How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

September 21, 2011 -

A GiantBomb report claims that, even though you may have agreed to the new PlayStation Network Terms of Service recently, there may still be an option to allow an opt-out. In a nutshell, the new ToS asks users to agree to not sue the company as part of a class action, and requires that you agree to it to gain entry to the network. The paragraph in question from section #15 of the ToS:

"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 legal 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."

It turns out that buried within the updated ToS is an opt-out, but it gives users 30 days from the date they agreed to the new Terms of Service to jump through the hoops necessary to retain their rights (you have to mail Sony a letter). GiantBomb has created a form letter and offers the mailing address of the company should you want to retain those rights. Clearly millions of PSN users will lose their rights because they don't know any better.

GiantBomb talked with Washington attorney Thomas Buscaglia, better known by our circles as "The Game Attorney," to get some insight on the legalities of the new Terms of Service:

"This is certainly not standard practice by any standards...in fact it may well not be enforceable," said Buscaglia. "Time will tell on that one. The US Federal Trade Commission and various state consumer protection agencies could have a problem with it. Also, some courts might not allow it to be enforced due to existing state court precedent."

It will be interesting to see if the way Sony handled this new terms of service can stand up in court. It certainly would have a hard time in regions such as the UK and Australia where there are clearly defined laws against such anti-consumer behavior.

In the interim, you should visit GiantBomb read the instructions, print and fill out the form letter they have created, and mail it to Sony as soon as possible. Even if you are unlikely to be involved in a class action against the company, it's still a good idea to show them that you as a consumer are paying attention to what they are trying to do.


Comments

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

.... Ok, why do we even have to mail them a letter?

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

Because Sony knows very few will bother.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

I don't see what rights are being lost here. If you have a problem with Sony, sue them your damn self. Just means more times they have to pay their own lawyers.

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

This non-suing clause in the PSN TOS is just another in a long line of failings in the way that legal contracts are handled these days.

The whole EULA concept has just been shown over and over again to be a series of legal agreements (of dubious legitimacy) that are arranged in such a way as to encourage people to agree to it blindly. And this is no accident -- they are written in overly difficult language, often to make disagreeable portions look more benign, they are often unnecessarily long, and they are formatted to not be read.

I find it shocking that there is no requirement for there to be a clear summary of the contents of these agreements, and that there is no requirement for there to be a plain language interpretation of the document. The only reason I can think of not to do this is if the legalese provides a specific, exact interpretation, but that is rarely the case, and were that an issue, it could be resolved by providing the legalese and a rough translation in to actual english (or whatever language you prefer), specifying that the legalese is the authoritative document for interpretation.

And even with that said, it's insane that we need to have these ridiculous TOSes and EULAs on everything.

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

How can it not be enforceable? Wasn't something similar already ruled enforceable by SCotUS with a recent suit involving ATT?

 

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

I would also recommend that you send it via certified mail so that Sony has to sign for it and you have proof that they received the letter within the 30 day time window.

If you don't get signature confirmation with date and time, they can claim they never received it and you wouldn't be able to prove otherwise.

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Servic

Good advice. There is a presumption that materials which are placed in the mail are received. If Sony wanted to claim they never got it they have to prove that. But it never hurts to have documentation. I'll be mailing my letter tomorrow. I would also suggest that everyone who mails in the letter keep their own copy of it as well.
 
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Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
SleakerI think a large part of the controversy stems from the idea that games aren't culture setters, but culture reactors, and simply depict what is already in culture. So people don't care that games use tropes or are blind to them because we've failed ...08/29/2014 - 12:20pm
AvalongodBesides, what better way to make her point for her than to respond to her opinion by behaving like a misogynistic asshole. Sure, it may be a troll account, but that doesn't make it "ok"08/29/2014 - 12:19pm
AvalongodWhether Sarkeesian is "right" or "wrong" is not relevant, neither she nor any other woman should have to expect that her opinion will be met with death threats or even just sexist language.08/29/2014 - 12:18pm
Andrew EisenOh, may as well. Zip, I challenge you to cite three specific examples from the TvW videos (use direct quotes and time stamps) and explain how/why they ring hollow or are over exaggerated.08/29/2014 - 11:56am
 

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