Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

September 15, 2011 -

If you are a member of Sony's PlayStation Network, chances are you were greeted with an email from the company this morning telling you that that the terms of service for the network are about to change. The big change, in case you haven't received that email yet, relates to your ability to sue them. From section 15 comes this wonderful new clause:

"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 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."

In laymen's terms, it means that if you feel the need to sue Sony or any of its associated companies that work in concert with PSN, you'll have to go through what's commonly referred to as "mandatory arbitration." You agree to mandatory arbitration on an individual basis when you log onto the network, the new ToS asserts.

Basically you agree to go before a third party if you have a dispute with Sony. Generally these third parties are hired from companies that specialize in corporate arbitration and - most of the time - side with the company that used their services because they want the repeat business. Also, these third parties are not bound to follow the law.

Lovely. You can read the new terms of service here (PDF). The good news for consumers, if there is any at all, is that if you sued prior to August 20, 2011 this change in the ToS has no affect on that action.

As an aside, if you haven't watched the documentary, Hot Coffee, you should because it explains how corporations like Sony have turned "frivolous lawsuits" into a buzzword to mean greedy consumers who want to sue for the dumbest of things.. like getting burned by a cup of hot coffee from McDonald's. We have all heard that story before but when you see the elderly women who filed the lawsuit and how badly it burned her, it shows you that corporations have fooled society into thinking anyone that sues is just out to make a quick buck off of minor complaints. You can watch the trailer to your left.


Comments

Re: Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

Japan why?

Re: Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

I just saw the documentary: it was gut-wrenching.

There is no such thing as a successful frivolous lawsuit.

Living in Canada is awesome. We enjoy the universal healthcare and gun-free environment of a European country while getting all of our games released at the same time as the US.

Re: Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

Technically, you can not sign away any of your rights.  (Unless, of course, you join the military.  Then you sign away certain rights to protect the rights of others.)  However you can be legally held to accept arbitration.

Funny thing, tho, is the article does not state that you can decline the arbitration clause.  I've read the update changes and included in Section #15 is a clause that tells you how to decline arbitration.  You must do it in writing & within 30 days of accepting the changes online.

 


Ruger is coming out with a new and intimidating pistol in honor of Senators and Congressmen.  It will be named "The Politician."  It doesn't work and you can't fire it!

Re: Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

Typical: sign away your rights with a click, jump through hoops to keep them.

Re: Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

See, the fun thing is ToS have no power to break the law. So if something is illegal, legal, a right, etc., it'll stay so. However, the not so fun thing is that many people fall for it and think that whatever is in a ToS actually binds them :(

Re: Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

Is this even enforceable?  We need to hear from that one lawyer that used to do commentaries on videogame-related law.

Re: Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

Generally, arbitration clauses are enforceable as long as the conflict stays within certain bounds, so the answer is 'usually, but not universally'.

Re: Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

I wonder if there's going to be a class action lawsuit over this.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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quiknkoldif that makes me petty, then I guess I'm one petty sob10/22/2014 - 8:48am
quiknkoldwell I'm sorry Conster, Having my skull smashed in when I was 14 made me skeptical to apologies when it comes to Bullying regardless of the platform its given. I guess Bullies beat the sympathy out of me.10/22/2014 - 8:47am
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ConsterIf someone offends a bunch of people on twitter, they should apologize on twitter, and not accepting said apology because it's "only" on twitter is petty.10/22/2014 - 8:22am
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BillJust posting them for the record since they have become part of the GG narrative.10/22/2014 - 8:17am
Billhttp://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/10/21/Incredibly-GamerGate-is-winning-but-you-won-t-read-that-anywhere-in-the-terrified-liberal-media10/22/2014 - 8:14am
BillOh yeah, http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2014/10/17/Supporting-GamerGate-Does-Not-Make-You-a-Bully10/22/2014 - 8:14am
BillThere are now two pro GG articles on Breitbart today, one by James Fudge's favorite "quotes out of context" writer Milo. Amazingly Milo claims GG is winning.10/22/2014 - 8:13am
quiknkoldhavent seen any apologies from the "Other Side" except from Boogie, and he made a video, and I saw him give his apology and I accepted it.10/22/2014 - 8:03am
Michael ChandraWhich usually is "the guy is an ass and I don't really believe it, but fine, benefit for the doubt THIS time and no second chances."10/22/2014 - 7:58am
Michael ChandraI'll accept his apology for something that, no matter whether a joke or serious is way out of line, just as much as I accept apologies from others.10/22/2014 - 7:57am
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Michael ChandraPeople on 'both' sides of the debate have screwed up and apologized without such acts. Where's your criticism on the other side?10/22/2014 - 7:56am
E. Zachary KnightReason posted the second part of their GamerGate story: http://reason.com/archives/2014/10/22/gamergate-part-2-videogames-meet-feminis/10/22/2014 - 7:51am
quiknkoldagain, I dont accept any apology when I cant see their face when they give it to me. He needs to do a video, or do something positive like charity or whatever.10/22/2014 - 7:15am
Michael ChandraBut that's the case with every apology, isn't it?10/22/2014 - 5:57am
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