New PSN ToS Likely Not Enforceable in the UK, Says Lawyer

September 16, 2011 -

An interactive entertainment lawyer tells GameIndustry.biz that the new wording in the PlayStation Network terms of service is geared more towards consumers in the United States and is probably not enforceable in the United Kingdom due to existing laws that prevent such contracts.

In case you've forgotten it from yesterday, here's what paragraph 15 of the PSN terms of service states:

"If you have a Dispute with any Sony Entity or any of a Sony Entity's officers, directors, employees and agents that cannot be resolved through negotiation within the time frame described in the 'Notice of Dispute' clause below.

Other than those matters listed in the Exclusions from Arbitration clause, you and the Sony Entity that you have a Dispute with agree to seek resolution of the Dispute only through arbitration of that Dispute in accordance with the terms of this Section 15, and not litigate any Dispute in court. Arbitration means that the Dispute will be resolved by a neutral arbitrator instead of in a court by a judge or jury."

Sheridans partner and interactive entertainment lawyer Alex Chapman says that - even though consumers loathe it - it makes sense for Sony to do this after all the trouble it had this year.

"Whilst this may not be popular with consumers it is really nothing more than any sensible business would do after it has learned some lessons through what must have been a very difficult experience," Chapman told GamesIndustry.biz in an exclusive statement.

"Sony is clearly balancing the risk of adverse consumer reaction against the risk of facing future class actions," he added. "Time will tell whether consumers care enough about not being able to bring a class action to give up PSN access."

While this might work in the United States the new wording, says Chapman, is likely not enforceable in the UK.

"From a legal point of view there is no certainty that this language will have any effect," Chapman continues. "The applicable law for the kind of disputes that consumers may bring will generally be governed by the country in which the consumer is resident. In the UK it is not unlikely that this would be considered unenforceable under the Unfair Contracts Terms Act. However it is probably not the UK that Sony is worried about but the USA where class actions are more common place and the system can mean that defending those actions can be so time consuming and expensive that it is more cost effective to settle even spurious claims."

Source: GI.biz


Comments

Re: New PSN ToS Likely Not Enforceable in the UK, Says Lawyer

Been hearing from some places that the same might be true in Canada. 

(To be honest, I'm still somewhat flabbergasted that it's now possible in America​.)

Re: New PSN ToS Likely Not Enforceable in the UK, Says Lawyer

The sad part is I doubt any company will make an open console again. Things might get even harder for the homebrew community on consoles next gen. I definitely would no expect any open system from Microsoft. 

Re: New PSN ToS Likely Not Enforceable in the UK, Says Lawyer

Good for the UK.  This is a pretty low blow by Sony.  The major takeaway for them from this whole hacking thing seems to be that they should do more to cover their own butts.

 
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Andrew EisenAw, thanks James! Well, now I have to drive back to work!11/21/2014 - 4:45pm
Andrew EisenDidn't have a chance to say this on the HuffPost segment but while the Bechdel test is useful as a broad examination of gender representation in media, it's not at all appropriate as a judgment of quality.11/21/2014 - 4:45pm
james_fudgeAndrew you killed it!11/21/2014 - 4:44pm
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Wonderkarpyet Metroid Other M, a game where people cried sexist due to the commanding officers restricting Samus, passes the test....11/21/2014 - 4:21pm
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james_fudgeAndrew Eisen on Ice! Please join in at 4:23 pm et and support our bestie! http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/sweden-sexism-video-game/546d41cffe344486d400023711/21/2014 - 4:05pm
Matthew Wilsonthose are the same people that said google should pay to list news sites in their news reader, and than accused google of blackmail when google said no and delisted them.11/21/2014 - 4:03pm
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Andrew EisenFun Fact: Back when it was new, I was linked to that docket by three separate people in the same day. It was submitted as proof of their claim. In all three cases, the docket didn't even address what they were talking about. Did any of them read it?11/21/2014 - 3:00pm
 

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