This is a very important and concerning development in SCEA's Terms of Service, considering that a large portion of PS3 users have a 'PS3 Eye' attached.
This gives SCEA authority to access live video camera and microphone transmissions in millions of homes across the world, and SCEA retroactively grants themselves the right to 'monitor and record your activities'.
Does this include WWW browsing patterns, Media Server content, or Audio/Video feeds? All of which are networked based services.
I have never understood how SCEA's 'Firmware Update' policy is legal, and this recent change in their Terms of Service reinforces my concern.
A) We buy a PS3 console.
B) We read the box at the store, but their Terms of Service are included 'virtually' on the PS3 system.
(Confusion #1) By the time you are presented with their Terms of Service, the PS3 is opened, installed, and already used (most stores will not accept it back as a return.) Either way, you are forced to 'agree' at a point of no return.
(Confusion #2) The Terms of Service never mentions that I would have to agree to future (undisclosed) Terms of Service for my PS3 to remain fully functional.
B) We buy lots of games and BluRay disks.
C) SCEA releases a Firmware update, and immediately the PS3's functionality changes. You can no longer connect online, you can no longer play networked multiplayer games, and all newly released (and future) software title will not run on this PS3.
D) (Confusion #3) You are now in a situation where you can either 'agree' to all SCEA's new terms OR 'decline' these new terms (and SCEA leaves the PS3's functionality disabled which prevents new software titles from running.)
This contract agreement process stinks of extortion. They take something that is already yours (that you have already bought) and hold it hostage until you agree to something new.
I don't see how this type of forced 'contract agreement' is legal. I don't believe this would be acceptable if it were a home mortgage contract or hold up in court if we were discussing your Dell computer system.
Either way, SCEA has got it's users by to proverbial 'sack'. You *must* agree to their new and ever changing terms, or they break your system.