How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

September 21, 2011 -

A GiantBomb report claims that, even though you may have agreed to the new PlayStation Network Terms of Service recently, there may still be an option to allow an opt-out. In a nutshell, the new ToS asks users to agree to not sue the company as part of a class action, and requires that you agree to it to gain entry to the network. The paragraph in question from section #15 of the ToS:

"Any dispute resolution proceedings, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class or representative action or as a named or unnamed member in a class, consolidated, representative or private attorney general legal action, unless both you and the Sony entity with which you have a dispute specifically agree to do so in writing following initiation of the arbitration. This provision does not preclude your participation as a member in a class action filed on or before August 20, 2011."

It turns out that buried within the updated ToS is an opt-out, but it gives users 30 days from the date they agreed to the new Terms of Service to jump through the hoops necessary to retain their rights (you have to mail Sony a letter). GiantBomb has created a form letter and offers the mailing address of the company should you want to retain those rights. Clearly millions of PSN users will lose their rights because they don't know any better.

GiantBomb talked with Washington attorney Thomas Buscaglia, better known by our circles as "The Game Attorney," to get some insight on the legalities of the new Terms of Service:

"This is certainly not standard practice by any standards...in fact it may well not be enforceable," said Buscaglia. "Time will tell on that one. The US Federal Trade Commission and various state consumer protection agencies could have a problem with it. Also, some courts might not allow it to be enforced due to existing state court precedent."

It will be interesting to see if the way Sony handled this new terms of service can stand up in court. It certainly would have a hard time in regions such as the UK and Australia where there are clearly defined laws against such anti-consumer behavior.

In the interim, you should visit GiantBomb read the instructions, print and fill out the form letter they have created, and mail it to Sony as soon as possible. Even if you are unlikely to be involved in a class action against the company, it's still a good idea to show them that you as a consumer are paying attention to what they are trying to do.


Comments

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

.... Ok, why do we even have to mail them a letter?

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

Because Sony knows very few will bother.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

I don't see what rights are being lost here. If you have a problem with Sony, sue them your damn self. Just means more times they have to pay their own lawyers.

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

This non-suing clause in the PSN TOS is just another in a long line of failings in the way that legal contracts are handled these days.

The whole EULA concept has just been shown over and over again to be a series of legal agreements (of dubious legitimacy) that are arranged in such a way as to encourage people to agree to it blindly. And this is no accident -- they are written in overly difficult language, often to make disagreeable portions look more benign, they are often unnecessarily long, and they are formatted to not be read.

I find it shocking that there is no requirement for there to be a clear summary of the contents of these agreements, and that there is no requirement for there to be a plain language interpretation of the document. The only reason I can think of not to do this is if the legalese provides a specific, exact interpretation, but that is rarely the case, and were that an issue, it could be resolved by providing the legalese and a rough translation in to actual english (or whatever language you prefer), specifying that the legalese is the authoritative document for interpretation.

And even with that said, it's insane that we need to have these ridiculous TOSes and EULAs on everything.

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

How can it not be enforceable? Wasn't something similar already ruled enforceable by SCotUS with a recent suit involving ATT?

 

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

I would also recommend that you send it via certified mail so that Sony has to sign for it and you have proof that they received the letter within the 30 day time window.

If you don't get signature confirmation with date and time, they can claim they never received it and you wouldn't be able to prove otherwise.

Re: How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Servic

Good advice. There is a presumption that materials which are placed in the mail are received. If Sony wanted to claim they never got it they have to prove that. But it never hurts to have documentation. I'll be mailing my letter tomorrow. I would also suggest that everyone who mails in the letter keep their own copy of it as well.
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/icewind-dale-enhanced-edition-now-available-for-pre-order/ Third time's the charm, right guys? Right? Surely Icewind Dale EE can't suck as much as Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 EEs can, right?09/01/2014 - 1:37pm
Sleaker@AE I don't even know what you're trying to say in that tweet.09/01/2014 - 1:28pm
Andrew EisenBy far the most retweeted tweet I've ever tweeted. https://twitter.com/AndrewEisen/status/50617593365333196809/01/2014 - 11:15am
Thomas RiordanNo, certainly not. Anything to prevent that kinda crap.09/01/2014 - 8:18am
SleakerAlthough.. I don't think it hurts anyone if kids think the report is true :P09/01/2014 - 3:26am
Sleakerand just for future reference. National Reports is a fake news site, they decided to remove their disclaimers a while back apparently...09/01/2014 - 3:25am
Thomas RiordanDon't feel bad. I posted the same thing last night and deleted it once I realized it wasn't real.08/31/2014 - 11:13pm
E. Zachary KnightAh. The report actually read serious to me. Oh well. At least it didn't happen.08/31/2014 - 7:46pm
ConsterAlthough apparently someone who was in a swatting ring in Texas took a plea for up to 5 years in July.08/31/2014 - 7:14pm
ConsterProbably because it's a satire site.08/31/2014 - 7:13pm
E. Zachary KnightI agree that the kid should be punished, but the charge and sentence seem a bit overboard to me. http://nationalreport.net/15-year-old-swatted-domestic-terrorism/08/31/2014 - 6:56pm
Andrew EisenI get a "page doesn't exist."08/31/2014 - 11:50am
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/Nevelets/status/506076879309508608 What we're currently supposed to be offended by, or whatever.08/31/2014 - 10:10am
MechaTama31AE: Probably snarky commentary on this: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2014/08/29/principle-player-leland-yee-arms-trading-case-dies08/30/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenConster - Don't know. Got a link to whatever you're referring to?08/30/2014 - 7:04pm
ConsterWait, what's this about Leland Yee eliminating witnesses?08/30/2014 - 5:50pm
IanCBroke my EA boycott to pick up Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare. Loving it. Still hate EA though. But i like Popcap. Gah.08/30/2014 - 6:01am
MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician