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Sony wants gamers to sign away their rights to sue

Gaming firm in another bad decision shock
Mon Sep 19 2011, 09:26

HAVING HAD THE YEAR FROM HELL Japanese gaming house Sony seems determined to further alienate its users.

Having angered the open gaming fraternity with its pursuit of Geohot and banning his mod, the company was offline for weeks and exposed the data of millions of its users. Now, seemingly determined to totally alienate its beleaguered users, Sony has decided to force them to hand over their legal rights or stop using its systems.

According to the BBC, Sony will ban any users that decide to push ahead with plans to collectively sue it over its security breaches. The BBC says that Sony has amended its Playstation Network (PSN) terms and conditions and will demand that its players agree to these the next time that they log in. Anyone that does not agree to its new terms will not be able to sign in, it explains.

The new clauses, are called "Binding Individual Arbitration", are something that might not appear to be immediately important to gamers, casual or otherwise, but what they do is rule out the possibility of participating in class action lawsuits.

"Any Dispute Resolution Proceedings, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class or representative action or as a named or unnamed member in a class, consolidated, representative or private attorney general action," Sony explained.

Anyone that wants to opt out can write to Sony, which seems like a perfectly unreasonable stage in any online casual gaming service, and request so. We do not know how long this will take, but given Sony's history of sorting things out in its own good time, we imagine that it will be a while. µ


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