EA Changes Origin Terms of Services, Forbids Class Action Lawsuits

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EA Changes Origin Terms of Services, Forbids Class Action Lawsuits

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Electronic Arts has modified the Origin terms of service to forbid its users from filing class action lawsuits against the company.

A couple of weeks ago, Sony updated the PlayStation Network terms of service with a clause that forces users to waive their right to file class action lawsuits against the company. Instead, disputes must be resolved individually through arbitration, a process when tends to favor corporations over individuals. It sounds a bit dodgy but the change came about thanks to recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled in a separate case that such conditions are enforceable.

Recognizing a good idea when it sees one, Electronic Arts has now made similar changes to the Origin terms of service. Under "Section 20: Dispute Resolution by Binding Arbitration," the ToS now compels users to "expressly waive the right to a trial by jury or to participate in a class action." Instead, all disputes that cannot be straightened out through "informal negotiations" will be "finally and exclusively resolved by binding arbitration."

In case that's not clear enough in itself, the document also states, in bold face and all caps, "You understand that by this provision, you and EA are foregoing the right to sue in court and have a trial by jury." Furthermore, "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." And not only that, but "unless both you and EA agree otherwise, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person's claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative or class proceeding."

Got that, slugger? There are some limitations; you're exempt from these restrictions if you happen to live in Quebec, Russia, Switzerland or the Member States of the European Union, which apparently take a dim view on allowing people to forfeit their legal rights with a blind click-through, and claims relating to EA's IP rights or allegations of "theft, piracy or unauthorized use" - in other words, stuff EA is more likely to sue you over than the other way around - can still be pursued through normal means.

From a practical perspective, this won't mean a thing for just about everyone who uses Origin. There's a reason people just click past user agreements without even giving them a second glance, after all. But as a matter of principle if nothing else, the idea of surrendering your right to legal redress is troublesome - and I bet we're probably going to see a lot more of it in the future.

via: Kotaku

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People will get angry. But then continue not to read any ToS ever.

In fact how many people know iTunes ToS says that iTunes cannot be used to create chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. I for one was outraged by that! I'll use my music player to develop whatever weapons I want!

And so it begins... before long, this will be considered standard, and people will not give a crap because it doesn't matter at the time. This pretty much seals it. I'm never using Origin again... not that I ever did before.

Quite frankly i'm disgusted that the Supreme Court has stated this kind of corporate bullsh*t is enforceable. Thank God I live in the UK.

Two thumbs up for living in a Member State of the EU, this wont mean anything to 99% of its users but its a worrying precedent

Why is this legal?

No, seriously. Why is this legal?

How many times have any of you gone "OH MY GOD I NEED TO GET IN ON THIS CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT!"

Even after the PSN fiasco I had no such feelings. I've never felt such a need and I'd be willing to bet 99% of you haven't either.

Class action suits are usually by firms trying to make a quick buck after some kind of disaster.

It's sensationalist journalism on non-news, trying to get page-views.

I suddenly feel inclinded to sign up with Origin.

Oh wait, no. No I don't.

Thanks for pointing this out though I suppose- I doubt anyone would ever notice it in the ToS.

EverythingIncredible:
Why is this legal?

No, seriously. Why is this legal?

Because the corporations have their hands on the controls of most government agencies and most consumer's don't care if the companies take away their every right as long as thing stay accessible to them? That seems to be the main reason to me.

I'm just waiting for EA to put something in the ToS for Origin saying that, if you use it, you are legally not allowed to use Steam.

This is why.
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/21/tech/gaming-gadgets/sony-psn-terms/

It wasn't until recent, most of the time you can't make people sign away their rights. This is a really concerning precedent for the Supreme Court to set far and above simply the gaming implications.

theblackmonk90:
Quite frankly i'm disgusted that the Supreme Court has stated this kind of corporate bullsh*t is enforceable. Thank God I live in the UK.

Aye, for once the EU comes through for us!

Frostbite3789:
How many times have any of you gone "OH MY GOD I NEED TO GET IN ON THIS CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT!"

Even after the PSN fiasco I had no such feelings. I've never felt such a need and I'd be willing to bet 99% of you haven't either.

Class action suits are usually by firms trying to make a quick buck after some kind of disaster.

It's sensationalist journalism on non-news, trying to get page-views.

It's not about that, it's about the fact that companies are able to take away our legal rights by using things that they can't prove that we're read, understood, or even actually agreed to so they can do whatever they want without actually having to own up if any issues do arise. Yea, Class action lawsuits aren't really the largest deal in the world, but it is a slippery slope that sets the precedent that it's fine for companies to do this sort of thing, which means that they can push it further and further in the future.

Seems a bit incongruous for a company who's tagline is challenge everything

Jaredin:

theblackmonk90:
Quite frankly i'm disgusted that the Supreme Court has stated this kind of corporate bullsh*t is enforceable. Thank God I live in the UK.

Aye, for once the EU comes through for us!

It might have costed us billions, but finaly someone who isn't a farmer can make use for EU. This is the happiest day of my life.

There is still the opportunity for a class action lawsuit against them as of now. For instance, if they prevent you from playing your games because you don't agree to their terms based on this. If you didn't agree, you could subjectively put a class action lawsuit together with others who did not agree but can no longer play their games they bought through Origin.

Edit: This is why I would never purchase a game through Origin. I bought a couple of games for cheap through Amazon digital distribution, then registered them to Origin. Fuck off EA!

And before anyone gets to be a wiseass and say that you don't need Origin to play the game: You need to be able to download the games you purchased through Origin, but they won't let you unless you agree with this.

From a strict economic perspective, you should be able to contractually sign away your rights, such as the right to sue in this case, as argued by Walter Block and others of the same thought pattern. The other interesting part is that they state they cannot sue either, which could turn interesting real fast.

Kapol:
Snip

If they do push it further and further, I'll jump on it. But for the time being, I don't see the need to get worked up over...nothing. This is like if dog food suddenly came with a label that said you are not allowed to feed it to your cat.

It doesn't matter. But people would still get worked up. If you're that bothered by something they do, you can take them to court, with a class action suit. And if whatever they're doing is that horrible, then the government would do something. Much like with PSN. The class action suits did nothing but bog things down, and cost money. Instead of doing something productive about the situation, they're having to deal with that nonsense.

This is just a byproduct of the world being run by lawyers. Companies having to cover their asses from stupidity like this, and the average man then blaming the company, not the sue happy society.

I've recently bought the Tiger Woods PGA 2012 game. When I saw "Origin" during installation, I clicked "DECLINE" and took the game back to the store. The ToS of the actual game differs from Origin's ToS. Having to use another service to play games I've bought in a store is annoying enough (Steam is different, since I buy the game through it), but having them changing the ToS of said service is... This is the first time I ever return a game to the store and I'll never touch an Origin title again.

Shycte:

Jaredin:

theblackmonk90:
Quite frankly i'm disgusted that the Supreme Court has stated this kind of corporate bullsh*t is enforceable. Thank God I live in the UK.

Aye, for once the EU comes through for us!

It might have costed us billions, but finaly someone who isn't a farmer can make use for EU. This is the happiest day of my life.

Small but important point. Class actions, as used in the US, are not legal in the EU anyway. Class actions and US and parts of Canada only. So the EU, which in now going to cost Trillions not billions, does absolutely nothing.

karamazovnew:
I've recently bought the Tiger Woods PGA 2012 game. When I saw "Origin" during installation, I clicked "DECLINE" and took the game back to the store. The ToS of the actual game differs from Origin's ToS. Having to use another service to play games I've bought in a store is annoying enough (Steam is different, since I buy the game through it), but having them changing the ToS of said service is... This is the first time I ever return a game to the store and I'll never touch an Origin title again.

Steam does this...all the time. In fact I had to struggle with Steam Support for days to play my storebought copy of Dead Island because of a CD key problem.

So...to praise Steam on the one hand then slam Origin for something Steam does too is ridiculous.

Andy Chalk:
you and EA are foregoing the right to sue in court and have a trial by jury."

So... does the seventh amendment of the US constitution just not count anymore or something?

Because the Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury, and I don't think EA is above the constitution.

people take video games very seriously nowadays, it seems.

Frostbite3789:

karamazovnew:
I've recently bought the Tiger Woods PGA 2012 game. When I saw "Origin" during installation, I clicked "DECLINE" and took the game back to the store. The ToS of the actual game differs from Origin's ToS. Having to use another service to play games I've bought in a store is annoying enough (Steam is different, since I buy the game through it), but having them changing the ToS of said service is... This is the first time I ever return a game to the store and I'll never touch an Origin title again.

Steam does this...all the time. In fact I had to struggle with Steam Support for days to play my storebought copy of Dead Island because of a CD key problem.

So...to praise Steam on the one hand then slam Origin for something Steam does too is ridiculous.

Sorry, I should've mentioned I mainly use Steam to get cheap deals, free games, or very old games which I can't find in stores. The rest of my games are only boxes ;) I love boxes. And I'm not praising Steam. The way I see it, Origin is something put on top of my game, which may or may not allow me to play that game or all other games registered through it. I remember ranting about Steam a long time ago, but I like the current form.

albino boo:

Shycte:

Jaredin:

Aye, for once the EU comes through for us!

It might have costed us billions, but finaly someone who isn't a farmer can make use for EU. This is the happiest day of my life.

Small but important point. Class actions, as used in the US, are not legal in the EU anyway. Class actions and US and parts of Canada only. So the EU, which in now going to cost Trillions not billions, does absolutely nothing.

Aren't you contradicting yourself now? EU forbids these lawsuits, but doesn't help in making them illegal? Okay?....

Blame the judge who, somehow, considered that this holds water. Companies simply abuse to the fullest extent of the law, since Law was created.

A modicum of common sense from the Supreme Court would quickly dismiss this as an abusive clause. But, since I don't live in the US, meh.

I think I once tried to read the ToS of a game when I was a kid. It was one of the first games I've installed on a PC and I thought that you have to do that and that there is something improtant written in there, or at least important enough that I care. That was about the only time I tried to read it, didn't even get half way through before I stopped and just agreed.
Anyway, good thing I live in Switzerland and don't have to throw my legal rights out of the window with one mouse click, sucks for the other people though.

Frostbite3789:

karamazovnew:
I've recently bought the Tiger Woods PGA 2012 game. When I saw "Origin" during installation, I clicked "DECLINE" and took the game back to the store. The ToS of the actual game differs from Origin's ToS. Having to use another service to play games I've bought in a store is annoying enough (Steam is different, since I buy the game through it), but having them changing the ToS of said service is... This is the first time I ever return a game to the store and I'll never touch an Origin title again.

Steam does this...all the time. In fact I had to struggle with Steam Support for days to play my storebought copy of Dead Island because of a CD key problem.

So...to praise Steam on the one hand then slam Origin for something Steam does too is ridiculous.

Good thing we still have people like you with a bit of common sense. I've been a Steam-fan for years, but that doesn't make me hate and bash Origin anything more. Heck, I used Origin a bit yesterday, just to download a demo and register some of my EA games (that I had bought on Steam) there. And although it wasn't the most polished piece of work I've used, the fact that I can't use a class action lawsuit against them didn't make my experience any worse.
As long as they don't come into your house and rob you of all your hard-copy games, I'm pretty sure they're not into being full-heartedly "evil". And as long as that doesn't happen (I mean, come on) everyone should be on the safe side, no matter if you can or cannot go and sue them with a horde of others that found a loophole in their ToS.

Frostbite3789:
How many times have any of you gone "OH MY GOD I NEED TO GET IN ON THIS CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT!"

Even after the PSN fiasco I had no such feelings. I've never felt such a need and I'd be willing to bet 99% of you haven't either.

Class action suits are usually by firms trying to make a quick buck after some kind of disaster.

It's sensationalist journalism on non-news, trying to get page-views.

Well, I was one of the many involved in getting money out of Bethesda after the "Fallout 3:GOTY" fiasco and the fact that they released a product which did not do what the product stated it would do and was therefore violating my rights as a consumer.

So sensationalist journalism on non-news? Eh, No.

This is news. You might not see it as news because you don't give a damn about consumer rights, you might not see it as news because you cannot see the implications of this. But whatever, If you did not think it was news why did you even read the article?

Irridium:

Andy Chalk:
you and EA are foregoing the right to sue in court and have a trial by jury."

So... does the seventh amendment of the US constitution just not count anymore or something?

Because the Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury, and I don't think EA is above the constitution.

That is why it matters. Cause you Americans are finally seeing companies screw you and screw you hard. Oh well, the freer the market, the freer the peoples. Who needs consumer rights? They are so overrated!

Good day to you all.

Anyone who is shocked by this has clearly not read a contract that they've signed or agreed to in the last twenty years, or longer. The move towards arbitration has been underway for quite some time, and it's extremely commonplace now in commercial agreements. The vast majority of class action lawsuits are jackpots for the plaintiff's bar and do little to help the consumer. That this is somehow an issue of consumer rights is quite laughable. But please, let the manufactured internet rage circus carry on.

I watched that HBO documentary called "Hot Coffee" About the 90's and how everyone got tricked into thinking people were Lawsuit Happy Or Jackpot justice etc.

Apparently People got trolled by buisness groups running campaigns under the guise of being from a community i.e I.e the people of ohio think this guy is who you should vote for. So now there are all these politians who get you to help bend the law so corperations can fuck you over.

So now thanks to misleading ads and stratagies there are caps on damages, so if you get crippled and need care for live to pay for nurses med costs, rehab etc that could literally cost millions you will get like 200 grand.

Contracts have stuff written in them that you can't sue, or have public hearings, and most likely the company decides who looks over the case.

Once again I only know what a picked up from that doc and a senior highschool law course. But shis shit is rediculous. People need to be able to sue to keep these people in check.

all because some old ladie burnt the flesh off her bones in a mcdonalds parking lot, in the passenger seat, and the cup tip over blistering her thighs. causing the need for major skin graphs, and ending her ability to work and take care of herself.

Well... Another reason not to get Origin or Origin powered games. Goodbye EA. I will not being doing business with you by purchasing your games on the computer until you stop what you are doing and clean this up.

Pretty soon, they'll just update the ToS to require you to purchase more of their products and they can sue you for not doing so.

This is really bad. But good to know I won't be using Origin.

America! Land of the free!

Seriously? What happened to America? Now they're just giving their right away?

Playstation network
EA origin

XBox Live Arcade
Steam

slowly ticking off the digital media distributors i will use. It's almost like companies don't want me to play their games. Seems an odd business strategy.

Also I don't know why but when i read the headline i thought, Hey maybe EA isn't totally evil and rolled back that "tracks everything your computer does angle." Wow how wrong can you get? Oh, EA will you ever cease to prove that you are unambiguously evil?

There are some limitations; you're exempt from these restrictions if you happen to live in Quebec, Russia, Switzerland or the Member States of the European Union, which apparently take a dim view on allowing people to forfeit their legal rights with a blind click-through...

I look at this and just think what reason is there to live in the US anymore? The landscape is moving towards corporate ownership, no consumer or worker rights. And the Right wing politicos want this. Yes the government has taxes just to screw you. Not to build roads hire firefighters/police, keep public order, pay civil servants and above all PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. but government is bad business is good lets get rid of the government.

sorry for the threadjack just got into a ranting mood for a second and couldn't help myself. will not respond to quotes intended to start political flamewar.

Pipotchi:
Two thumbs up for living in a Member State of the EU, this wont mean anything to 99% of its users but its a worrying precedent

Heh. I'm from Norway and afaik you cant "sign away" your rights here either.

Sane legal systems ftw. USA...land of the free...I loled.

Next thing they'll do is include a clause that let's John Riccitiello come into your bed at night and silently slip his "sausage" in your mouth... enjoy that mental image.

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