EA Origin Terms of Service also prevents class action suits

Sony recently received quite a bit of attention for its new PlayStation Network Terms of Service, which includes a clause of binding arbitration to prevent class-action lawsuits. EA also has similar terms embedded in its own TOS agreement for its online storefront, Origin.

The policy (via Gamersmint) includes language that indicates you "expressly wave the right to a trial by jury or to participate in a class action." The thrust of the agreement involves settling disputes through individual arbitration, which is usually a money-saving legal step for companies.

The TOS also references an opt-out letter like the PSN terms; though unlike the PSN, it seems to apply only to future changes to the provision:

Notwithstanding any provision in this Agreement to the contrary, we agree that if EA makes any future change to this arbitration provision (other than a change to the Notice Address), you may reject any such change by sending us written notice within 30 days of the change to the Arbitration Notice Address provided above. By rejecting any future change, you are agreeing that you will arbitrate any dispute between us in accordance with the language of this provision.

It's worth noting that residents of Quebec, Russia, Switzerland, or Member States of the European Union are excluded from the binding arbitration clause. Interestingly, the TOS says it was last updated on August 25, so this clause seems to have preceded Sony's changes by a few weeks at least.

We recently learned that the PSN Terms of Service are based precedent established in a Supreme Court hearing over similar AT&T terms. Both Sony and EA can rely on this precedent for their respective agreements; therefore it is technically legally binding.