Sony Sued For Putting ‘You Can’t Sue Us’ Clause in Playstation Network Terms of Service
It’s almost ironic, but this is the way the legal system works. Hilariously.
Not too long ago, Sony updated the terms of service for the Playstation Network and included a clause that said you couldn’t file a class-action lawsuit against Sony (for situations like, you know, paying for service and then losing service and a bunch of personal information after a massive security breach knocked out the network for a month). By using the Playstation Network, you automatically agreed to those terms of service, the reasoning went. It was like signing a contract, and in that contract, you agreed not to sue. Just by using the Playstation Network.
I’ve felt the legality of that particular clause probably wouldn’t hold up to judicial scrutiny, and it appears I’m not the only one. According to GameSpot, somebody has gone and filed a class-action lawsuit — even though Sony expressly told them not to. That’s just rude.
Anyway, the lawsuit alleges that Sony forced users to give up their rights to legal recourse and that it didn’t make the provision added to the ToS clear and apparent enough to users for them to know they were giving up their rights. The suit was filed by a Northern California man and the paperwork says it’s on behalf of all PSN users who purchased a Playstation 3 and used the network before the update went through in September.
Here’s a quote from GameSpot describing the allegations:
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.
Personally, I think Sony will have a tough time convincing a judge that that clause is on the up-and-up, especially in California. We’ll have to see how it shakes out, though.