The Sony Network Entertainment has added a controversial change to its Terms of Service and User Agreement (PDF) for users of the PlayStation Network and the Sony Entertainment Network (Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited). In the revised terms, consumers must waive the right to participate in any class-action lawsuit filed after August 20 against the gaming and content delivery portion of Sony.
If you don't agree, then your PS3 can't get online or purchase media content from Sony. Future disputes between consumers and SNE must occur individually in court or through an arbitration procedure.
Licensing agreements with restrictions like this are actually more common than you might think. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of class-action waivers last April in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion. In that case, the court held that federal law pre-empted state rules against class-action waivers. Sony will have difficulty enforcing this policy outside of the U.S., as some other countries make agreements like this impossible.… Read more