Sony’s recent change to the PSN terms of service that prohibited class-action lawsuits caused a stir among the gaming community with many people, myself including, questioning the legality of such a term and how it would be able to hold up in court when taking someone to court is widely recognized as a right. After the hacking fiasco that resulted in several million users getting their details leaked, there were class-action lawsuits, but you’ve heard this story before. If not, look through the PSN tag for our coverage.
Sony said that the new TOS changes were made in response to a Supreme Court decision made back in April. The case in April was over a clause in an AT&T Mobility employment contract which prohibited workers from bringing class-action lawsuits. A spokeswoman for Sony said “The Supreme Court recently ruled in the AT&T case that language like this is enforceable. The updated language in the TOS is designed to benefit both the consumer and the company by ensuring that there is adequate time and procedures to resolve disputes.”, it is true that lawsuits were filed within an unreasonable frame of time before Sony could properly resolve everything. It’s like crashing into someone at an intersection and getting your lawyer there before the ambulance.
Despite users reading the legalese they seem to miss the process in which they can reclaim their right to a class-action lawsuit which has to be honored by Sony or else they’ll be up the creek and fast with several courts in several states and countries. There remains several things that you cannot sign away but the right to a class-action lawsuit doesn’t appear to be on that list according to the Supreme Court.