New PlayStation Network Terms of Service Don't Allow You to Take Sony to Court
Today, Sony is asking PlayStation Network members (re: anyone who has ever made an account on their PS3 or PSP to log online) to agree to a new Terms of Service as part of Sony’s unification of their online entertainment services. The PSN will be rolled into the Sony Entertainment Network, which shouldn’t really affect users very much other than having to hear or see the new name every so often, except for one little detail. The new Terms of Service that PSN users will have to agree to in order to continue using the PlayStation Network includes a tidbit stating that users cannot take Sony to court over a dispute, and instead, must settle things with Sony outside of court.
Most users will probably just immediately agree to the new terms without ever reading them, an act of which every single one of us is guilty, but hey, we really want to get online already, okay? If Futurama taught us anything, it is never leave your dog outside of your pizza place while you travel through time, never to return, but more recently, you never know what kind of terms are in an agreement and you should probably read them.
Not only does the agreement state that you cannot take Sony to court and must settle disputes with them with a neutral arbitrator outside of court:
Other than those matters listed in the Exclusions from Arbitration clause (small claims), 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.
but the new terms also state that disputes must be settled with Sony one-on-one, which prevents a group action.
Sony does have text within the new terms saying a user can opt out of the agreement within 30 days of acceptance by sending Sony a letter, at least. I haven’t read the entirety of many terms of service agreements in my day, just like you haven’t, but I’m betting this isn’t even close to the first instance of this type of wording and intent stashed away in the depths of boring legal jargon blocking us from the software we want to use. I guess it is time to start writing a letter. Now, where did I put my Xzibit stationary? Yo Sony…
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