Earlier this year, Sony had its Playstation Network (PSN) hacked and it was down for more than a month. Several users brought a class-action lawsuit against Sony and, now, Sony is fighting back. The PSN now has a mandatory upgrade for all users in which part of the TOS forces the user to give up their rights to ever suing Sony again. Sony has gone so far as to suggest that anyone refusing to upgrade will be banned from PSN.
This is Sony’s blatant attempt to remove any responsibility on their part if or when their servers are hacked again. Considering the fact that not only were user names and passwords compromised, but so were credit cards and personal information of its PSN members, Sony should not be allowed to modify its user agreement to get out of paying any legal damages. Unfortunately, it appears that the Supreme Court might side with Sony on this one as they have ruled that a company could force you into, at the very least, arbitration. Note that Canada may already have a law on the books making Section 15 of the new EULA from Sony illegal.
What most users don’t know is that there may be an option to opt out.
It is, however, possible to opt out of the agreement within the next 30 days.
Gamers will now have to try to resolve any legal issues with an arbitrator picked by Sony, before being able to file a lawsuit.
Section 15 of the new EULA describes how this can happen.
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, 10 TH 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.
Make sure you remember to write to them via snail mail and keep a copy of your tracking number and receipt for the letter. You can view Section 15 here [pdf] . You can fill out a form letter here.