After the various lawsuits about the removal of the other OS functionality of the PS3 were dismissed a new challenger has entered the fray. However it is not related to the removal of this function, nor is it related to the major hack that plagued Sony earlier this year.
In September Sony released a system update that brought a new set of terms of services. Tucked away on Page 17 of the lengthy document was this little gem:
Other than those matters listed in the Exclusions from Arbitration clause (small claims), 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.
Also included in the new ToS was a clause to prevent you from entering into a class action lawsuit against Sony. It is worth noting that there was an opt of clause for both of these waivers, however you needed to notify Sony in writing within 30days of accepting the new ToS. (I wonder how many people were aware of this and how many actually wrote to Sony)
A Northern California man has decided to take legal action against Sony. He believes that when Sony forced it’s customers to either waive their right to sue or lose accesses to a service that they effectively paid for when they purchased the PS3 that Sony were using unfair business practices. The suit also alleges that Sony hid the new clauses down in the long document, and failed to make an easily accessible version of it available online.
The suit is filed on behalf of everyone who has purchased a PS3 before the new ToS in September. The man has filed on behalf of everyone who bought a PS3 before the new terms were added. It’s worth noting that Microsoft implemented similar clauses in its new ToS so they will probably be keeping a close eye on this litigation.