Sony is forcing new users of its online gaming service, which was struck by hackers earlier this years, to waive the right to sue the company.
The new terms and conditions for PlayStation Network contain a "binding individual arbitration and class action waiver", Sony warns in capital letters near the top of the agreement. Any disputes can only be resolved through non-public "individual basis" between Sony and the complainant.
The terms and conditions would appear to be a reaction to the theft of over 100 million user details from Sony databases earlier this year, and the numerous subsequent class action lawsuits.
Sony does give users a way out of the new terms and conditions; a gamer can send a physical letter to the legal department at Sony’s California offices, clearly stating that he/she would rather retain the right to sue Sony in case it loses his/her data again.
Strangely, the terms and conditions also include a clause which would negate the waiver if turns out to be illegal.
Gaming trade magazine, gamesindustry.biz, suggests that the T&Cs are "unlikely to affect UK" users of the service, citing Alex Chapman, an interactive entertainment lawyer who told the magazine that the new clause is mainly aimed at class action lawsuits in the US.