According to the new Terms of Service Agreement (PDF File), those who continue to use PSN must essentially waive all rights to participate in new class action lawsuits against Sony and agree to resolve such matters on an individual basis only.
To quote: On September 15, 2011, Sony Network Entertainment America Inc. ("SNEA") will transfer its online services operations, including your wallet and the funds in it, to Sony Network Entertainment International LLC ("SNEI").
If you have any questions or wish to terminate your account, please contact Customer Service by clicking here.
Additionally, we would like to introduce you to the new "Sony Entertainment Network." Here you can play your favorite music, movies, games and more on your PlayStation systems and across a variety of connected devices (Sony and non-Sony.)
With Sony Entertainment Network we are establishing a comprehensive and global network platform which offers access to entertainment, commerce, and community, all from one convenient account.
For more information please visit www.SonyEntertainmentNetwork.com where you will learn more about our music service, Music Unlimited, and our video offerings on Video Unlimited.
The services you have come to know on your PlayStation systems will remain the same in terms of functionality, pricing and content – with some enhancements. We continue to grow both Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services, as well as the entire Sony Entertainment Network platform by adding more content and advancing the functionality to bring you the best of digital entertainment across the globe.
Thank you very much for being a customer!
Finally, from the PDF File: “NOTE: THIS AGREEMENT CONTAINS A BINDING INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER PROVISION IN SECTION 15 THAT AFFECTS YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THIS AGREEMENT AND WITH RESPECT TO ANY “DISPUTE” (AS DEFINED BELOW) BETWEEN YOU AND SNEI, SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC., SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC, THEIR AFFILIATES, PARENTS OR SUBSIDIARIES ( ALL ENTITIES COLLECTIVELY REFERRED TO BELOW AS “SONY ENTITIES” ). YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO OPT OUT OF THE BINDING ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER PROVISIONS AS FURTHER DESCRIBED IN SECTION 15.”
“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
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.
SNEA Initiation 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.
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.”
Here's the language from the agreement: "By accepting these terms, you and EA expressly waive the right to a trial by jury or to participate in a class action.
YOU UNDERSTAND THAT BY THIS PROVISION, YOU AND EA ARE FOREGOING THE RIGHT TO SUE IN COURT AND HAVE A JURY TRIAL.
YOU AND EA AGREE THAT EACH MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN YOUR OR ITS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING."
You can opt out of the service by mailed letter, but there is a 30 day window -- in which case, considering the new terms of service were instituted on the 25th of August, you're pretty much out of time.
Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene updates and homebrew releases!
Here is a follow-up for those interested in thePlayStation Network hacking lawsuit a judge has now dismissed much of “The people Vs Sony” with details below from the http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/10/19/playstation.pdf.
To quote via http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/10/19/51486.htm:
A federal judge dealt a blow to PlayStation users who say that a Sony security breach exposed more than 69 million personal and credit card accounts to theft.
The PlayStation Network, in conjunction with Qriocity, and Sony Online Entertainment, allows users with PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles to play games over the Internet. For an additional fee, premium users can play against various third parties. Signup requires users to provide "personally identifying information to Sony, including their names, mailing addresses, email addresses, birth dates, credit and debit card information (card numbers, expiration dates and security codes) and login credentials," according to the court's summary.
A class says that hackers infiltrated the online system on April 16 or 17, 2011, because Sony negligently failed to provide adequate firewalls and safeguards.
The thieves allegedly made off with the personal info of millions of users. Three days later, Sony took the system offline, issuing a statement only that "[w]e're aware certain functions of PlayStation Network are down. We will report back here as soon as we can with more information," according to the complaint. PlayStateion Network and Qriocity remained offline for nearly a month and Sony Online Entertainment was down for two weeks, preventing users from accessing the services they had pre-purchased, the class says.
On April 26, while still investigating the data breach, Sony finally admitted the theft, stating that the system failure "may have had a financial impact on our loyal customers. We are currently reviewing options and will update you when the service is restored."
In May, Sony announced it would compensate users by providing "free identity theft protection services, certain free downloads and online services, and 'will consider' helping customers who have been issued new credit cards."
The January 2012 federal class action in San Diego contends that Sony knew or should have known that its system was vulnerable to such an attack. In 2011 "a PS3 user successfully 'jailbroke' his PS3 console and posted instructions for doing it," according to the court's summary of the complaint.
Despite the breach, Sony allegedly did nothing to beef up its safeguards. Sony immediately moved to dismiss, finding some relief from U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia last week.
The 36-page order dismisses several claims such as negligence, unjust enrichment, bailment and violations of California consumer protection statutes. Sony did not violate consumer-protection laws "because none of the named plaintiffs subscribed to premium PSN services, and thus received the PSN services free of cost," Battaglia wrote.
Battaglia also chucked the bailment charge with prejudice because "plaintiffs freely admit, plaintiffs' personal information was stolen as a result of a criminal intrusion of Sony's Network. Plaintiffs do not allege that Sony was in any way involved with the Data Breach." The unjust enrichment also failed with prejudice.
Finally, below are some excerpts from the PDF document (linked above) as follows:
ONY GAMING NETWORKS AND CUSTOMER DATA SECURITY BREACH LITIGATION
I. Factual Background
This action arises out of a criminal intrusion into the computer network system used to provide PlayStation Network (“PSN” services. Plaintiffs, a putative consumer class, allege that Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC (“SCEA”, Sony Network Entertainment International, LLC and Sony Network Entertainment America, Inc. (collectively, “SNE”, Sony Online Entertainment, LLC (“SOE”, and Sony Corporation of America (“SCA” (collectively, “Sony” or “Defendants” failed to follow basic industry-standard protocols to safeguard its customers personal and financial information, thereby creating foreseeable harm and injury to the Plaintiff class.
Sony develops and markets the PlayStation Portable (“PSP” hand-held device and the PlayStation 3 (“PSP” console (collectively, “consoles” Among their key features are their ability to let users play games, connect to the Internet, access the PlayStation Network (“PSN”, Qriocity, and Sony Online Entertainment (“SOE” (collectively, “Sony Online Services” or “SOS”, . For additional fees, the PSN also allows access to various third party services such as Netflix, MLB.TV, and NHL Gamecenter LIVE (“Third Party Services”.
These additional fees are paid to the source of the service rather than to Sony. Many who subscribe to these Third Party Services can only access them through their PSN account. As of January 25, 2011, PSN had over 69 million users worldwide,[Id], and SOE had over 24.6 million users worldwide. When establishing accounts with PSN, Qriocity, and SOE, Plaintiffs and other Class members were required to provide personally identifying information to Sony, including their names, mailing addresses, email addresses, birth dates, credit and debit card information (card numbers, expiration dates and security codes) and login credentials (“Personal Information”, which Sony stores and maintains on its Network. Sony continually monitors and records users’ PSN activities, purchases and usage, and maintains this usage data on its Network.
Plaintiffs allege that on April 16 or 17, 2011, hackers accessed Sony’s Network, stealing the Personal Information of millions of Sony customers, including Plaintiffs and the other Class members (the “Data Breach”. On April 17, 2011, Sony discovered that PSN and Qriocity user data had been stolen. Three days later, Sony took the PSN and Qriocity offline, stating that “[w]e’re aware certain functions of PlayStation Network are down. We will report back here as soon as we can with more information.” As a result of the Data Breach, Sony was forced to shut down the PSN and Qriocity for almost a month while it conducted a systems audit to determine the cause of the data breach. Meanwhile, SOE remained offline for more than two weeks.
During this prolonged downtime, Plaintiffs and the other Class members were unable to access PSN, Qriocity, and SOE, unable to play multi-player online games with others, and unable to use online services available through the PSN, Qriocity or SOE. Plaintiffs and the other Class members were also unable to access and use prepaid Third Party Services.
For the reasons set forth above, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Defendants’ motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs have until November 9, 2012 to file an amended Consolidated Complaint. Specifically, the Court makes the following findings with respect to Defendants’ instant motion:
1. GRANTS Defendants’ supplemental request for judicial notice as to all documents, but not as to the contents of the Privacy Protection Guidelines;
2. GRANTS Defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of Article III standing as to Defendants SOE and SCA with leave to amend;
3. DENIES Defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of Article III standing as to the remaining Sony Defendants;
4. GRANTS Defendants’ motion to dismiss as to the Sixth Cause of Action for negligence with leave to amend;
5. GRANTS Defendants’ motion to dismiss as to the First, Second, and Third Causes of Action under the UCL, FAL, and CLRA with prejudice as to non-resident Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs claims for restitution, and with leave to amend with respect to the remaining claims;
6. GRANTS Defendants’ motion to dismiss as to the Fourth Cause of Action under the Breach Act with prejudice as to non-resident Plaintiffs, and with leave to amend as to resident Plaintiffs and all remaining claims;
7. GRANTS Defendants’ motion to dismiss as to the Fifth Cause of Action alleging unjust enrichment with prejudice;
8. GRANTS Defendants’ motion to dismiss as to the Seventh Cause of Action alleging bailment with prejudice.
Arbitration is a much cheaper process than a pucker court case, but the AT&T clause was between employer and employees and not manufacturer and end user. Also, normally, existing employers will not be affected as the T&C under which the were employed can not be changed without their consent. $ony changes TOS without consulting existing end users - it is totally one sided and wrong in my opinion.