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Posted by patrickklepek (5460 posts) -
This manifesto headlines the Gamers Opt Out website (www.gamersoptout.com) and makes its intentions clear.

UPDATE: If you're having trouble getting the submission form to work, it should be fixed now.

--

If you agreed to the most recent Terms of Service (aka EULA) rolled out for Sony's PlayStation Network or Electronic Arts' Origin services, you've agreed to lose the right to collectively sue either corporation in order to keep accessing each service.

"By accepting these terms, you and EA expressly waive the right to a trial by jury or to participate in a class action," reads the latest update for Origin. "This agreement is intended to be interpreted broadly."

This does not apply worldwide. As pointed out in the Origin agreement, by legal precedent, Quebec, Russia, Switzerland and the Member States of the European Union (click here for a complete list of said states) users retain their rights.

You do have one option in both cases, however: send a letter within 30 days of agreement saying you wish to retain your rights. Until recently, there is no way to electronically agree to opt-out. The cynical viewpoint would be how this encourages consumers to simply click "I agree" and forget about the rights they're waiving away.

To have continued access to Origin and PSN, you have to agree to the updated Terms of Service.

Chicago-based Gamers Opt Out (www.gamersoptout.com) are making it easier with an electronic means to retain your rights.

Running on donations, Gamers Opt Out allows you to submit your information and it will physically send the opt-out letter for you. Getting a letter sent doesn't cost a thing.

"I thought of the idea after first hearing about the new Sony PSN opt-out clause but didn't think much of it until it came to light that Origin had the same one," said organizer Matt "Jaku" Jakubowski over email.

Jakubowski contacted two good friends to help--Travis "Exiva" La Marr and Kate Walquist. The trio has been working on getting the website online since September 23, and it finally launched on Monday.

There are other contributors to handle logistics, including another individual that's actually named Matt Jakubowski, too. Amazing.

Class actions allow consumers to speak in a singular voice. Each company is hoping to handle these complaints on an individual basis, thus without the possibility of a sympathetic jury. Arbitration cases are typically overseen by retired judges. These clauses are the result of an April decision by the Supreme Court to allow AT&T's to include similar clauses in employee contracts.

"A lot of commenters seem to all mention that 'This EULA wouldn't hold up in court anyways,' and I agree," said Jakubowski. "But it's not about that. The point is that Sony & EA put these clauses in and are being sneaky about it. They don't expect people to send the opt-outs and you know what 90% of the people won't. What we are trying to do is stand up for ourselves as gamers and show these companies that they can't do this to us and that we don't agree with what they are doing."

The plan is to send out the first letters today. As of last night, Jakubowski hoped to send 1,000 letters related to PSN but was currently a few hundred short. The team will send letters as long as it has cash to do so.

Jakubowski said Gamers Opt Out had raised about $600 so far. Contributors have the option to display their donation on the website, either attributed to a real name or a Internet handle. Jakubowski is the largest so far, having poured $60 of his own money, which will result in the sending of 263 letters. Ghalidrim is not far behind, though, having donated $50--or 219 letters.

If you send in a letter, you retain your rights and the ability to continue playing Battlefield 3.

"If we run out of donations I'll most likely be donating a bit more so that we can take more letters in if it comes to that," he said. "But sadly if we don't get a steady amount we won't be able to run the site forever."

It's expected Origin and PSN are only the start of more services incorporating these clauses, and Gamers Opt Out will adapt as they change. Jakubowski estimates it would take 24 hours per service.

The group has reached out to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and at least two other lawyers, out of worries about the legality of being a third-party for individually centered opt-out letters. The fear would be that these letters would not count, since they were not sent by the individual themselves. As far as Gamers Opt Out can tell, however, since the agreements do not ban this, it's in the clear so far.

Gamers Opt Out has not contacted Sony or Microsoft, nor has it heard from either company.

"We don't feel that there is a reason to contact them at this time," said Jakubowski. "Since they are both huge corporations we just don't have the time to try and find the right person. If they want to talk, our group is easy to find and get in touch with."

#1 Posted by patrickklepek (5460 posts) -
This manifesto headlines the Gamers Opt Out website (www.gamersoptout.com) and makes its intentions clear.

UPDATE: If you're having trouble getting the submission form to work, it should be fixed now.

--

If you agreed to the most recent Terms of Service (aka EULA) rolled out for Sony's PlayStation Network or Electronic Arts' Origin services, you've agreed to lose the right to collectively sue either corporation in order to keep accessing each service.

"By accepting these terms, you and EA expressly waive the right to a trial by jury or to participate in a class action," reads the latest update for Origin. "This agreement is intended to be interpreted broadly."

This does not apply worldwide. As pointed out in the Origin agreement, by legal precedent, Quebec, Russia, Switzerland and the Member States of the European Union (click here for a complete list of said states) users retain their rights.

You do have one option in both cases, however: send a letter within 30 days of agreement saying you wish to retain your rights. Until recently, there is no way to electronically agree to opt-out. The cynical viewpoint would be how this encourages consumers to simply click "I agree" and forget about the rights they're waiving away.

To have continued access to Origin and PSN, you have to agree to the updated Terms of Service.

Chicago-based Gamers Opt Out (www.gamersoptout.com) are making it easier with an electronic means to retain your rights.

Running on donations, Gamers Opt Out allows you to submit your information and it will physically send the opt-out letter for you. Getting a letter sent doesn't cost a thing.

"I thought of the idea after first hearing about the new Sony PSN opt-out clause but didn't think much of it until it came to light that Origin had the same one," said organizer Matt "Jaku" Jakubowski over email.

Jakubowski contacted two good friends to help--Travis "Exiva" La Marr and Kate Walquist. The trio has been working on getting the website online since September 23, and it finally launched on Monday.

There are other contributors to handle logistics, including another individual that's actually named Matt Jakubowski, too. Amazing.

Class actions allow consumers to speak in a singular voice. Each company is hoping to handle these complaints on an individual basis, thus without the possibility of a sympathetic jury. Arbitration cases are typically overseen by retired judges. These clauses are the result of an April decision by the Supreme Court to allow AT&T's to include similar clauses in employee contracts.

"A lot of commenters seem to all mention that 'This EULA wouldn't hold up in court anyways,' and I agree," said Jakubowski. "But it's not about that. The point is that Sony & EA put these clauses in and are being sneaky about it. They don't expect people to send the opt-outs and you know what 90% of the people won't. What we are trying to do is stand up for ourselves as gamers and show these companies that they can't do this to us and that we don't agree with what they are doing."

The plan is to send out the first letters today. As of last night, Jakubowski hoped to send 1,000 letters related to PSN but was currently a few hundred short. The team will send letters as long as it has cash to do so.

Jakubowski said Gamers Opt Out had raised about $600 so far. Contributors have the option to display their donation on the website, either attributed to a real name or a Internet handle. Jakubowski is the largest so far, having poured $60 of his own money, which will result in the sending of 263 letters. Ghalidrim is not far behind, though, having donated $50--or 219 letters.

If you send in a letter, you retain your rights and the ability to continue playing Battlefield 3.

"If we run out of donations I'll most likely be donating a bit more so that we can take more letters in if it comes to that," he said. "But sadly if we don't get a steady amount we won't be able to run the site forever."

It's expected Origin and PSN are only the start of more services incorporating these clauses, and Gamers Opt Out will adapt as they change. Jakubowski estimates it would take 24 hours per service.

The group has reached out to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and at least two other lawyers, out of worries about the legality of being a third-party for individually centered opt-out letters. The fear would be that these letters would not count, since they were not sent by the individual themselves. As far as Gamers Opt Out can tell, however, since the agreements do not ban this, it's in the clear so far.

Gamers Opt Out has not contacted Sony or Microsoft, nor has it heard from either company.

"We don't feel that there is a reason to contact them at this time," said Jakubowski. "Since they are both huge corporations we just don't have the time to try and find the right person. If they want to talk, our group is easy to find and get in touch with."

#2 Edited by cabelhigh (247 posts) -

Awesome. Good to see that people aren't just sitting on their hands and "being good consumers" with this.

#3 Posted by Little_Socrates (5683 posts) -

I've just done a good job of using my roommate's account for these services. He'll be smart and put these letters through, though.

#4 Posted by kcp12 (59 posts) -

I'm doing this. Thanks Patrick.

#5 Edited by notha (239 posts) -

i am doing this as well. i'd love to be in the EA mailroom when these arrive en masse. gonna create a lot of headaches for the poor souls that are assigned to read through all these.

#6 Edited by RuneseekerMireille (325 posts) -

Though I've already sent my letter, this is a good thing I'll gladly contribute to. Losing rights should never be okay, even if you have no intention of using them. You never know.

#7 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11272 posts) -

If I didn't have the ambition to send the letter myself, I'm not going to make these people do it for me.

Nice that they are though.

Moderator
#8 Posted by C0V3RT (1377 posts) -

But then I can't send them a picture of my my socks...dang.

#9 Posted by Jeffsekai (7042 posts) -

Won't work for me.

Online
#10 Posted by m0nk3y80y (181 posts) -

I keep trying to do this, but their webpage keeps bugging out every time I hit submit. I'll try again later, I only agreed to the PS3 EULA two days ago.

#11 Posted by Chemin (632 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

If I didn't have the ambition to send the letter myself, I'm not going to make these people do it for me.

Nice that they are though.

This.

#12 Posted by Meltac (2003 posts) -

Hm, doesn't work for me either. It says my account name doesn't exist.

#13 Posted by crusader8463 (14423 posts) -

Tried it and it just gave me an error message...

#14 Posted by StriderNo9 (1134 posts) -

Isn't working for me either but I'm going to try again later. I wanted to do this on my own before but kept putting it off, this helps make the process smoother.

#15 Posted by AndrewB (7662 posts) -

I haven't even agreed to the new terms of service, nor will I until something comes along and I just *have* to. When that time comes I'll send my letter.

#16 Posted by BluPotato (453 posts) -

Cool idea and good for them. The thing I'm worried about is weather or not this is going to become more and more standard in EULA's. It's going to be kinda a pain to have keep and eye out for sneaky shit like this and to send a letter to every single damn company if they become boilerplate in these kinda things.

#17 Posted by patrickklepek (5460 posts) -

I've updated the story with what to do if you're getting an error.

#18 Posted by SocialChameleon (13 posts) -

@patrickklepek: Good for them. Donated the money I would have spent on BF3 to these guys instead.

#19 Posted by SSully (4230 posts) -

Sent out 3 letters through them and donated 5 bucks. Maybe sony and EA will get the message that this is bullshit.

#20 Edited by zameer (606 posts) -

WE JUST GOT JOURNALISM-IZED (err... JOURNALIZED?!) SON

#21 Posted by Rirse (267 posts) -

Don't care, stop posting this crap, Patrick.

#22 Posted by polyorpheus (40 posts) -

I care. Keep posting stuff like this, Patrick.

#23 Posted by 234r2we232 (3181 posts) -

Cool elaborate article. I just don't buy EA games instead. Has worked out pretty well for me so far.

#24 Posted by nmarchan (173 posts) -

@Rirse said:

Don't care, stop posting this crap, Patrick.

Speak for yourself. If you want to let EA and/or Sony screw you over, that's your business. Nobody forced you to click on this.

#25 Posted by Metal_Mills (3010 posts) -
@Rirse said:

Don't care, stop posting this crap, Patrick.

You don't for what ever idiot reason. Others do.
#26 Posted by core1065 (544 posts) -

God bless you Patrick. I will fight till the end to preserve my rights as an American!
#27 Posted by Rirse (267 posts) -

@nmarchan said:

@Rirse said:

Don't care, stop posting this crap, Patrick.

Speak for yourself. If you want to let EA and/or Sony screw you over, that's your business. Nobody forced you to click on this.

Actually I had to click on this article to see the "Coming Soon" tab, which got removed when this was posted.

#28 Posted by EveretteScott (1516 posts) -

@cabelhigh said:

Awesome. Good to see that people aren't just sitting on their hands and "being good consumers" with this.

If you're not planning on suing people, it's not a big deal.

#30 Posted by patrickklepek (5460 posts) -

@EveretteScott said:

@cabelhigh said:

Awesome. Good to see that people aren't just sitting on their hands and "being good consumers" with this.

If you're not planning on suing people, it's not a big deal.

It's not that you plan to sue someone, it's if Sony commits an egregious act against a large portion of its consumers, each consumer would then have to sue Sony individually, rather than as a large group affected by a single problem. That's the power of class action lawsuits. You should always be wary of someone taking away a right you've previously had.

#31 Posted by mrfluke (5265 posts) -

@Rirse: go fuck yourself

#32 Posted by Saltank (188 posts) -

I don't see the submit button?

#33 Posted by crusader8463 (14423 posts) -

@Tarsier said:

Hey, we just noticed you selected Canada... We appreciate that you want to use our service but it's actually not required for Canadians to opt-out. Precedent has just been set (and acknowledged) that Sony & Origin's clauses will not hold up in court.Seidel v Telus was decided last week in favour of Seidel, in regards to an anti-class action clause.

owned, stupids

That's awesome. Must be why it gave me an error when I hit submit.

#34 Posted by Sacerdos87 (157 posts) -

anyone else getting the account doesn't exist error when putting in your account name? It validates everything else but that for me.

#35 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11272 posts) -

@crusader8463 said:

@Tarsier said:

Hey, we just noticed you selected Canada... We appreciate that you want to use our service but it's actually not required for Canadians to opt-out. Precedent has just been set (and acknowledged) that Sony & Origin's clauses will not hold up in court.Seidel v Telus was decided last week in favour of Seidel, in regards to an anti-class action clause.

owned, stupids

That's awesome. Must be why it gave me an error when I hit submit.

Canada: Always the forefront of justice and law.

Moderator
#36 Posted by Garrador (20 posts) -

@Saltank:

I too lack a submit button on the website. Guess I will try tomorrow.

#37 Posted by AuthenticM (3759 posts) -

I'm in Québec, so ha!

#38 Edited by crusader8463 (14423 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

@crusader8463 said:

@Tarsier said:

Hey, we just noticed you selected Canada... We appreciate that you want to use our service but it's actually not required for Canadians to opt-out. Precedent has just been set (and acknowledged) that Sony & Origin's clauses will not hold up in court.Seidel v Telus was decided last week in favour of Seidel, in regards to an anti-class action clause.

owned, stupids

That's awesome. Must be why it gave me an error when I hit submit.

Canada: Always the forefront of justice and law.

Not if Harper gets his way...

#39 Edited by Peanut (954 posts) -

The thing that's most depressing to me are the drones on both sides of the argument who keep on fighting with each other. You've either got tools who are following a fucking company line, telling everyone to bend over and take it, or tools lining up to give Klepek a handy, scared shitless that they've somehow given away the rights to their freedom by agreeing not to sue a consumer electronics company.

Anyone care to join me in the grey area here?

#40 Posted by TigerDX (341 posts) -

Finally, a good reason to be a gamer in Europe. Hope there are lots of people out there who will do this; erosion of freedom is not something any of us should stand for.

#41 Posted by Vexxan (4623 posts) -

Good to see someone's fighting those stupid Terms of Service, great article!

#42 Posted by countinhallways (632 posts) -

Looks like being in the European Union is finally paying off!

#44 Posted by ericdrum (405 posts) -

So what are some incidents that have happened in gaming history that people believe have been class action lawsuit worthy?

#45 Posted by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -

@cabelhigh said:

Awesome. Good to see that people aren't just sitting on their hands and "being good consumers" with this.

#46 Posted by Oddsor (25 posts) -

@ericdrum: Not really relevant even if there weren't any good reasons. I don't see what consumers can possibly gain by letting corporations tell us that we basically can't sue them.

Hell, I'm norwegian and probably won't ever sue anyone, but I like that consumers have the ability to fight back if the big guys get out of line.

#47 Posted by ericdrum (405 posts) -

@Oddsor: I'd really like to care about this, but the 50 bucks I spend 2 or 3 times a month is not enough money for me to put any effort into protecting myself as a consumer. I'd like to know tangible, real things that have happened or that could happen so that I might be motivated to protect myself as a consumer here. Otherwise, I'll just continue to let my money do my talking and not purchase games by companies that screw me over. That's my only point here. I know the party line is to always care about any rights being taken away, but I really have to draw the line somewhere.

#48 Posted by Vonocourt (2139 posts) -

Don't plan to be part of any possible class-action lawsuit, but I signed up anyway.

#49 Posted by NipCrip66 (125 posts) -

So glad I live in the UK. US Supreme Court couldn't get rid of my rights in a desperate attempt to stop their country continuing to go down the crapper economically.

#50 Posted by iAmJohn (6123 posts) -

@Peanut said:

The thing that's most depressing to me are the drones on both sides of the argument who keep on fighting with each other. You've either got tools who are following a fucking company line, telling everyone to bend over and take it, or tools lining up to give Klepek a handy, scared shitless that they've somehow given away the rights to their freedom by agreeing not to sue a consumer electronics company.

Anyone care to join me in the grey area here?

I hardly see how it's a grey area. You're either forfeiting your legal rights to a corporation that probably isn't working in your best interests or you're not.