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Thread: New Sony Entertainment Network International Terms of Service (SNEI TOS)

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    Default New Sony Entertainment Network International Terms of Service (SNEI TOS)

    So as soon as SNEA was formed, it becomes SNEI. New terms of service were just emailed out and there's a very interesting added section this time:

    (note the agreement to arbitration instead of court proceedings, as well as the bit about California jurisdiction)

    15. BINDING INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION
    Purpose. The term “Dispute” means any dispute, claim, or controversy between you and any
    Sony Entity regarding any Sony Online Services or the use of any devices sold by a Sony Entity
    to access Sony Online Services, whether based in contract, statute, regulation, ordinance, tort
    (including, but not limited to, fraud, misrepresentation, fraudulent inducement, or negligence), or
    any other legal or equitable theory, and includes the validity, enforceability or scope of this
    Section 15 (with the exception of the enforceability of the Class Action Waiver clause below).
    “Dispute” is to be given the broadest possible meaning that will be enforced. If you have a
    Dispute with any Sony Entity or any of a Sony Entity’s officers, directors, employees and agents
    that cannot be resolved through negotiation within the time frame described in the “Notice of
    Dispute” clause below. 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.
    Exclusions from Arbitration. YOU AND THE SONY ENTITIES AGREE THAT ANY
    CLAIM FILED BY YOU OR BY A SONY ENTITY IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT ARE
    NOT SUBJECT TO THE ARBITRATION TERMS CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION 15.
    RIGHT TO OPT OUT OF BINDING ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER
    WITHIN 30 DAYS. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE BOUND BY THE BINDING
    ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER IN THIS SECTION 15, YOU MUST
    NOTIFY SNEI IN WRITING WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE DATE THAT YOU ACCEPT
    THIS AGREEMENT. YOUR WRITTEN NOTIFICATION MUST BE MAILED TO 6080
    CENTER DRIVE, 10TH FLOOR, LOS ANGELES, CA 90045, ATTN: LEGAL
    DEPARTMENT/ARBITRATION AND MUST INCLUDE: (1) YOUR NAME, (2) YOUR
    ADDRESS, (3) YOUR PSN ACCOUNT NUMBER, IF YOU HAVE ONE, AND (4) A
    CLEAR STATEMENT THAT YOU DO NOT WISH TO RESOLVE DISPUTES WITH
    ANY SONY ENTITY THROUGH ARBITRATION.
    Notice of Dispute. IF YOU HAVE A DISPUTE WITH ANY SONY ENTITY, YOU MUST
    SEND WRITTEN NOTICE TO 6080 CENTER DRIVE, 10TH FLOOR, LOS ANGELES, CA
    90045, ATTN: LEGAL DEPARTMENT/ARBITRATION, ATTN: SONY LEGAL
    DEPARTMENT: DISPUTE RESOLUTION” TO GIVE SNEI OR THE SONY ENTITY YOU
    HAVE A DISPUTE WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO RESOLVE THE DISPUTE 18

    INFORMALLY THROUGH NEGOTIATION. You agree to negotiate resolution of the Dispute
    in good faith for no less than 60 days after you provide notice of the Dispute. If the Sony Entity
    you have a Dispute with does not resolve your Dispute within 60 days from receipt of notice of
    the Dispute, you or the Sony Entity you have a Dispute with may pursue your claim in arbitration
    pursuant to the terms in this Section 15.
    Class Action Waiver. 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 LEGALACTION, UNLESS BOTH YOU AND THE
    SONY ENTITY WITH WHICH YOU HAVE A DISPUTE SPECIFICALLY AGREE TO
    DO SO IN WRITING FOLLOWING INITIATION OF THE ARBITRATION. THIS
    PROVISION DOES NOT PRECLUDE YOUR PARTICIPATION AS A MEMBER IN A
    CLASS ACTION FILED ON OR BEFORE AUGUST 20, 2011.
    SNEAInitiation of Arbitration Proceeding/Selection of Arbitrator. If you or the Sony Entity
    you have a Dispute with elect to resolve your Dispute through arbitration, the party initiating the
    arbitration proceeding may initiate it with the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”),
    www.adr.org, or JAMS www.jamsadr.com. The terms of this Section 15 govern in the event
    they conflict with the rules of the arbitration organization selected by the parties.
    Arbitration Procedures. Because the software and/or service provided to you by the Sony
    Entity you have a Dispute with concern interstate commerce, the Federal Arbitration Act
    (“FAA”) governs the arbitrability of all Disputes. However, applicable federal or state law may
    also apply to the substance of any Disputes. For claims of less than $75,000, the AAA’s
    Supplementary Procedures for Consumer-Related Disputes (“Supplementary Procedures”) shall
    apply including the schedule of arbitration fees set forth in Section C-8 of the Supplementary
    Procedures; for claims over $75,000, the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules and relevant fee
    schedules for non-class action proceedings shall apply. The AAA rules are available at
    www.adr.org or by calling 1-800-778-7879. Further, if your claims do not exceed $75,000 and
    you provided notice to and negotiated in good faith with the Sony Entity you had a Dispute with
    as described above, if the arbitrator finds that you are the prevailing party in the arbitration, you
    will be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs as determined by the arbitrator, in
    addition to any rights to recover the same under controlling state or federal law afforded to the
    Sony Entity you have a Dispute with or you. The arbitrator will make any award in writing but
    need not provide a statement of reasons unless requested by a party. Such award will be
    binding and final, excerpt for any right of appeal provided by the FAA, and may be
    entered in any court having jurisdiction over the parties for purposes of enforcement.
    Location of Arbitration. You or the Sony Entity you have a Dispute with may initiate
    arbitration in either San Mateo County, California or the county in which you reside. In the
    event that you select the county of your residence, the Sony Entity you have a Dispute with may
    transfer the arbitration to San Mateo, County in the event that it agrees to pay any additional fees
    or costs you incur as a result of the change in location as determined by the arbitrator. 19

    Severability. If any clause within this Section 15 (other than the Class Action Waiver clause
    above) is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that clause will be severed from this Section 15,
    and the remainder of this Section 15 will be given full force and effect. 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.
    Continuation. This Section 15 shall survive any termination of this Agreement or the provision
    of Sony Online Services to you.
    16. GOVERNING LAW AND JURISDICTION
    YOU AND SNEI AGREE THAT THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, WITHOUT
    REGARD TO ITS CONFLICT OF LAW RULES, GOVERN THIS AGREEMENT AND ANY
    DISPUTE BETWEEN YOU AND THE SONY ENTITIES. ANY DISPUTE NOT SUBJECT
    TO ARBITRATION AND NOT INITIATED IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT WILL BE
    LITIGATED BY EITHER PARTY IN A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION IN
    EITHER THE SUPERIOR COURT FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA IN AND FOR THE
    COUNTY OF SAN MATEO OR IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
    NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
    If anyone else has read through this, am I right in interpreting this as allowing us to AGREE to the TOS and continue using services, but still be able to opt-out of the arbitration clause and retain the right to escalate class action cases to court? I understand the need to cover their liabilities in the future, but something seems a little odd here, and not quite favorable to the consumer. Is Sony afraid of legal action against them should class action suits go that far?

    I'd like to hear some other thoughts on this.

  2. #2
    Great Puma (Level 12) JSoup's Avatar
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    From what I've been picking up from other forums, if you opt out in the 30 day window, you'll regain your rights to sue'em for whatever, but lose access to your PSN account. And I guess that much is obvious, go go conversation contributions.

    Also, why do I never get these damn e-mails? Everyone else gets crap from PSN about this and that, then I hear about it later on Kotaku or something and wonder what happened to my copy. :/




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    Blah whatever. I don't care. I just wanna play my games and I have nothing else to do with Sony but using their products normally. nothing's gonna happen.
    [quote name='Shidou Mariya' date='Nov 17 2010, 10:05 PM' post='4889940']
    I'm a collector, but only to a certain extent.
    Not as extreme as Rickstilwell though.[/quote]


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    The only winning move is not to play.

    Perhaps I'm just being reactionary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpaceHarrier View Post
    The only winning move is not to play.
    Step away from the WarGames DVD.
    "The myth of a fair universe is the wishful thinking of a people struggling to justify their belief in a God they know isn't real. Life is cruel and we're alone. Who wants chocolate milk?" - Dana Gould

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    Just one more reason why I'll never get a PS3 (aside from the fact that there's very few games I'm interested in). Either you agree to never sue them for any reason (even legitimate ones) or you can never access PSN again? This reeks of corporate bullying and anyone who encourages such horrible (and possibly illegal) behavior by sticking with Sony now is a fool, plain and simple. And that's all I have to say about that.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Rickstilwell1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retroguy View Post
    Just one more reason why I'll never get a PS3 (aside from the fact that there's very few games I'm interested in). Either you agree to never sue them for any reason (even legitimate ones) or you can never access PSN again? This reeks of corporate bullying and anyone who encourages such horrible (and possibly illegal) behavior by sticking with Sony now is a fool, plain and simple. And that's all I have to say about that.

    Not if you don't care about online play. I love the offline RPGs that are on Sony's sytems. Anyone who buys a system to play online only is a fool because they should know that playing online doesn't last forever like playing the physical games does. Dreamcast online and Xbox original online is already gone, so you're dumb if you think the Xbox 360 and PS3 will always be able to be played online as well to begin with.
    [quote name='Shidou Mariya' date='Nov 17 2010, 10:05 PM' post='4889940']
    I'm a collector, but only to a certain extent.
    Not as extreme as Rickstilwell though.[/quote]


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    Microsoft has had the same terms of service on XBL for years. Anyways, for those interested.

    RIGHT TO OPT OUT OF BINDING ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER WITHIN 30 DAYS. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE BOUND BY THE BINDING ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER IN THIS SECTION 15, YOU MUST NOTIFY SNEI IN WRITING WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE DATE THAT YOU ACCEPT THIS AGREEMENT.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    What I'm confused about is if you DO opt out of article 15, there are conflicting reports of what happens to your account if you send said letter. I might have missed it in the document, but some are claiming that they'll deactivate your entire account. The TOS almost implies that you can keep going on as normal, with your right to class-action via court, just as long as you write a letter and opt out of this section. Something tells me that's not the case, though. It can't be that easy...

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    I don't have a PSN account, never made one on my PS3 or PSP, and I don't particularly like some of the stuff Sony has in their legalese, but that said, class action suits, rarely do you get very much out of them. If you'd rather take a chance on maybe someday getting ten or twenty bucks out of Sony once the lawyers take their cut and the rest is split among the class (assuming anything ever comes of the suit anyway) than play on PSN, go ahead opt out.

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    I believe that there was an opinion piece on Gamasutra today that listed some of the actual rewards from class action victories, and they were all significantly less than $20.

    Also keep in mind that this doesn't entirely void class action damages, it just limits them to a third party arbitrator instead of going through the legal system. It's not that big of a deal, but you have to wonder what exactly it is that they're afraid of should a class action case be tried in a court of law.

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