For barring users of the PlayStation Network to file class-action lawsuits, Sony got hit with – ironically – a class-action lawsuit.
Back in September, the PlayStation Network end-user agreement was changed by the Japanese entertainment giant to make users waive their rights to file just this type of suits against the company.
Now, Sony is facing a class-action suit from a Northern Californian for the change, GameSpot is reporting.
According to the publication, the man filed the suit back in November in his name and all other users who bought the Sony PlayStation 3 and signed up for the PlayStation Network before the agreement for the service was changed by Sony in September.
The man alleges that with the change, Sony is engaged in unfair business practices because they are forcing users to relinquish their right to file a class-action suit.
To quote the change made to the Sony PlayStation Network terms of service:
“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 you and [Sony] agree to do so in writing.” (Emphasis added)
This means that PSN users will have to give up their rights to sue Sony in a class-action suit or forfeit the ability to play online using Sony’s PSN service.
Because the Terms of Service for PSN is mandatory, anyone who disagrees with the stipulation and choose not to accept the terms will not be able to play online using PSN.
Those who do not accept the no-class-action clause could opt not to do accept but only via contacting Sony within 30 days in writing.
The service is included with every purchase of a PlayStation gaming console.
According to the suit, Sony masked the change by placing the clause describing the barring of class-action suits against the company near the end of the 21-page document included with every purchase of a PlayStation 3 console, the site reports.
Furthermore, the class-action suit says that Sony did not post an easily accessible form of the clause on line unlike its previous practice when a change is made to the PSN agreement.
Sony is not the only company who has made a change like this to their online gaming service.
Microsoft, the maker of the PlayStation rival the Xbox console, has also mandated in a recent change to its Xbox Live terms that users of the service are barred from filing class-action suits.
To quote the Xbox Live terms change:
“You understand and acknowledge that by agreeing to binding arbitration, you are giving up the right to litigate (or participate in as a party or class member) all disputes in court before a judge or jury. Instead, you understand and agree that all disputes will be resolved before a neutral arbitrator, whose award (decision) will be binding and final, except for a limited right of appear under the Federal Arbitration Act. Any court with jurisdiction over the parties may enforce the arbitrator’s award.” (emphasis added)
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