Judge Able to Resist PSN Lawsuit

The case of a gamer who sued Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) over being banned from the PlayStation Network has been tossed out of court.

After being banned for “multiple violations” on PSN, the Resistance: Fall of Man player Erik Estavillo had sued SCEA for violating his First Amendment rights (for the PSN ban) and for money he had invested into the PSN Wallet Fund. He sought $55,000 and an injunction that would limit SCEA from banning any players in any form on the network.

Northern District of California District Judge Ronald M Whyte ruled that there was no plausible First Amendment claim for relief stated and dismissed the case.

The Technology & Marketing Law Blog (via Gamasutra) zeroed in on one specific comment of Whyte’s, that “Sony’s Network is not similar to a company town.” Blogger Eric Goldman wrote:

…this opinion emphatically rejects a meme that has become pretty popular among virtual world exceptionalists. Some exceptionalists have favored the company town analogy because it enable virtual world customers to reduce an operator’s ability to run its business capriciously.

A PDF version of the Order Granting Defendant’s Motion To Dismiss is also available on the aforementioned blog.

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  1. 0
    OmegaWarrior says:

    And here I was hoping that Sony would countersue for legal fees and slander/libel/defamation/etc and that the judge would rule for Sony.


    Or at least rule that the little snot take a f***ing class in government!

  2. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    So does this mean MS have a green light to ban gays for saying they are gay in their ID?


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  3. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    You are, of course, assuming that you’re one of those 23, eh?

    Personally, I don’t think swearing or using racial slurs and other slurs makes you a ‘racist’ or a ‘homophobe’ on XBL.  It just means that you chose one way to offend and annoy people over another.

  4. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    The judge that tossed this suit is the same judge that ruled California’s anti-game law unconstitutional.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  5. 0
    Kabyk says:

    If you banned all those people, Zerodash, the player count on the entirety of XBL would be down to about 23. As much as I hate those annoying…individuals, I don’t want to have to play with the same 23 people every day.

  6. 0
    Zerodash says:

    …so can Microsoft start banning the homophobes and racists from XBL already?  This is kind of a green light for Sony, Microsoft and pruveyors of other similar services.

  7. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Much like how claims came fro ma certai nex lawyer that GP violated his first amendment rights, he wasn’t in a public park acting like an ass, so Sony had every right to ban him on their PRIVATELY owned network.

  8. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Remind me to not to forward anymore stories to GP.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  9. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    Definitely. Online networks are just like any other buisness. How about a restaurant analogy? They reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, and the right to ban unruly customers from the premises.

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