If you want to carry on using your PS3 online, you’ll have to give up some important legal rights — unless you read the small print and take action.
One of the perhaps inevitable outcomes of April’s Playstation Network hacking scandal, and Sony’s delays in revealing that personal data had been compromised, is that several class action lawsuits have been filed. For those not familiar with the concept, class action is a request that, if granted by a court, means that a case can have a single lead plaintiff but anyone held to be in similar circumstances can be attached without having to launch their own action. If the plaintiff prevails, those attached can get damages on the same basis. It’s a set-up that corporations are very wary of as it means people are not deterred from the costs and hassle of legal action, and the potential payouts can add up to a fortune.
Sony has decided it wants to head off any future class action lawsuits by simply making legal action out of the question. To that end it’s demanding all users agree to a new condition stating:
If you have a Dispute with any Sony Entity or any of a Sony Entity’s officers, directors, employees and agents that cannot be resolved through negotiation within the time frame described in the “Notice of Dispute” clause below. Other than those matters listed in the Exclusions from Arbitration clause, you and the Sony Entity that you have a Dispute with agree to seek resolution of the Dispute only through arbitration of that Dispute in accordance with the terms of this Section 15, and not litigate any Dispute in court. Arbitration means that the Dispute will be resolved by a neutral arbitrator instead of in a court by a judge or jury.
In other words, if you think Sony’s breached your contract or otherwise screwed you over, you must go to arbitration: by agreeing the new conditions you give up your right to go to court.
There are several key limitations. It appears the new conditions are only being used in Canada and the US. There’s potential for a legal challenge if anyone is able to successfully argue that online play is part of the deal when you buy a PS3 (meaning you have the right to continue using the service under the existing terms and conditions, though you’d give up the right to new features.) And Sony’s wide-ranging definition of a “Dispute” likely wouldn’t hold up: for example, it attempts to exempt itself from court action over breaches of criminal law such as fraud.
Customers must tick to agree the new conditions before continuing to use the service, but there is a 30 day opt out period. While you’d think that a fair system would mean that if you can click to agree, you can click to withdraw your agreement, but it’s not that simple. Instead you must mail a letter to SNEI, 6080 Center Drive, 10th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90045, marked “Attn: Legal Department/Arbitration.” The letter has to contain your name and address, PSN account number, and confirmation that you do not agree to resolve all disputes via arbitration.
If you want to take advantage of this option, there’s a template letter available on Google Docs.
I find it funny that Sony is revamping Home to be more like an MMO. Something that should have been done in the first place.
the revamp is to include game themed zones where you will take part in an over-arching storyline along with treasure hunts and other social gaming aspects. hopefully you can ride the rides in the amusement Park area when the update goes live this fall.
Sony has bought out ‘Sucker Punch’ maker of one of the few PS3 hits ‘inFamous’.
Makes we wonder if Naughty Dog is losing their position as Sony lap dog and just got Sucker Punched with this news.
Is Sony Quietly Removing a PS3 Feature? Brian Crecente — A tipster sends us rumored word and image of an incoming replacement model for the 160GB Playstation 3 which brings with it a change in the way some people will hook the console up to their HD television. [more]
Really? PlanetSide 2? Did anyone ever play enough of PlanetSide one to warrant a sequel?
Next month several servers will be shut down in Star Wars Galaxies, part of an overall move to slim down servers after allowing characters to transfer. Kotakupasses along the word from the Star Wars Galaxies forums, which state that the free character transfers have essentially made some servers underused. As of 5 p.m. (PST) October 15, the following servers will be shut down:
Of course, with The Old Republic looming on the horizon, this may be the first sign of things to come. Servers are regularly cleared when they become unused, and Star Wars loyalists are likely to at least give BioWare’s effort a try.
So this is what is fun in Sony’s ‘flagship’ title Home?
After January 2009 arrives, games on the PS3 will be required by Sony to offer trophies, according to VideoGamer.com.
.. Hmm.. not much else to say
Has anyone noticed how games are getting boring? It’s the same damn game play with a new coat of paint and some tweaks. ALL MMO’s want to be WoW, all FSP’s can trace there game play back to Half-life or Doom. Puzzle games? Hell 1/2 of them are clones of some other puzzle game. You pay hundreds of dollars to play a remake of pac-man!?
It’s kind of the same thing as the movie industry, the MPAA bitches that they aren’t making any money from movies. Then you get movies like the new Batman.
It comes down to, if you make a GOOD movie people will go see it. The RIAA complains they aren’t making any money, yet there are a number of artists that have platinum records.
at least with the Internet we don’t have only a few songs shoved down our throat.
Is this was is beginning to happen in the gaming industry? A bunch of clones and whiners with a couple gems released every couple of years? A few games released to LIVE and PSN because that’s what Microsoft/Sony want us to make popular? is there anything new an interesting coming down the pipe?
Are the major players in the field just getting too big so the whole ‘Corporate’ mentality is starting to take hold? Will they force us into another time where all gamers just said screw this, gaming is stupid and cause another gaming crash? Can indy developers games save the face of gaming?
What’s your thoughts/ideas on the subject?