Sony has updated the PlayStation Network Terms of Service to shield itself from class action lawsuits like those it suffered following April's PSN ID theft.
A new section in the Terms called "Binding Individual Arbitration" contains a "Class Action Waiver". This states that no class action lawsuits (those brought about by a group of people) will be allowed unless agreed to by Sony.
Refused to accept the Terms of Service and PlayStation Network will refuse you.
"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," stated the Class Action Waiver.
Not, that is, "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".
The Terms of Service also has safety net should the Class Action Waiver not hold up in court.
"If the Class Action Waiver clause is found to be illegal or unenforceable, this entire Section 15 will be unenforceable, and the Dispute will be decided by a court and you and the Sony Entity you have a dispute with each agree to waive in that instance, to the fullest extent allowed by law, any trial by jury," declared the Severability part of Section 15.
The full, updated PSN Terms of Service can be read online.