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Sony Sued Over PSN 'No Suing' Provision 384

Posted by Soulskill
from the had-to-see-that-coming dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the Examiner: "In a grand dose of irony today, Sony was sued over a term in the PlayStation Network's End User Agreement that states that users cannot sue Sony. These terms were added in September, after a long string of Sony hacks (the official count is that Sony got broken into 17 times in a space of about 2 months), which included a massive outage of the PlayStation Network itself. The suit that was filed today is a class action suit for all of those who bought a PS3 and signed up for the PSN before the September update to the EULA. The suit also claims that this is a unfair Business practice on Sony's part, and requires users to forgo their rights in order to use the device that they purchased."
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Sony Sued Over PSN 'No Suing' Provision

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  • EULAs (Score:3, Informative)

    by bonch (38532) * on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @07:01PM (#38441692)

    "The suit also claims that this is a unfair Business practice on Sony's part, and requires users to forgo their rights in order to use the device that they purchased."

    I don't know about the rest (avoiding legal culpability isn't exactly uncommon in EULAs), but this part is untrue. You don't have to use PSN to use a PS3, and you are also free to return the PS3 if you don't like the EULA for its online component.

    Anti-Sony stories are one of Slashdot's most common page-view drawing tactics, so I'm always a little suspicious of any stories Slashdot posts. Not to automatically dismiss this one, but lawsuits are filed literally every day for every reason imaginable, and this one is only getting reported because it's "ironic" and it's a well-known company that Slashdotters love to hate. Strangely, Nintendo gets a lot of love even though it has a history of being even more evil than Sony.

    No doubt there will be comments about the evils of EULAs following mine (assuming I'm not modbombed into oblivion), but I should mention that EULAs are no different from free software licenses--they are contracts you agree to the terms of in using the software. The majority of U.S. courts have upheld the enforceability of EULAs.

  • Re:EULAs (Score:5, Informative)

    by dan828 (753380) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @07:06PM (#38441758)
    A EULA, like any other contract, is only enforceable if it's provisions don't break the law. A company can put whatever they want into them, but that doesn't mean it has legal standing. Companies don't get to arbitrarily make laws. They could add a provision that you'll give them your first born son, but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't stand if challenged in court.
  • Re:EULAs (Score:3, Informative)

    by InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @07:10PM (#38441810)
    If this EULA update worries you, then just give them a written notice that you don't accept that clause. They allow it as long as you notice Sony, and they still let you accept rest of the EULA and use PSN. It's even written there right next to the clause. Read it.
  • Re:EULAs (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @07:14PM (#38441878)

    No.

    Sony gave 30 days written response from the time the EULA was accepted..

    Outside of that time, Sony considered the EULA to be accepted in full by the user.
     

  • Is this US only? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nick Ives (317) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @07:21PM (#38441976)

    I looked in the PSN agreement last time I updated a couple of days ago and couldn't see it; I live in the UK though. This sounds like it would be totally unlawful here.

  • Re:EULAs (Score:4, Informative)

    by Synerg1y (2169962) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @07:24PM (#38442026)

    A blu-ray player and a ps3 for the longest time were very comparable in price, where you'd have to be stupid to buy the former when the latter was available with 10x more functionality.

  • Re:EULAs (Score:5, Informative)

    by exomondo (1725132) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @08:06PM (#38442428)

    Wrong--in the case of a free software license, the user agreeing to the license is the developer who uses the code.

    Which is why he said no EULA is required to use free software. I can take linux and use it all i want, modify it, re-compile, not release my changes, remove all copyright and legal notices, etc... and that's fine. It's only if I want to distribute it that the license terms will have to be considered.

  • Re:EULAs (Score:4, Informative)

    by labnet (457441) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @08:39PM (#38442770)

    In Australia (and most commonwealth countries) Common Law always trumps contractual agreements.

    Even so, my business partner always reads every line of a contract (I'm talking genuine contacts, like trade accounts, NDA's, BtoB agreements, not software EULA's).
    The notorious ones are courier companies that have clauses like, 'You make available your personal assets for compensation in case we have an accident while carrying your goods'. We send back those contracts with the stupid clauses crossed out. If they don't like it, we don't complete the contract.

  • Re:Consumer Law (Score:5, Informative)

    by Taelron (1046946) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:15PM (#38443122)
    In California no clause is valid that restricts your rights to sue.

    Ask IBM about this. In the early 2000's they went through and laid off a large group of workers. Many of the employees felt they unfairly were fired or forced to retire early. Many of these people had families and no other source of income. IBM offered severances to these employees but required them each to sign a waiver signing away their rights to sue the company.

    Some of these employees had no choice and signed the agreement and took the meager pittance offered by IBM.

    Now for the fun part, someone figured out that in California the law protects people from having their rights revoked. Those same employees joined together and sued IBM. The case lasted a couple of years. IBM even petitioned for dismissal on the grounds the former disgruntled employees signed waivers and received concessions (far below what that deserved). The California courts rejected IBM's petition and ordered them to pay up to a much higher level for all former employees. Those that had received the lower payouts received the difference.

    What Sony is trying to do would be non-binding in California.
  • Re:EULAs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:40PM (#38443324)

    In this specific case Sony also allowed you to opt-out from that specific provision and still accept the rest and use PSN, you only had to give them written notice about it. So if you want to bash Sony, it would be good to at least stay in truth.

    You obviously didn't read it carefully, as if you send this in, your PSN account is immediately closed and you forfeit any money you have in your PSN wallet.

  • Re:EULAs (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sollord (888521) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:54AM (#38445574)

    a 12 year old cant have a valid PSN account

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