New SONY TOS Blocks Class Action Suits
SONY surely does have knack for annoying people.
Even though I cancelled my PLAYSTATION account several years ago, they still send me emails. The latest was for their new TOS (Terms of Service). Seems SONY doesn't want anyone suing them anymore... maybe they think 'they are just too big to sue'.
Gamasutra - News - Sony Amends Online Terms To Block Class Action Lawsuits
New PSN TOS Blocks Your Right to Sue Sony, Ever | PlayStation LifeStyle
BTW, according to SONY, “Once a PlayStation Network account is created, you can not delete it. It will remain on the PlayStation Network servers forever.”
Somehow I can't imagine that will fly in court.
Cool. You can now sign your rights away. I know folks sign waivers not to sue all the time, but if Sony is negligent I would imagine they can be sued anyways.
I don't think that's legal...
In the class action suite that SONY lost with SPORE, they are supposed to 'clearly' show that the game is protected by SecuROM DRM on the retail packages as well as for On-line purchases - they don't. For on-line, they weasel out by providing hard to spot links that not many click to check out.
But apparently, there is a way to OPT-OUT by writing SONY within 30 days of accepting the On Line agreement. (Assuming that there will still be a US Post Office when you mail it.)
New PlayStation Network Terms of Service Include a No Suing Sony Clause
How to opt-out of Sony's 'no class action lawsuit' clause in the new PSN Terms of Service
Yeah, can they legally do that?
Actually yes they can....at least in the states they can. SCOTUS ruled in a IIRC 7-2 rulling way back when that you can limit via contracts the right to sue as LONG as you are stating you agree to go to arbitration. Sony isnt saying "you cant take us to court" they are saying that you have to take them to an arbitrator instead of a typical court...AND you can opt out if you do not agree. This crap is actually pretty common in some niches.
As long as duress is not involved, there's few instances where laws prevent you from signing an agreement that does not violate some other law (as in, you cannot be held to a contract agreeing to rob a bank) in either Canada or the U.S.
The test is generally the 'reasonable person' standard. Would a reasonable person understand what they're agreeing to by signing this contract? Would they read such a contract before signing it? Keep in mind 'reasonable' does not mean 'average.' The average person might not read the EULA/TOS, but a reasonable person would, precisely because they contain important clauses such as this.
However, Canada does have such laws in some provinces. Ontario, Quebec and Alberta have legislation which prohibits arbitration clauses which limit class-action lawsuits. B.C. does not have such legislation, but in March a B.C. woman won the right at the Supreme Court of Canada (5-4) to pursue a class-action lawsuit against Telus for deceptive business practices (using an unadvertised definition of "airtime" to hike fees charged to customers). The arbitration-only clause in a business contract is only affected by deceptive business practices however, since the case relied on a violation of B.C.'s Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act
This overturns, somewhat, prior SCC decisions such as Rogers Wireless Inc. v. Muroff which upheld arbitration clauses in private contracts. I haven't read the Seidel v Telus decision, but I expect the difference is that Muroff was a private dispute, while Seidel alleged illegal behaviour by Telus.
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