Thou Shalt Not Sue Sony

from the can't-let-people-have-rights dept

AC alerts us to a change in the new Sony PlayStation Network terms of service that basically says that you agree not to sue the company. Honestly (and Sony pointed this out in its defense), such clauses are pretty common. It is debatable how enforceable some of these clauses are, but they say that you have to go to arbitration, rather than sue. The terms also bar participating in class action lawsuits, which seems much more questionable. Where Sony gets ridiculous is in claiming that this change "is designed to benefit both the consumer and the company by ensuring that there is adequate time and procedures to resolve disputes." That makes me think of a two syllable word whose first four letters are bull. Come on. At this point, everyone knows that binding arbitration between a company and a consumer wildly favors companies. A study from a few years back found that companies win in arbitration against consumers 95% of the time. Sony knows this. So its move is not about protecting consumers at all, and it's insulting for it to imply that it is.

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  1. icon
    sheenyglass (profile), 16 Sep 2011 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: So, "agreeing" to the PS TOS means..

    The security breach was of the PSN - the hackers weren't after my FF13 save games, they were after credit card numbers and other personal info from our PSN accounts.

    So it appears that this is an attempt by Sony to prevent customers from suing them for their egregiously poor security measures. For this reason, the class action bar is especially troubling, as that would be the most effective way for Sony to be sued case like this, where the damages are spread out among a large number of people in small increments. And the threat of class action suits is generally the only thing keeping companies honest absent a regulatory regime (and even in a regulatory regime, class action lawsuits can be more effective for a variety of reasons, such as regulatory capture or an inadequate enforcement scheme). Although they aren't terribly effective at compensating people (except lawyers), they are still better than arbitration).

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