A California resident has filed a class action lawsuit in defiance of Sony trying to prevent class action lawsuits.
Sony has had a pretty crappy year in the legal sphere. In addition to the “Other OS” and jailbreaking fiascoes, there was the breach of its PlayStation Network in which personal information was leaked all over the web. A class action lawsuit (a lawsuit that anyone affected can sign on to be a part of the legal process and potentially reap any compensation from the judgement) was filed for Sony’s mishandling of the situation. Then in September, Sony changed the Terms of Service you needed to agree to in order to access the PlayStation Network on the PS3, in which one clause essentially prevented filing a class action lawsuit without Sony’s written permission. Gamasutra has uncovered legal documents of a man thwarting that clause by filing just such a lawsuit.
While we don’t have access to the official court documents (yet), Gama reports the suit alleges Sony is unfairly restricting its customers rights by including the ban on class action lawsuits. He also claims Sony tried to sneak the ban in by putting it at the bottom of the T.O.S. and making the form to opt out of it intentionally difficult to access.
Of course, the original clause does say that it may all be smoke and mirrors if a legal entity decides Sony cannot restrict the right to its customers. “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.”
Well, it looks like the lawsuit currently on the books in northern California is making that clause blow away for good. Way to go, man.