Though the class action lawsuit against Sony after the PSN hack that occurred earlier this year is still making its way through the courts, the company is making a conscious effort to prevent a similar situation from happening again. No, not preventing the PSN from being hacked again, but preventing groups of loyal Sony fans from banding together and suing them.
According to a new bullet point added to the Sony Terms and Conditions (what you must agree to if you want to continue to use the PSN), PlayStation owners must agree not to participate in a class action lawsuit, unless of course Sony approves of it. Obviously the addition is shrouded in a lot of legal terminology, and will most likely be ignored by the vast majority of PSN users, but it’s still causing quite a bit of commotion.
PlayStation 3 users have already been quite wary of Sony — despite receiving a year’s worth of identity theft protection — and some even feel like the welcome back program the company instituted wasn’t enough. With Sony now pulling a fast one on their users, clearly trying to avoid another huge lawsuit, it’s going to make some loyal fans think twice about the company once again.
There is, buried deep within the Terms, a 30-day opt out window, but it requires writing a letter to Sony. More likely if you opt out Sony will end up finding a way to cut off your PSN service and then you’ll be out of luck, but will still have the ability to file a class action lawsuit.
If you haven’t read it already, here’s the blurb that says legal claims can’t be filed as a class-action lawsuit:
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 action.
While it’s still early, and Sony has yet to comment on these new Terms and Conditions, there is sure to be some more backlash directed at the company. While some gamers have forgiven the PSN hack, and subsequent outage, clearly Sony is not willing to forget the headache they are experiencing in the courts right now.
What do you think of Sony’s decision to prevent a class action lawsuit with their new Terms and Conditions? How long do you think the terms will last?