thumb down buying1999 whenever he opens his mouth. He also routinely stalks TLOT webpage and nobody likes him there either.

montblanc512
montblanc512

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Nightmare-_-
Nightmare-_-

ho... I feel bad for sony heh.. I own 360 and ps3 both of them are great. but ps3 got awful online system nothing else but amazing graphic and control.

shiss27
shiss27

This reminds me of overdraft fees. Debit transactions (swiping to pay for something) are instantly transmitted but there is a problem when reversing or crediting (putting money back into accounts) your account...that problem being that the banks know that they can make up all types of bull... excuses about putting money back into your account. Same with Sony. How the hell can you only opt out with a letter? But can click "continue" a few times and totally opt in! They need to be sued and this suit should be the precedent for what I like to call "The Vice Versa Law." Whereas...if a person signs a contract made by a business then they should be able to "opt out" by the same means in which they opted in. ALL businesses, LLC, Corps, etc. should have to abide by this under federal law. I love Sony but hate this class action opt out crap...feedback please

praack
praack

glad this happened we needed a test case- the same type language is now in Netflix as well. most on line services are introducing it without any initial notification of change. the only opt out was via in writing and meant no access to psn (as usual) - so double whammy.

thebeachguy90
thebeachguy90

@buying1999 I assume 1999 is your birth year. If so,it's no wonder you're so immature.

firebladedx
firebladedx

......I wonder if there is a law firm just clicking refresh constantly on Sony's website/update log. ZOMG sketchy firmware update!!! SEND IN THE LAWYERS!!!

buying1999
buying1999

@rohn13 Same ol' ps3 camp stagedy. When you have no defense go straight to personal attacks. LMFAO!!!! It's like play 3 from the ps3 defense team's playbook. Now go put your Barney the Purple Dinosaur blu ray back in your overpriced internet ready blu ray player and watch while mommy goes out for groceries. "Xbox 360 is the BEST console EVER made." --John Carmack (A legend in gaming development, just thought I'd explain that for you since you obviously are sony brainwashed.)

rohn13
rohn13

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

buying1999
buying1999

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mahk88596546216
mahk88596546216

Ever since the day I bought a PS3 Sony has been removing access to features etc. with almost every patch, from reverse compatability to limiting accounts and much more they haven't patched in many essentials that I would like (notification options for messages and signin/out should be seperated!!!). it's about time someone take action. There should be a clause for all products that restrict companies from altering their product negatively once released to the public. ONLY UPGRADES that improve the product should be allowed once the consumer owns any product. If not, what's stoping car companies from changing your lock every so often then making you buy new keys just to access the vehicle you already paid for?

nevryn
nevryn

@BH14 Actually, if you go back a couple of articles, it is a Forced Arbitration clause (also known as a Binding Mandatory Arbitration clause) that happens to include the no-class-action part. This essentially means that the customer waives their right to sue, and rather someone is hired to decide the settlement in any dispute rather than going to court. The decision is final and cannot be appealed. Seems fine if the mediator is neutral, but historically, most are firms actually hired by the company, leading to a hired gun type situation.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

I would assume the main reason why Sony has this in their is so, some moron hacker can't try to counter sue Sony for some odd reason for tampering with the system itself because they brought it and feel they should be able to open the system up and mod it anyway they can to ether pirate games and all around put stuff that isn't meant to be in the PS3 because Sony is violating their freedom.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@buying1999 Inferior Hardware? Im sorry but I've read more news reports of RRoD and faulty 360 hardware then I have for PS3.

mingolo
mingolo

LMAO, attempt to stop class-action lawsuits result in class action lawsuit, haha!

strothers101
strothers101

@Psychokillaz You know what? Im not going to bother. Not only do we live on opposite sides of the globe but apparently we also live in different realities. Me in the real world and you in some kind of crazy fantasy land. You seem to be self-conceited and rather borish. But thats ok, if everyone was the same the world would be a boring place to live in. Besides arguing on the internet is trivial at best and you are obviously a misguided servile sycophant willing to lap up everything your government spews forth. Merry xmas and a happy new year from the real world.

buying1999
buying1999

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

slayer1185
slayer1185

They could charge everyone for access to PSN, not just for plus. If you don't like it, than don't play it. Nobody is forcing you to play. We have too many idiots online anyways.

jamesh-42
jamesh-42

@BH14: Sony is asking its customers to waive some of their legal rights. Whether you think that alone is an okay move, I think most people would agree that this should only be done with the user's informed consent. Burying that language in a 21 page legal document without giving the user a summary of how this 21 page document differs from the previous 21 page document doesn't seem like the best way to inform the user of the changes. In fact, it looks like a good way to minimise the number of people who notice the change. I wouldn't be surprised if more people have learned about the change through these news stories than by actually reading the terms. I guess I'm just glad I live in a country where companies can't pull this kind of stunt to begin with.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Can't really comment, since i didn't read the 21 page T&C's... Ps3 still works... Online gameplay still going... oh noes I can't file a lawsuit... wasn't planning on it anyway. Only in America would someone sue over losing the right to sue xD rofl

RAGEofSTUNTS
RAGEofSTUNTS

Is Nintendo the only one not being sued every month?

BH14
BH14

@blazethe1 Did you read the article? Sony isn't saying customers aren't allowed to sue them. They are making sure that customers have read their T&C and if they have an issue, he/she can opt out and sue Sony all they want. And they will still have their online service. Sony isn't "immune" to going to court. Consumers can opt out from the class action provision by simply writing a letter.... If people want to sue Sony and believe Sony was the reason for their credit card/identity theft problems, write a letter to Sony and opt out. Probably take less than 5 minutes. If someone has credit card or identity theft issues, he/she should be able to take less than 5 minutes out of their time to write and send a letter. And there are plenty of T&C contracts where they say you don't have the right to sue them for this or that reason. It is normal especially for employers who are trying to protect themselves.... How hard is it to write a letter? And it says in the T&C that you can sue Sony but it will be on an individual basis... Not some 60 million PS3 users class action lawsuit. If someone wants to sue Sony alone for $50K lawsuit, they can.