Sony’s lawyers take notes from EA on TOS/EULA ethics.
So the PSN’s Terms of Service agreement has been recently changed as a response to their epic fail network security. See, when Sony was hacked by all those hacker folks and their network went down for what, 3 years? Felt like it anyways. Right, so because of the network being down and security risks to private information (including credit cards), a group launched a class action suit against the company. How did Sony respond to this? Did they learn their lesson about keeping peoples’ info secure? NO! They just made it so you can’t sue them!
That’s right folks! The new TOS… uh… that thing you just instinctively just clicked “Agree” on when the PSN updated… Yeah, that had a fun little line in it saying you can not file a class action suit against the company, rather you have to appeal individually to an arbitrator of their choosing.
But what does all this mean to you? Why should you care? Not like you’re going to be suing them any time soon, right? Well… if you’re fine with getting stepped on and having nothing you can do about it, then you’re good to go I guess. But if you don’t like to be forced into legal shackles, then this is a bit of a big deal. What all of this means to you is that when there’s something bad… something big and bad that effects many many people (like if a non “white hat” hacker got in and took credit cards and cost YOU money) then you won’t be able to get together and sue… or sue at all.
Class action suits are nice for a large group of people that can’t really afford all the legal expenses. It’s kind of like pooling all your resources to fight the big all powerful boss. Like a 40-man raid. (like how I worked that in there, huh) Not being able to do this means that you’re on your own. YOU need to get the lawyer and YOU have to fight it alone at the total mercy of THEIR arbitrator. The thought process behind this is that they figure most folks won’t opt to go through the hassle or be able to afford to fight them. This is some Sun Tzu stuff right here! Split the forces to their individual components and defeat them one by one. The individual might not have the resources to defeat the warlord, but an army does! That’s all this is! A tactic to dissuade people from fighting back in the event of liability.
But what can you do to fight this? Well, they thought of that too. If you disagree with these terms, you can just not play! The “only way to win is to not play the game” tactic only works if both sides are equal. If you do not agree, that means your playstation and games are now void. Yay! Good luck getting that refund! Ok, that’s a bit over dramatic. In reality I’m sure nobody will really care.
Actually… Sony did do one thing correctly. They hid a little snipit of text in the agreement for an Opt-Out of this waiver!!! It’s all in Section 15 of the new agreement! Down on Page 17.
So here’s what I want you all to do! A little homework assignment… Go and Opt-Out of this agreement! You have 30 days from when you click the “agree” button. I’ll post the info from the agreement. Just follow the instructions. Why should you do this? Well, by some grace of the almighty inter-dimensional spider god, you have an out of a fully legal kick in the acorns. We, as the gamer society, need to send a message to all these big companies that consider their consumers to be criminals! EA, Sony, Microsoft, and all the others that treat us like sheep that can be manipulated and exploited must be shown that we do not want to play on their terms! It’d be less than a small victory, probably not even noticeable at all… but if enough people do this, not only will it send a message (no matter how slight it may be), but when the guano hits the cooling device the next time our personal info goes missing or something worse, then all those that opted out of this agreement will be able to compensate for damages on OUR terms. You really should fight to get your power back!
Anywho… if you want to fight the man, just do the following from the agreement:
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, 10TH 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.