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Court rules that Sony was within its rights to change PSN's Terms of Service
Court rules that Sony was within its rights to change PSN's Terms of Service
April 5, 2012 | By Eric Caoili




A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit against Sony, and ruled that the platform holder was free to change the terms of service for users accessing PlayStation Network last September.

Sony revised its TOS and user agreement for its online services several months ago, making PSN users waive their right to enter into a class action lawsuit against the company unless it agrees to the initiation.

A man in Northern California filed a lawsuit against Sony soon afterward, alleging unfair competition, as the new TOS forced him to either waive his valuable right to pursue class action litigation or lose access to PSN.

The court found that the plaintiff losing that right was an insufficient argument for his unfair competition claim, as it did not actually cause him any economic harm, according to documents posted by Technology and Marketing Law Blog.

"Plaintiff himself explains that 'if' defendants engage in 'wrongdoing' in the future, he will only be able to seek relief in an individual arbitration which is 'unlikely' to be cost effective," said U.S. District Judge Susan Illston.

"However, plaintiff cannot allege that defendants will engage in wrongdoing in the future, that he would pursue a remedy for that unknown wrongdoing, or that the type of harm he suffered would not be cost effective to resolve through an individual arbitration."

The plaintiff also said that if he had declined the new TOS, he would no longer be able to access PSN, which he believed devalued his PS3, as he purchased his system with expectations of being able to play on the service.

Judge Illston also dismissed that argument, and noted that the plaintiff had already admitted to accepting the new TOS in order to avoid losing access to PSN. After reviewing and shooting down all of the plaintiff's claims, the court granted Sony's motion to dismiss the lawsuit last February.

Sony isn't the only platform holder that's forced users to accept an updated and controversial TOS -- last December, Microsoft also amended its Xbox 360 TOS, making users also agree to waive their right to join an Xbox 360 class action lawsuit targeting Microsoft if they want to continue using their consoles.


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