Court Says Sony Is Free To Change Its Terms Of Service Because Accessing PSN Is A Choice

from the companies-own-you dept

Last year, Sony changed its terms of service for accessing the PlayStation Network. Like many other companies, part of the changed terms was a requirement to take disputes to arbitration, rather than court. These clauses are pretty popular for some obvious reasons: the companies almost always win (perhaps because the arbitrator wants to get hired in the future, and implicitly recognizes the big company is likely to call him again -- not the random individual who has a dispute with the big company). On top of that, it's a lot cheaper than litigation. That part is a good thing, but arbitration hearings seem to be so one-sided that they're often not worth it.

Some folks were not at all happy about this and sought to file a class action lawsuit against Sony for the change -- but that lawsuit has been (pretty quickly) rejected by the court, suggesting that the main guy suing failed to show evidence of any harm. In an interesting move, the court found that the fact that you lost access to the network if you didn't agree to the new terms isn't evidence of any harm, but rather a choice. Of course, that seems a bit extreme. It opens up possibilities for companies to more or less corner users into unpleasant situations. Just change the terms and anyone can be excluded.

I'm not a fan of mandatory arbitration clauses or class action lawsuits like this where "harm" is pretty tough to show. In the end, though, it does seem like Sony should be able to choose and change its terms of service. The real issue is that it chose consumer-unfriendly options, and in a better world, less draconian alternatives would spring up to help treat consumers right. It's hard to side with Sony here (or in most situations), but the lawsuit itself does seem like a stretch.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    eh whatever, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 8:11pm

    i was going to burn that ####y console anyway.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 8:13pm

    Self-Inflicted Injury

    If you deal with Sony in any way shape or form, you will get screwed over. That has been well known to everybody who has been paying attention, for at least the last decade. Google "Sony rootkit fiasco" if you are not sure. Persons who have nonetheless decided to deal with Sony, should know what they are getting into. Sony effectively has a license to screw them.

    The victims are complaining about what amounts to a self-inflicted injury. They deserve no sympathy.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 8:14pm

    Are you able to use the console without accessing the network?
    If you don't agree to the change of terms, can you return the now less valuable device?

     

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  4.  
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    monkyyy, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    agreed there is currently a rumor about how they are drming the used game market to death for the nextgen

    how many geohotz till they go bankrupt

     

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    A Guy (profile), Apr 4th, 2012 @ 8:51pm

    One more reason to never, ever, do business with Sony.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 9:22pm

    Corrupt modern courts

    Continue to enforce contracts of adhesion.. it's a complete joke

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 9:39pm

    boycott sony, that is all!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 9:48pm

    Well... Good thing I only have to deal with the ISP and the electric company to satisfy my gaming needs... I don't need another service provider outside my computer...

     

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    Scote, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 9:49pm

    Hmm...Is mike going the way of John Stossel?

    "In the end, though, it does seem like Sony should be able to choose and change its terms of service."

    More and more it seems Mike is becoming sympathetic to the corporate side. I don't think corporations should be allowed to make unilateral terms of service changes any more than I think they should be allowed to remove features from devices. The terms of service are what I agreed to when I bought the device--if they can make the terms of service needed to use it in the way the device was intended to be used then they can devalue the device.

    And why should just the corporations be able to change the contract? Why shouldn't I, the other party to the contract, just be able to post new terms of service to a website and say that Sony must now abide by them? Perhaps the plaintiff should have done just that and sued Sony to abide by the new terms of service :-p

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 10:08pm

    Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    Part of the purpose of government is to enforce agreements so that parties of an agreement can be assured that the other party will comply with its end of the agreement if you comply with your part. This is supposed to facilitate the agreement making process so that people will be more willing to enter into agreements without fear that if one party follows its end of the agreement and the other party doesn't then the party that did follow its end won't get compensated. Our legal system is supposed to ensure such compensation in the event that one party breaks its end of an agreement.

    I buy a PS3. Sony and I agree that I will pay money for the PS3 and, in return, the PS3 will support Linux. Sony later changes its mind and the courts say it's fine.

    Now we've reached a stage where I can come into an agreement with a corporation and the corporation can later decide not to keep its end of the agreement. So clearly the legal system is not working as it should and I and consumers will remember that next time we want to enter into an agreement or buy something. We will remember that, if we purchase something and a company advertises something and later changes its mind, there is no legal recourse. This will make us think twice before purchasing anything from anywhere because we will take into consideration the very real possibility that the company could later disable an advertised feature that you partly bought the product for and there will be no way for you to receive compensation. This will make consumers less trustful of the legal system and of the products they buy and the agreements they enter into because they don't have the assurance that the government will ensure that consumers get compensated if a company decides to later break its end of an agreement.

     

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    DOlz, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 10:10pm

    Too late

    I'd boycott Sony, but they lost my business years ago because of this crap.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    but the true travesty here is that we still pay taxes to this government. This government is supposed to protect consumers from this sort of borderline fraudulent behavior, which is partly why we pay taxes on the products we buy, and yet the government offers little consumer protection whatsoever.

    Why do we even need the government? It's just getting in our way by taxing us and not providing us with any protection from parties that break their end of an agreement. Better for the government not to tax us and provide us without consumer protections than for it to tax us and provide us without consumer protections. We really don't need it and being that it's not protecting us, we really shouldn't be paying it taxes.

    We only pay it taxes because they force us to, they have the military power to, we must either A:) Demand something in return for our tax dollars or B:) demand that it abolishes its taxes since they're only a hindrance.

     

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    Digital Consumer (profile), Apr 4th, 2012 @ 10:29pm

    Every single sucker that puts money into a company that has already screwed you or someone like you deserves everything they get. Enjoy your consoles and your iGotscrewed 5.

     

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    Pitabred (profile), Apr 4th, 2012 @ 11:38pm

    Bait and switch

    This really seems to me like the judge just legalized the bait and switch business model. Or is it just me? Get people using a product, then change the terms to be favorable to the company once they're invested in it.

    Hmm... I think I have a business proposal to write.

     

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  15.  
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    DataShade (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:08am

    Re:

    Use the console? Sort of. You can use it to play games* and play movies on disc, but SONY advertises features that require the online connection.

    Can you return the devalued device? No, probably not - certainly not to SONY and typically not to the retailer if it's been more than 30 days.


    *Some games require an online connection - most for multiplayer, but some for DRM. You may actually not be able to play all your games - especially games you purchased through the PSN store.

    Also: I'm not sure if SONY uses Micro-Transaction Currency, but with XBox Live and MS Points: MS will not refund or transfer points in numerous situations, meaning you may have bought 4000 MSP for $50, spent 1600 of those points, then, after declining a new TOS, be locked out of spending or retrieving your remaining $30.

    MTC should probably be considered a contract, legally, and partially-consumed MTC should be considered a partially-fulfilled contract; if the company excludes you from access to that MTC for any reason it should be considered a breach of contract resulting in penalties.

     

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  16.  
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    DataShade (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:18am

    Re: Hmm...Is mike going the way of John Stossel?

    Mike's always been a free-market guy. This comes as a surprise to you now, but only because America hasn't had a true free market since probably the aftermath of the Civil War, when corporate spokesmen and lobbyists started misusing the 14th Amendment to grab rights for businesses and set the stage for corporate personhood.

     

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  17.  
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    DataShade (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:19am

    Re:

    Show us on the doll where the bad company touched you.

     

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  18.  
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    DataShade (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:25am

    Re: Hmm...Is mike going the way of John Stossel?

    "And why should just the corporations be able to change the contract? Why shouldn't I, the other party to the contract, just be able to post new terms of service to a website and say that Sony must now abide by them? "

    Why don't you? Write up a counter-agreement, send it certified mail (forcing someone at SONY's HQ to sign for it), include a clause saying that signing for the package implies agreement of your new terms unless you hear from them in writing within 15 days, wait 15 days, then file a copy of your agreement with your local county clerk.

     

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  19.  
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    Jesse (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:30am

    In much of Canada, mandatory arbitration is considered unconscionable and thus unenforceable.

     

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  20.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:55am

    So many people talk about Sony being evil, stupid, etc... how the hell is it they are still in business?
    Oh thats because people are more interested in the new cool toy instead of worrying about the larger issues.
    Other people will take care of anything big, but this game is only on PS3 and I gotta have it man!

    At some point people need to realize they if they dislike it, they should get off their ass and do something themselves.

    As they work on killing off the used games market, rather than making a better player experience, it might be time for some of these gamers to say enough is enough and actually start to hurt the company by having boycotts and making their voices heard.

     

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  21.  
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    Niall (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    I would far rather remove from the government the massive amount of tax 'dollars' spent on needless wars and banker-ego-massaging than the small amount lost to not enforcing this stuff.

    I don't think you'll get far postulating tht because they do one thing badly (or not at all) that you shouldn't have to pay taxes. Since I doubt we're going to get an 'opt out' system for tax elements, I would recommend lobby your Members of Parliament/Congress or whatever to get the judiciary to do its duty properly.

     

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  22.  
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    Niall (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:30am

    Re: Re:

    Another option would be some sort of minimum period for changing terms, or minimum period before terms become enforced, to allow you not to get trapped like this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:42am

    Re:

    For most of Europe too.

     

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    descha, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:05am

    Re: Re: Hmm...Is mike going the way of John Stossel?

    It's been tried though not with Sony. This was the latest I found on Techdirt about this http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110822/12044315618/guy-suing-google-500-billion-now-suing-microso ft-same-amount.shtml.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:11am

    Anyone who's still a Sony customer at this point...

    ...deserves to spend the rest of their life in a pain amplifier. Really, who out there is so miserably stupid, so appallingly uninformed, so ridiculously short-sighted that they failed to learn the lesson taught by the rootkit debacle?

    The only correct response is to NEVER purchase any Sony products or services. Anyone giving any other response deserves to suffer. Let them burn.

     

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  26.  
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    Paul Renault (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:42am

    Re:

    I'm so glad I opted for the Boxee Box to stream Netflix instead of the PlayStation or especially the XBox...

     

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  27.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:46am

    Re: Bait and switch

    I don't think it technically qualifies as Bait and Switch, since there is no alternative product being offered as the switch.

    That said, "there is no alternative". Customers who bought Sony's product with the intent to use the service billed as a feature of said product have no alternative than to lose what they paid for. That seems like harm to me and false advertising to sell a lifetime service but then change the terms under which the user purchased the service.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:49am

    You are never "cornered" into an unpleasant situation when it's a choice. Using the PSN is a choice, not a requirement. You can enjoy your Playstation just fine using it as a stand alone gaming device. The network is a bonus, a plus.

    The moral of the story is that you cannot force companies to do what they do not want to do without a choice.

     

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  29.  
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    abc gum, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:50am

    IANAL - however, I understand that binding arbitration can be tossed out when/if the court finds the terms unconscionable. In addition, afaik, demanding someone give up their rights before the fact treads in a legal gray area.

    It's a good thing that sony does not have a monopoly in any market whose product is required in order to go about ones day to day activities. I can't think of a good example, but if such a condition were to arise there would be much more outrage from both the general public and those that are supposed to serve them.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:07am

    In related news, courts rule drug dealers have the right to change their terms of service to force all their addicts, err *customers* to sign agreements agreeing it's 100% the addict's (err customer's) fault and not the dealers if the addict/customer gets in trouble with the law for buying illegal drugs from the drug dealer.

    The addict/customer that sued their drug dealer failed to provide proof of harm the courts ruled.

    The courts then sentenced the customer/addict to 10 years in jail for buying the illegal drugs from the drug dealer, and let the drug dealer walk out of court a free man.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:07am

    Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    Yeah, those console buyers were dressed provocatively and were clearly asking for it...

    Ass.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:07am

    Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    Yeah, those console buyers were dressed provocatively and were clearly asking for it...

    Ass.

     

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  33.  
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    PRMan, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    Yeah! Everyone throw your PS3 into Boston harbor!

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:28am

    Re:

    The network is a must if you want to buy any new games. Most PS3 games require a system update as soon as you insert the disc.

    I guess it's not a must if all you want to do is play your existing games and original PS games.

     

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  35.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:30am

    Law Not Keeping Up With Technology

    Another example where technological advancement is being used to subvert the concept of contracts. One aspect of contract law is that the two parties enter into a mutual agreement defining each-others responsibilities and obligations. Now, one party (the seller) is able to issue a so-called "contract" that can be changed at any time without the consent of the other party and which reserve all rights to that one party (the seller). It is unfortunate that our judicial system has not adapted to preserve contractual relationships.

     

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  36.  
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    gorehound (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:37am

    Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    Why even buy from Sony ?
    If you did then I have no sympathy for you or anything that happens to you.Sony is well known and well documented and anyone buying their Products should know better.This is the Company who put root kits illegally on your Computer.This is the Company who changed your ability to "use other OS" on a PS Console.This is a Company of Greed.
    Play your games on a PC and send it out to your Flat Panel with a sound input into your home entertainment Amp.
    Voila !!!
    No More Sony !!! Know you can get down to some fun gaming and you will never go back to Sony.

     

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  37.  
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    Gumnos (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:50am

    Dear Courts

    Because litigating against me is a choice, by choosing to proceed with any litigation against you agree the terms as laid out below:

    1) I win
    2) you pay me for my time at a rate of $500/hr

    If you choose not to accept these terms, you can opt out by preventing litigation against me.

     

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  38.  
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    Ron, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 6:26am

    SONY...A giant among turds

    SONY will play their usual game of wearing the consumer down with endless dribble from their firm. Now they are getting tired of doing that so they change the rules. Anyone who buys SONY has no sympathy from me!

     

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  39.  
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    Ron, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 6:27am

    SONY...A giant among turds

    SONY will play their usual game of wearing the consumer down with endless dribble from their firm. Now they are getting tired of doing that so they change the rules. Anyone who buys SONY has no sympathy from me!

     

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  40.  
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    Bob Fossil, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 6:32am

    So don't use PSN

    After the credit card SNAFU last year I didn't bother checking into PSN again. What have I missed out on? Giving people money? No skin off my nose. If it comes down to some decision bricking my console, so be it. I just won't buy another Sony console or potentially, any Sony product.

    I don't *need* to give Sony money. Just like I don't *need* access to PSN.

     

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  41.  
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    Digital Consumer (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re:

    The bad company touched me on my wallet, my freedoms, and my convenience. The they asked me to drink this kool-aid, and I barely got away. I was soooo humiliated!

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 7:08am

    Simple solution to balance the equation

    I agree that a company should be able to change the terms of service, that seems a reasonable power that a company should have; to protect a company from being liable for something that they may have originally screwed themselves with in the agreement.

    On the consumer side though, they should not be financially responsible for a company’s decision to change. Therefore, if a company changes the terms on an agreement that effects a device, then anyone who rejects those terms should be able to get a refund of the full price from when the device was registered (from the company changing the terms of service, not the retailer). Also this should only be applicable to devices and their cost, not monthly service fees that you may have paid to use the device.

    I think this serves both sides well. Companies have the ability to correct faulty service agreements and consumers can basically say, I want my money back because that is not what I bought.

    This should make the company really think about changes in agreements. They know they are going to have to pay to change, so they better make sure the change is worth it to them. And consumers are locked into a purchase that changed on after they bought the device.

     

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  43.  
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    harknell, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 7:11am

    Immediate versus long term "harm"

    One issue with this situation is the "scope" of the contract. Let's just imagine a different situation:

    You buy a PS3, Sony promptly goes out of business.

    If this scenario were true you would also "lose the value" of the device, since there would no longer be a service to connect to. In fact this happens in other contexts all the time with devices and services--people sign up right before it goes out of business and only get a short time of usage. If there was fraud involved (as in the business knew it would fail and intentionally hid this fact while signing people up) then I'd guess you could have some standing to sue...in most other cases you simply have a legacy device or software and that's the breaks.

    In this particular case, while I absolutely hate Sony, the real crux is how long do you realistically involve yourself with them when you buy the console? I would sadly say it really means that immediate moment (as in the console should fulfill any of it's stated functions, and play any games that you could buy) at that moment. Past that point, it becomes very difficult to say that you are harmed since you do in fact have the option to not move forward and use the device with the things that worked at the time you bought the device. The only issue then is in regard to functions that have a main component that utilizes the network (as in purely multi-player games).

    That has other issues though--like in another context of MMO's. What if you bought WOW and then they did an update that you hated? Are you "harmed" in this case? Or do you simply stop playing the game? It's similar in scope.

    Ultimately as many others have said--if you hate their practices STOP SUPPORTING THEM. If enough people said "screw this" and dropped their system they'd get the clue.

    You do in fact have the option to not play their games, no matter how shiny and cute they are.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 7:12am

    Re: Simple solution to balance the equation

    **Edit**

    Last sentence should read:
    "And consumers are not locked into a purchase that changed on them after they bought the device"

     

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  45.  
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    ChrisB (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Hmm...Is mike going the way of John Stossel?

    > corporate personhood

    Enough already! Having corporations similar to persons is a good thing. Do you really want employees becoming liable? Corporations have deep pockets, while any individual employee does not, so you can get more damages (think Deepwater Horizon). Contracts and taxation are easier if corporations are considered "people". What is the big deal here?

     

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    ChrisB (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    > So many people talk about Sony being evil, stupid, etc...
    > how the hell is it they are still in business?

    Because the Sony owners and the Sony complainers aren't the same people. You know the internet has more than 12 people in it?

    I have a PS3. I like the games better than the XBOX 360. Online access is free. I can watch Netflix and movies off my computer. Yes, I'm annoyed by some of these other issues, and if it gets too annoying, I'll get something else. I certainly don't complain about it. Voting with my dollars is much more effective. And I haven't found anyone else to vote for.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 7:46am

    Contracts

    They apply to you, not us. We can change them anytime we like to suit our desires and you get to eat it.

    There's no offer and acceptance, no proposal and counter-proposal, no consideration towards the both sides, and puts the consumer under undue influence to comply.

    Sony breached their contract with their customers by modifying the terms of the contract without approval of both parties (Sony and their customers). You can't just change the terms at will and tell the secondary party to take it or lose the service, that's undue influence.

    I'm relieved that I haven't bought a Sony product for nearly a decade. I will continue to avoid them in the future.

     

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  48.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    The real problem is our tax dollars are not the only thing funding the government. It's politicians getting money and promises of lucrative job offers from businesses like Sony that have completely corrupted the system.

     

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  49.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re:

    The only other option is Xbox. Is Microsoft really that much better than Sony?

    I'm a Playstation owner and I have yet to run into these problems myself, but I agree if you're selling one thing you shouldn't be able to change it unless it can cause physical harm to the consumer. I'm not about to toss my Playstation over this, though (but I might if they got rid of Netflix.)

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Hmm...Is mike going the way of John Stossel?

    "Do you really want employees becoming liable?"

    Absolutely yes, but only the big dogs. If the CEO, CFO, CTO, Corporate Counsel, board of directors, etc. are held liable for the actions of the company I do believe we will see a big change in corporate responsibility. It is their job to make sure that the rest of the organization behaves in the way the corporation wants them to. If they cannot control the organization, they have no business hold such positions.

     

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  51.  
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    LazyDave, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    While I can understand many people's sentiment about this, unfortunately (yet unsurprisingly) many of you missed out one or more crucial details. From this decision itself:

    "Plaintiff acknowledges that he made a choice and agreed to the arbitration and class action waiver provisions of the Agreement and did not opt out."

    And as Mr. Goldman asked when he blogged about it:

    "Did Sony advertise access to the PSN network as part of the PS3?"

    Unless I missed it (and I probably did), I don't recall Sony ever advertising one gets PSN access upon purchasing a PS3.

    Of course, it's conveniently easier to rant and rave against something one doesn't like without taking time to read - much more understand - the decision. That's to be (sometimes sadly) expected since it's also easier to feel like it's another David vs. Goliath thing, even though not all scenarios seem that way without taking a closer look.

    Much as I don't like either this latest thing Sony did, they are (arguably) within their rights - within reason - to change their contract terms. That's something we also get to do. (within reason also, of course...)

     

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  52.  
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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    Arbitration

    "I'm not a fan of mandatory arbitration clauses"

    It seems mandatory arbitration can be beneficial when both sides have equal bargaining power and it is truly a part of a fully negotiated contract. It is a great time and money saver in many business arrangements.

    But I do see great problems when the power base is so clearly lopsided. I think arbitration clauses should not be permitted as part of a standard contract with individual customers, especially when that contract is a contract of adhesion attached to a product already purchased.

     

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  53.  
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    cjstg (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    wait a minute. why are we looking to government on this? this is what reputation is all about. personally, i haven't bought anything from sony in ten years, and will not until their reputation improves and stays improved for many years. i spend my money with innovative companies that back up their products and services.

     

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  54.  
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    cjstg (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:14am

    Re: Bait and switch

    i don't think this qualifies. you bought a product, period. then you started to use their service. every time you sign into that service is a separate usage. every month you pay your bill continues the relationship. that's the problem with services. your use of it today does not guarantee that it will be the same tomorrow.

    while i don't agree with this, i believe that there is a fundamental separation between the product and the service. they are cleverly marketed together, but are actually two different things. for example, you buy a car at the dealer, but you can get it serviced anywhere. however, the dealer will do everything he can to make it seem that you can only have that new car serviced at the dealership.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Jonathan, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Hmm...Is mike going the way of John Stossel?

    Put down the Randite Kool-Aid, sweetcheeks.

    Corporations are basically sociopathic wealth accumulators. Corporations per se do not have human conscience, do not feel shame, have no concept of satiety and can not be incarcerated in jails or mental institutions. Defining them as persons and granting them all the same rights granted to natural persons elevates them above natural persons and creates immortal institutions which celebrate and benefit only themselves, a position tenable only to self-deluded authoritarians or Ferengi.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    It'd be fine for Sony to change terms like this if my PS3 had alternatives to the Playstation Network to connect to, such as the general internet. Now, if I were to disagree with the terms, a product I bought advertised with online capabilities now effectively no longer offers said capabilities.

    It's the same problem caused by the PS3 beginning with the ability to boot Linux and that was later removed. It was an advertised feature that was retroactively removed from all PS3's, with no alternative way to receive firmware updates while continuing to boot Linux.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    nick, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Re:

    You can still use the console, just not play online. The console is not less valuable when rejecting the TOS, the next user could still accept it.

     

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  58.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    Choice?

    the court found that the fact that you lost access to the network if you didn't agree to the new terms isn't evidence of any harm, but rather a choice.
    And here's where overly draconian IP law rears its head again.... if one could use the designed to be used co-operatively across a network product that one had paid for on another network then it would be a choice, otherwise the choice is "get screwed legally or get screwed by your paid-for product becoming pointless", which isn't much of a choice.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    bigevilworldwide, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    PSSSSST M$ is a bunch of greedy douchebags also and this is in their TOS too....So what you meant to say was if you own any electronics your going to get screwed because most electronic devices have this clause in their TOS

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    bigevilworldwide, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    You probably shouldn't do business with M$ or any other device manufactures...you should probably move to the woods and live of of nature..Its a standard clause in 99.9% of them

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    bigevilworldwide, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re:

    Hate to break it to you clown shoes but you can download game updates without being signed into the network as long as your internet connection is enabled....Good try though. So obviously people choose not to access the PSN, game updates go just fine without being logged in

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Straight Edge, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    Quit your crying clown shoes!!!!!!!!!!

    Whats funny is all the moronic clown shoes that cry and moan about Sony changing their TOS but All the same people have Ipods and Iphones and Ipads a Wii and a 360. And its totally cool that they do it nothing is ever whispered. Then later they will go play some COD and pay for elite and pay twice for netflix and Hulu and pay to use youtube and pay 60 bucks a year for the privilege of playing online MP, These same DERPS that cry about sony, but let M$ stick it in with no lube and smile about it...PSN is a free service and you don't need to be logged into PSN to get game updates so suck it up quit your crying or get rid of all your electronics cause EVERY COMPANY DOES THIS and has for YEARS

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    JMG, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    Should be interesting with the next generation of consoles. Sony will require you to be actively logged in to PSN when a game disc starts. This is to lock the game disc to your account. Your only opt out option is to not purchase the console. I'm sure MS will do the same with their next gen too. They're prepping for media-less consoles to kill off the second hand game market. Consumers will own nothing, not even the console.

    Maybe all the "PC gaming is dying" cries from the last 10 years were premature, and PC gaming will end up flourishing and the consoles end up dying due to consumer backlash. At least there's always GoG.com. Which is giving away Fallout for the next 48 hours in case anyone was interested in reliving 1997 gaming greatness.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    DarthDiggler, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    Gamer Entitlement Must Stop...

    Honestly this is a no brainer, companies have made changes to their terms and conditions for years. Gamers are an entitled bunch and need to learn they don't have a "right" to game. It's an optional recreational activity if you can afford it.

    If you don't like decisions made by companies feel free to speak with your dollars, you will be heard.

     

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  65.  
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    A Guy (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re:

    M$ isn't that bad. They give you a system and allow you to freely program and modify it however you want. I'm talking about a PC, not an xbox of course. I can say the same thing about Google/Android.

    I will stay away from the console market and iAnything, but I don't really need them.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    DarthDiggler, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

    Gamer Entitlement Must Stop...

    Honestly this is a no brainer, companies have made changes to their terms and conditions for years. Gamers are an entitled bunch and need to learn they don't have a "right" to game. It's an optional recreational activity if you can afford it.

    If you don't like decisions made by companies feel free to speak with your dollars, you will be heard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    DarthDiggler, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Gamer Entitlement Must Stop...

    Honestly this is a no brainer, companies have made changes to their terms and conditions for years. Gamers are an entitled bunch and need to learn they don't have a "right" to game. It's an optional recreational activity if you can afford it.

    If you don't like decisions made by companies feel free to speak with your dollars, you will be heard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:42pm

    I'm going to be rich!

    I just had a fantastic idea! I'm going to start a house painting company, that will offer to paint houses for a ridiculously low price. I'll have people lining up to hire me. I'll then make them all sign a contact which says that their money is non-refundable and that they can't sue me. Then, the most important part will be a clause saying that I can revise the contract at any time. I'll tell them it's a standard and accepted part of contracts and that all companies do it.

    Then after they sigh, I'll change the contract to add the fact that I can take up to 30 years to finish the job! This will give me plenty of time to sign up hundreds of sucke... Er, I mean customers while insuring that I don't have to deliver on what I promised. Just slap a little paint on the side of the house and say I'll be back "later".

    And it's all perfectly legal, the courts have said so!

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    "wait a minute. why are we looking to government on this? this is what reputation is all about."

    While I agree reputation is important, my point is that the government should also contribute to consumer trust as well, or it should stop taxing us (and abolish patents, since that can also hinder trustworthy competition). because we pay taxes regardless of who we buy a product from.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Quit your crying clown shoes!!!!!!!!!!

    Argumentum Ad Populum

    Eveyone else does it so it must be ok.

    And no - I do not have an I*, WII, 360, or sony products - and yet I still think that Sony has their collective head up their ass. Is this ok, or should I feel bad about that?

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 6:19pm

    Re:

    "Consumers will own nothing, not even the console."

    I'm sure there are few out there that will 0wn th3 c0n50l3

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Gamer Entitlement Must Stop...

    I'm sure you will be totally ok with it when the manufacturer of your automobile decides to change your Terms Of Service whilst in the middle of a commute, thus causing a loss of operability which you were making use of at the time. What the heck, late to work again - no big deal - it's not like they would fire your sorry ass or anything now would they. The inconvenience is be minor, suck it up you entitled brat. If you don't like it then you shouldn't have purchased that vehicle, you only have yourself to blame.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Idiots in comments who have hollow skulls., Apr 5th, 2012 @ 7:55pm

    Re:

    @A Guy and other hollow skulled idiots.

    Do you not know how many people have done this? do you even plan on suing anyone no you dont because there is no reason to and your and idiot cause you still can.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Hollowed skulled comment section people, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 8:00pm

    Do you guys know how many people have this? Alot and if you want to sue someone which you are not you still can

     

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  75.  
    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 8:08pm

    Boycott Sony!

    I've been boycotting Sony ever since their CD rootkit fiasco a few years ago, and NOTHING they have done since has changed my stance on that! Don't give them a cent. Don't subscribe to their services. Don't purchase ANYTHING that Sony derives financial benefit from, including BluRay players. Don't buy their games or game consoles. Don't buy their PC's (they suck anyway). Don't purchase any music or movies that they and their subsidiaries produce (pirate it all instead). Let them know by the impact on their pocketbook and bank balance that we are fed up with their crud and until they change their attitudes and policies, they won't get a cent from any of us!

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    ppSucks, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:10pm

    Morons

    You guys are a bunch of idiots, Microsoft started doing this very thing before Sony. Stop being whiny little bitches who are angry because you chose a 360 over a PS3, and have no good games to play.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    LazyDave, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 1:03am

    Re: I'm going to be rich!

    Heh, your idea won't fly anyway. Cases like these are fact-intensive, so how one decision goes doesn't necessarily dictate how a similar one will be decided.

    If anything, it's the devil in the details.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    LazyDave, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re: Gamer Entitlement Must Stop...

    That depends on the terms of the contract or similar, to begin with.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    John, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 4:15am

    $ony needs to get the F out of the gaming industry and let the PoS PlayStation brand DIE! They have done nothing but screw their customers over the past ten years. I'm not suprised their stock price is now only 10% of its value then. F U Ph0n3ys, you're nothing but a bunch of paupers!

     

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  80.  
    icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 5:02am

    Re: Re: Bait and switch

    Somebody let me know if I'm wrong, but I thought that PSN access was included with the purchase of the console. So unlike Xbox Live or Netflix, you don't pay every month for service. You essentially paid for service by buying the console.

    So in your car dealership analogy, the service was advertised as included in the price of the car. Then after you bought the product, having been influenced by this incentive, they decided to change the terms of the service making you agree to something egregious if you want to collect on the incentive that you thought you were entitled to.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Jason, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 6:58am

    Bwah, simple sollution: BOYCOTT EVERYTHING $0NY. They are nothing but overhype and underdeliver and the PS4 doesn't have impressive specs anyway, so bye bye PauperStation!

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:52am

    Re: Morons

    Appeal To Moronity?

    That's gold Jerry - Gold!!!

    Just imagine how this could be used to justify any and all stupid idiotic actions, blunders and outright evil plans.

    MUAHAHAHAHA, MUAHAHAHAHA, MUAHAHAHAHA

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    JMG, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    Re: Morons

    MS advertised that their console could run Linux, and then took away that feature if you agreed to their changed terms of service which was required if you wanted to continue using the online functionality of the console? Maybe I missed that story somewhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
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    Chargone (profile), Apr 8th, 2012 @ 6:21am

    Re: Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    in the case of games consoles:

    because the choice is Sony or Microsoft and for some dumbass reason the developers that actually make the good console games (if you're into anything other than shooters, anyway) often refuse to deal with Microsoft. (Nintendo A: makes it a pain in the arse to tell if any given game's going to be worth the money, even compared to the normal games situation and B: mostly produces rubbish anyway. the exceptions are, mind you, Insanely good.)

    ... i would LOVE to buy a system made by a company that wasn't made of suck. all they have to do is convince the stupidly-nationalist-to-their-own-detriment/contractually obligated/whatever Japanese developers who make the good stuff to produce things for them. (and any American developers still free and making good games... and any other random game developers who are actually any good)

    not charging so much per game that they're actually getting more expensive as the exchange rate should be causing their prices to drop would be nice too... as would not having to take out a mortgage to afford the console. (i'm joking about the mortgage, of course, but the PS3's price was still stupid.)

    so, yeah, a console that can actually get non-shooter games of any quality that is not Sony or Microsoft, or otherwise evil at a price that's not crippling? i'd be all over that.

    too bad it'd get eaten by patent lawsuits the moment anyone tried.

     

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  85.  
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    Chargone (profile), Apr 8th, 2012 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re: Self-Inflicted Injury

    pretty sure PCs are still ok... though, the software is variable.

    i'm still trying to figure out how the hell they got contracts set up to the point where it actually costs MORE to buy a laptop without windows than with, though.

    (basically, if you asked the place for the laptop, but did not want windows on it, due to contracts they could NOT not sell you the windows license, and having sold you the license would have to provide you with the software... normally they meet their legal obligation to give you a backup copy of such software by the Incredably dubious, at best, method of making a partition on your harddrive and putting it there. (it's SUPPOSED to be on an entirely seperate bit of physical media, i should note. such is my understanding, at least) ... so they have to make a disk of That, AND take windows off the machine, which takes man hours, which they bill you for... or at least, it went something like this when i ordered mine... the guy i ordered it through ended up giving up and just getting the thing with the windows license and sorting linux for me himself instead. )

     

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  86.  
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    Chargone (profile), Apr 8th, 2012 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re:

    better: you need to connect to it for updates or your new games Will Not Work.

    if i'm not forgetting something while half asleep, at least.

    and yes, SONY uses MTC so far as i can tell.

    (i believe, like Paypal, you're actually buying That, which leads to things getting hazy. especially with the constant 'non-refundable' lables on everything under most such systems...)

     

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  87.  
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    Chargone (profile), Apr 8th, 2012 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Microsoft doesn't give you the PC.
    just Windows.
    and That they control as much as they can get away with.

    they can't stop you doing whatever the hell you want on your PC if you don't use any of their products, and the PC itself is not one of them. (though they may well be in tight with the manufacturers of the hardware, those are, in fact, different entities... )

     

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  88.  
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    Chargone (profile), Apr 8th, 2012 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm...Is mike going the way of John Stossel?

    added bonus: they existed as limited liability entities for financial matters before they got that status ANYWAY, and for the corporation to have committed a crime individuals MUST have acted in an illegal manner. the corporation having deeper pockets than the individual is a reason NOT to allow the corporation to take the punishment instead. it removes all meaningfulness from it to the ones actually taking the action.

     

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  89.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Apr 8th, 2012 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    microsoft has one thing going for it and one thing only:
    less catastrophic failures.

    in every other way i've come across that matters to me, when it comes to Gaming, Sony wins. (not that i touch any of their other stuff...)

    and even then, with the gaming, a LOT of that is that they've managed to somehow get exclusive deals with the developers that can make games which aren't crap. (also: Japanese nationalism does weird things to this particular industry, apparently.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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