Monday, October 20, 2008

Big Brother is listening (and grabbing): Sony's new PS3 ToS

On Friday, Playstation 3 gamers received an e-mail from Sony, informing them that the terms of service on their console has been changed.  It states "If you do not agree with the revised Terms of Service and User Agreement, please contact Customer Service to terminate your account(s).  Otherwise, your or your Sub Accounts continued use of your Playstation(R)Network accounts means you agree to the changes".  Basically what this is saying that either you agree to their rules or you terminate your account.

There are so many new restrictions and rules on these new policies, that it is just ridiculous how little freedom its users have now.  The terms go on to state that you should be of legal age to hold the main account on the system, and if you are under the age of 15, you should be kept to a sub-account. Sony is so concerned about being sued because of children possibly seeing or hearing inappropriate things while they are playing games online, it is trying to act like your mother or father, by suggesting an age limit.  Sony goes on to say that they have the right to keep records of anything you say or do online, and that they now have the right to listen in.  Any data, such as your online ID, and your IP address, may be used to protect the interest of SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America), its users, or licensors.  Now, while playing online, it is no longer safe to discuss with other players ways in which they have modded their games, or about their custom firmware. 

Perhaps the most ridiculous part of the new agreement, however, is the inability to re-download your video content.  Sony protects itself again by saying once you download something, it has no responsibility for the data.  Sony says "You bear all risk of loss for completing the downlaod of any content and for any loss of content you have downloaded, including any loss due to a file corruption or hard drive crash. You are solely responsible for the storage and safekeeping of your content."  This now makes video purchases a bad idea, because you cannot re-download your content if anything happens to it, and also Sony does not have to help you if their hardware goes bad.  This is just stupid, they are basically saying that its alright if you have problems, because they are not Sony's problems.  "No warranty is given about the quality, functionality, availability or performance of PSN, or any content offered on or through PSN...SCEA assumes no liability for any inability to purchase access to or use any content."

The last section of the user agreement that was heavily changed has to do with user created content.  With new games such as LittleBigPlanet, which will be released soon, and Guitar Hero: World Tour, which allow you to create your own levels or songs, Sony now has the right to take whatever you have created, and cannot be caught in a legal battles.  According to the user agreement, you make it, they own it.

Overall, this updated user agreement, is crazy, ridiculous and over the top.  This user agreement exists for one specific reason, which is to cover Sony's butt in avery was possible.  While they may be covered in the ways stated earlier, they will probably see declines in video sales, and any other download sales.  I personally hope that they lose a serious amount of money, and have to re-write this agreement because what they have done is extremely unfair to its users.


Matt Dudek said...

God Bless America! The Land of The Free! I think this is funny how Sony has restricted just about all of our freedoms on the new ps3. I think it was smart for Sony to cover all of their tracks, but in the public's eyes this will just look like an act of "Big Brother." I wonder what Sony actually said if you called customer service to complain about the user agreement? "We offer 100% customer satisfaction but you have no choice on this matter."

patrick morrison said...

for the un-godly amount of cash you have to spend to get one of these, you should be able to turn it into a cell phone for all they care