Sony’s updated the Terms and Conditions that they require you to agree to before you are allowed to use their Playstation Network (PSN). You are required to sign into the PSN before you are able to play any online games with your PlayStation 3, view movies from Netflix, send messages, chat with other users or pretty much anything else. However, Sony’s reworked the user agreement, in the hopes that most folks won’t read the fine print, to remove the rights of their users.
The newly minted “Section 15″ of the EULA states that all users must (basically) waive their right to take part in any class-action lawsuit against Sony, and that if users are to sue Sony, they must do so individually (at, obviously, a great expense and great disadvantage). There is a way to opt-out of the class-action waiver section, without being forced to cancel your entire PSN account. You’ll have to send a letter to Sony’s legal department in Los Angeles; I’d recommend certified mail, with return receipt.
I’m sure this is still part of the backlash from the numerous attacks that took place against Sony earlier this year, but this move smacks to me of desperation on Sony’s part. A “stick everything we can think of in the EULA and see what parts will hold up in court” type of mentality that is ridiculous.
Sony’s track record so far hasn’t been that great with the PS3. The removal of backwards-compatability, the removal of the ability to install Linux, the various security compromises, and now forcing the people who use the PSN to give up their rights to a specific form of legal recourse. ..
Am I over-reacting? Possibly. Since I don’t pay for the Playstation Network membership, I suppose I don’t have any say in the matter. As an “old school” PC gamer, I dislike the concept of paying for an online service to play games. However, with the more solid track record of the Xbox (minus that whole “Red Ring of Death” syndrome), the $5 a month for the online service isn’t looking too bad anymore. I just wish Microsoft would release one with a Bluray disc player.