Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

February 26, 2010 -

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a disabled gamer against Sony Corporation of America, Sony Computer Entertainment America and Sony Online Entertainment which alleged that the defendants denied access to their services for people with disabilities.

The suit was originally filed by plaintiff Alexander Stern in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California last October. The dismissal notice (PDF) was handed down on February 8 of this year.

Stern had argued that, “his visual processing impairments prevent him from fully enjoying the video games manufactured by Sony, some of which are played on gaming systems with internet connections through which players in different locations can communicate and play with or against one another.”

The court noted that, “According to the Ninth Circuit, to prevail on an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Title III discrimination claim, “the plaintiff must show that (1) she is disabled within the meaning of the ADA; (2) the defendant is a private entity that owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation; and (3) the plaintiff was denied public accommodations by the defendant because of her disability.”

In its ruling, the court stated, in reference to point number 2 above, that Sony is not a “place of public accommodation” and was “therefore not liable for violating Title III of the ADA.”


|Via The Hollywood Reporter|


Comments

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

This case was open and shut before it even began...

----
Papa Midnight
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

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Papa Midnight

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Wait, I don't keep up with some of these things sometimes.  Why do we hate visually impared people again?  There seems to be animosity in that direction.

I'm gonna go steal some crutches from some cripple and scream at them for being self entitled by thinking they need to walk.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

While it is pretty removed at this point, the original distaste came from the old Christian idea that disability was proof that someone did something that offended God, thus they are people who are being punished and must have done something (or they might be someone else's punishment since they bring shame to their family).

Today few think of it in those terms, but it is a meme that takes a LONG time to fade and now most people do not even think about where the distaste came from... all they know is they have it, and everyone else around them has it, their parents have it, so it must be right.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

That's a pre-Christian idea. It's been around a long time, and I doubt we'll ever get rid of it. We still haven't completely shaken our medieval Catholic stigmas about suicide or our Judeo-Christian views on marriage; I don't think we're anywhere near getting rid of this idea.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

What do you mean "medieval Catholic stigmas"?

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Used to be that, if you committed suicide, you didn't receive a proper burial because you were thought to have committed an unforgivable sin by denying God's grace. What I'm getting at is that we've still got some of that stigma in our cultural attitudes about suicide.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Good old fashion dark age stigma you mean then

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Kind of, yeah. But it's pretty engrained in our culture, a lot of Christian stuff is. I don't think we even recognize half of it anymore.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

And are you saying that it's good, bad, or what?

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Neither, I'm just saying it's there. I don't think I can really make a fair judgement since I'm part of that Western culture.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

I was just wondering since your earlier comment seems to have gone toward negative rather than positive.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

It's ingrained prejudice and bigotry. What do YOU think?

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

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

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

DS being his usual self aside, that's the problem. Saying that the reason something is good or bad is that it's old or traditional is not a valid point. So it's old. And? I have heard those arguing that say because religion is old, it clearly can't be right or good or in anyway positive, which is a fallacy to say the least. It's the same when you promote something because its traditional. It's been practiced for generations, you say? Great, except, so what? It means nothing.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

You completely missed the point. See that thing 8 miles away in that direction? That is what we were discussing. See you all by yourself over there? That's where your reply was.

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

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

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

I was responding to what an older post seemed to imply. But please, enlighten me on the point.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Sorry but it's more fun to watch you keep sharpshooterbabe company.

Also, try replying to the post you were supposedly responding to, and maybe not referencing me if you want people to believe you were responding to an older post instead of just missing the point of discussion.

--------------------------------------------------

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

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

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

"Sorry but it's more fun to watch you keep sharpshooterbabe company."

So you don't really have a point. Nice to know. And yeah, I am aware of that mistake I made in replying to you, but not until after I posted it. I suppose I should have just deleted it, then put it in the right place. My bad.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Oh no, I had a point, but it's not my responsibility to explain it to the more dense or slower in the head.

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

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

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Never said it was your responsiblity. You could have just said your point or said it was irrelevant or something. But it's interesting that you can't just say no without some excuse in the form of an insult, though one lacking in any wit or any type of real skill in its creation whatsoever. So you won't tell me because you think I'm stupid? Oh, very well crafted. Brilliant. Perhaps the next one you'll pick from you "original" source of insults will be one calling me an "idiot".

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

A lot of people feel uncomfortable around disabled people. Sometimes it can be turned to funny effect: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9XFagkSd3E

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

 It's just... unreasonable is all.

It's kind of like a deaf person suing a music company because music doesn't take the hearing impaired into consideration.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

It isn't kind of anything of the sort. Stern's cliam was that Sony was operating a public accommodation and not accommodating him as equally as they were other members of the public on account of his disability. Your comparison doesn't even come close to capturing Stern's claim.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

If you're disabled you have to accept that there are some things you can't do in life because of that disability.

The lawsuit in question existed purely as an attempt to get money. I wonder whether deaf people will sue muscians because they can't hear their products (i.e. music).

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

He wasn't even saying he can't play the game. He was saying Sony were losing him money because he had trouble using a website to sell Everquest items for dollars.

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

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

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Considering he has to be able to see to play the game to get the items to sell, there seems to be a serious disconnect here.

Either way, I don't think being able to sell virtual items from a video/computer game is in any way part of the 'enjoyment' of the game he so dearly think he's entitled to.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

The ADA doesn't require "enjoyment" of anything other than equal accommodation. No more than it requires that blind people will actually "enjoy" the Grand Slam they purchase from Denny's. The only requirement is that they can't be refused the opportunity by Denny's to purchase a Grand Slam simply because they're blind. I don't think Stern was claiming an entitlement to enjoyment. He claimed a right to equal accommodation. Those two things aren't the same. 

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

And you are STILL missing the point that the game itself accomodates him just fine. He is suing because he can't use an auction site to sell in-game items for real money.

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

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

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Isn't the auction site part and parcel of what he claimed is Sony's public accommodation and his inability to use it a product of his disability? The game itself or the auction itself isn't the claimed public accommodation. The internet site where the game and its related auction is hosted is the claimed public accommdation. And why are you caught up on the "selling for money" aspect? So what if it's an auction site where he wants to sell stuff for money? What difference does that make? If it was brick and mortars at issue, would a blind person who wanted to offer an item for auction not be accommodated at Sotheby's or Christie's brick and mortar auction houses? The ADA defines a public accommodation as a place where goods or services are offered to the public. Providing an auction site where sellers and bidders can offer items for auction and bid on those items seems to me to be a place where a service is being offered to the public. 

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

No, it's just that no one likes those who are disabled to get what they aren't entitled to by using their disablities.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

You know Carlos Mencia talks about disabled cripples at Six Flags going to the front of the line. It's funny but true how he says it.

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Carlos Mencia steals his jokes.

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

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

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Interesting....I heard of a visually impaired person filing a suit against Apple because itunes wasn't accessible to screen-reading software. Obviously Apple thought the plaintiff had a decent case because they changed things pretty quickly.
Back when there was a lot of news about Microsoft banning users whose name or profile had any reference to homosexuality I thought about writing a "what if Xbox Live was a public accommodation" article about certain state civil rights laws. Interestingly I decided to scrap the idea because online servers aren't public accommodations traditionally, but with the way the law has been moving to try and keep up with new technologies you never know.

www.gameslaw.net

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

 The apple case kind of makes sense... not so much that the visually impaired person had a case, but simply that it probably was not a bad idea to give itunes that functionality... I mean music is listened to not watched, their ears work just fine and there was software made to do this kind of stuff already. Kinda makes sense that for itunes  to have such features...

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

My wife and I have files lawsuits before based on the ADA. They've always settled. No one wants an ADA lawsuit going public. Bad for business.

 

I knew this one would fail. And exactly why it would fail. Now, if Sony had a storefront, that would have been a different story. But they don't.

Yes, I am a liberal. I also believe in a strong military, less government, and the right to bear arms. 

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Next on the list, this disabled gamer will sue the visible spectrum of colors for not being fully visible to his whiny self-entitled ego.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

I knew this lawsuit would fail when I first heard about it.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Good riddence.

Although I note that once again GP neglects to mention that the crux of his complaint was the fact he had dificulty using Everquests auction system to sell in-game items for real money and so Sony were losing him money.

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

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

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Keefer says if you keep on rattling the GP cage, he'll be forced to put another ass-whupping on you.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Hmm..so much for him having a valid case, right JD?

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

I never said he had a valid case. As I recall, I said the outcome would likely hinge on whether an Internet site can be a public accommodation for the purposes of the ADA. And I still agree with Judge Posner's dicta that, despite it not appearing among the public accommodations specifically listed in the statute, it ought to be and to find that Congress didn't intend for it to be is a ridiculous outcome. 

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Hrm.  I wonder how this would impact sits like Amazon or eBay then, or smaller sites. 

I am not sure this result is a good thing for the disabled since the 'game' aspect makes it easier to discount as 'not imporant', but the same logic (and thus precident) could be applied to any number of sites where money changes hands.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

I don't see any "visually impaired" people bitching about them. Probably because they don't seem as easy a target for frivolous lawsuits like gaming seems to.

--------------------------------------------------

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

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

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Well, amazon is already in compliance, and ebay has 3rd party apps that do the job.

Larger sites tend to have voluntary compliance, partly to avoid such suits, but also because most businesses shy away from turning away paying customers.

One of the problems game companies tend to have (at least now) is that they do not seem interested in expanding to 'uncool' customers like the disabled.  In the past many games came with things like high contrast or colourblind skins,.. but that seems to have been fading away now that they are big enough to not worry about alienating paying customers.   Very strange effect.

Having worked on a game dev team, I can say that there is a certain 'lack of sexy' effect that goes into avoiding such support.. along with a normal american 'disabled people are too whiny, why can they not just shut up and pay us like good little second class citizens' attitude.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Which is what I suspect was the need for enactment of the ADA in the first place. Truth be told, if I was the owner of some chic Beverly Hills eatery, I wouldn't want some quadraplegic in a wheelchair mucking up the ambience for my beautiful and glamorous Hollywood jet-set clientel. There's nothing "sexy" about a quadraplegic in a wheelchair. 

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Oh, and one thing people tend to not realize about the ADA. There is no active enforcement.  The general way to apply ADA is through civil suits.  So if you find a company out of compliance, you can not go to the government and say 'make them comply', no group that refused a buisness/use permit if they are out of compliance.... you have to sue them to do it.. and if you win the suit they have to make the changes.

From what I understand, it is a very frustrating framework to work with that requires the disabled to activly go out and police places themselves.. which of course gets them labled as sue-happy.

Could you imagine what it would be like if other laws worked that way?  Having to sue places just to make them, say, comply with fire codes?

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

True beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Maybe to another quadraplegic in a wheelchair would think she/he is sexy.

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

Way to contribute absolutely nothing to the proceedings.

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

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

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

I swear to God that I hear the voice of GIECO's talking pothole every time sharpshooterbabe opens her mouth.

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

I remember that Target lost a lawsuit to a blind person that couldn't navigate their website.

http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2008/08/29/target-settles-accessibility-l...

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Disabled Gamer’s Suit Against Sony Tossed

To be accurate, Target didn't lose, they settled.  There is a difference.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.
 
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