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EA inserts class-action prevention clause into Origin EULA

Friday, 23rd September 2011 19:21 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Like Sony before it, EA has added a clause to its Origin EULA which would keep users from bringing a class-action suit against the firm. The updated terms-of-service agreement, once accepted by the participant foregoes the right to sue and have a jury trial, allowing only individual cases to be brought against it. Like Sony’s agreement, the Origin agreement includes an opt-out clause which much be submitted to EA in writing. You can thank AT&T and the Supreme Court for this.

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8 Comments

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  1. Phoenixblight

    ATT wins a case and everyone and their mother now does this.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. UKTomm

    So I won’t be able to file a suit for Origin searching my PC for data and reporting it back to them? :(

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    @2 Steam, your OS, and your browser are already searching your computer for you.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. UKTomm

    @2 I’m just trolling because Origin sucks. (I’m kidding, honestly.)

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Freek

    Just because it’s in a EULA doesn’t automaticly make it legal, even if you click accept.
    If Sony or EA do mess up in a big way and there’s evidence they were in the wrong, this will not stop legal action against them, even in class form.
    Not to mention that this was a US court decission, that doesn’t mean anything to rest of the world.

    Basicly, it’s a scare tactic and an extra legal hurdel to overcome, not a draconian catch all method to make them immune from the law.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. GrimRita

    It worries me why a GAMES publisher would need to do this kind of crap. Clearly something smells behind the scenes and probably boils down to the fact that these two shit companies plan to do something nasty with the data that they ‘collect’.

    Why they cant have an opt out ON their website instead of having to write in, shows they both cant be trusted.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    @6

    Same reason why when you get a job in the states that you have to sign an arbitration clause so its just in case if they fuck up somewhere. Its better for them to have it than not have it and something horrible happens.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Cygnar

    @5
    The EULA doesn’t apply anywhere but in the United States. Rest easy if you aren’t in the US.

    As for whether or not the provision in the EULA is legal, it is. The whole reason Sony and EA put these ‘class action waiver’ clauses into the contracts is because the Supreme Court decided it was legal when AT&T did the same. For this rule to change, either federal lawmakers are going to have to change the law (not likely given American politics as it is), or the Court is going to have to hear another similar case and change its mind (almost certain not to happen anytime soon).

    In any case, neither company is “immune” from lawsuits altogether. The clauses change it so disputes have to go through arbitration, which is something like a trial, but not run by the government. These are regulated by laws of their own, and they are not owned by Sony, EA, or any other corporate entity that uses them.

    @6
    Do you expect corporations to sit on their asses and let people bring big, expensive class action suits when they can avoid them just by changing their contracts? EA doesn’t have to plan on abusing its customers to safeguard itself from lawsuits.

    Class action suits in the United States are tremendously expensive and time-consuming. The costs associated with the production of evidence skyrocket when affected classes include thousands of people or more. These costs occur whether or not a corporation wins or loses a lawsuit, and so there is huge pressure to settle a class action suit, even a frivolous one, just to avoid spending all the time and money needed to go to court. Either a company pays money to be a defendant in a class action suit, or it pays money to settle the case whether or not the case was a winner or loser. Companies don’t like choices like this. They have no interest in letting their customers gut them of thousands or millions of dollars.

    The prevention of these suits is a safeguard against the guaranteed loss of money in the event of a dispute. When you put on a seatbelt before driving, it isn’t a sign that you plan on getting into a car accident. In much the same way, when a company tries to stop the costs of class action lawsuits, it isn’t necessarily a sign that they plan on doing anything abusive.

    #8 3 years ago