Everyone knows about those ToS agreements, where they throw a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo that pretty much tells you not to do stupid sh*t. Most people (myself included) just blindly click the “I Agree” box without even thinking about it.
In Sony’s recent revision of the PSN ToS, though, you may want to take a good look at what you’re signing up for before clicking that button.
Apparently Sony added an extra portion in the document (which you can read here) detailing legal matters involving the company. Part of this clause reads “Other than those matters listed in the Exclusions from Arbitration clause, you and the Sony Entity that you have a Dispute with agree to seek resolution of the Dispute only through arbitration of that Dispute in accordance with the terms of this Section 15, and not litigate any Dispute in court. Arbitration means that the Dispute will be resolved by a neutral arbitrator instead of in a court by a judge or jury.”
Basically, if my legalese is accurate, users would not be able to take Sony to court in a class action lawsuit, and instead must “negotiate” a proper solution to their particular case. Now, I’m no lawyer, but it seems like this kind of stuff is, you know, illegal to do. Seems like they don’t want to see another backlash like what happened with the PSN outage several months back.
There is also a clause in there, however, that says that if any part of the section is found to be illegal or “unenforceable”, then it will end up being ignored. Quoting the document again, “If the Class Action Waiver clause is found to be illegal or unenforceable, this entire Section 15 will be unenforceable, and the Dispute will be decided by a court and you and the Sony Entity you have a dispute with each agree to waive in that instance, to the fullest extent allowed by law, any trial by jury.”
So, there is a possibility that the courts may end up calling foul on this, which would end up making the section null and void. For the moment, though, you may want to hold off on hitting that “I Agree” button if you want to keep your legal rights.