Sony save themselves and damn you with new Terms Of Service

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I wouldn’t blame you from not trusting Sony anymore after reading the changes to their new terms of service for their PLAYSTATION(R)Network accounts. In a move that pretty much detaches them from any kind of responsibility on almost all fronts and allows them to essentially “employ” you for free by having full access to any user created content you may create, the term “draconian” just isn’t enough anymore. But that’s not the worst of it, more after the jump.

In a story put up on Ars Technica Sony also has the right to keep records of anything you say or do online, or to simply listen in. “SCEA reserves the right to monitor and record any online activity and communication throughout PSN and you give SCEA your express consent to monitor and record your activities,” the agreement reads. “Any data collected in this way, including the content of your communications, the time and location of your activities, your Online ID and IP address and other related information may be used by us to enforce this Agreement or protect the interests of SCEA, its users, or licensors.”

And people were complaining about spore’s DRM…

You have also just become Sony’s new advertising department. Sony wants to make sure they can use whatever you create without being caught in any legal entanglements. “To the extent permitted by law, You authorize and license SCEA a royalty free and perpetual right to use, distribute, copy, modify, display, and publish your User Material for any reason without any restrictions or payments to you or any third parties,” Sony explains. “You further agree that SCEA may sub-license its rights to any third party, including its affiliates and subsidiaries. You hereby waive all claims, including any moral rights, against SCEA, its affiliates and subsidiaries for SCEA or any other third party’s use of User Material to the extent permitted by applicable law.”  So anything you make is not yours, it’s theirs and there’s nothing you can do about it.

So at the end of the day Sony are just doing everything in their power to save their own butts. Maybe the fact that Xbox live subscribers pay for their service and that Microsoft has forced such a closed nature to Xbox live doesn’t look so bad now? But maybe it is, having a look at Microsoft’s TOS for Xbox Live, they are not that far behind stating in terms of voice messages and the like that “These communications may be monitored; however, we cannot monitor the entire Service and make no attempt to do so. You understand that these communications can be recorded and used by others. Some games may utilize game managers and hosts. Game managers and hosts are not authorized Microsoft spokespersons, and their views do not necessarily reflect those of Microsoft.
We do not routinely monitor your use of the messaging features of the Service. However, to the maximum extent permitted by law, we may monitor your messages and may disclose information about you, including contents of messages, if we deem it necessary to: (1) conform to legal requirements or respond to legal process, (2) ensure your compliance with this contract, or (3) protect the rights, property, or interests of Microsoft, its employees, its customers or the public.”

I guess we had all better start watching what we say to each other over PSN or Xbox Live a little more carefully.

Here’s a link to Sony’s and Microsoft’s full Terms of Service.

Source: Ars Technica

Thanks to Ewie for the tip!

Last Updated: October 21, 2008

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