Sony has been a part of several class-action lawsuits due to the PS3 (usually on the receiving end) due to things like removing Linux support as well as other things. I’m sure they’ve gotten tired of it and in as sleezy of a way to deal with it as any have decided that in the latest mandatory PS3 update if you agree to it you also agree to not participate in any class-action lawsuits against them.
“ANY DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEEDINGS, WHETHER IN ARBITRATION OR COURT, WILL BE CONDUCTED ONLY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS AND NOT IN A CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION OR AS A NAMED OR UNNAMED MEMBER IN A CLASS, CONSOLIDATED, REPRESENTATIVE OR PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL LEGAL ACTION, UNLESS BOTH YOU AND THE SONY ENTITY WITH WHICH YOU HAVE A DISPUTE SPECIFICALLY AGREE TO DO SO IN WRITING FOLLOWING INITIATION OF THE ARBITRATION. THIS PROVISION DOES NOT PRECLUDE YOUR PARTICIPATION AS A MEMBER IN A CLASS ACTION FILED ON OR BEFORE AUGUST 20, 2011.”
The only way to opt out of this is by writing a letter by hand and mailing it to them explicitly saying that you want to opt out. There’s no checkbox that’s already checked that you can uncheck to not partake in this part of the agreement because, well they want to make it a pain in your ass not to fight it. And the kicker? If you don’t agree to the terms of this latest update then you’re no longer allowed to play any online games.
I know it’s easy to say Sony is being a capital douche in doing this, but in reality you’d be stupid not to if you were a large company since the Supreme Court recently bolstered the ability of businesses to channel customer and employee complaints into arbitration, ruling that companies can block people from pressing those claims as a group in contracts.