EA Origin Terms of Service also prevents class action suits

EA own Terms of Service includes a clause that prevents binding arbitration, very similar to Sony's recently updated PlayStation Network TOS.


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.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 26, 2011 8:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, EA Origin Terms of Service also prevents class action suits.

    EA own Terms of Service includes a clause that prevents binding arbitration, very similar to Sony's recently updated PlayStation Network TOS.

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      September 26, 2011 8:58 AM

      Interesting reddit link looking at the Steam ToS as well: http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/kppf0/hey_everyone_looks_a_valves_eula_it_looks_just/

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        September 26, 2011 10:34 AM


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        September 26, 2011 7:03 PM

        So then there should be an article about how Steam's EULA is just like Sony's and Origin's, right?

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          September 26, 2011 8:25 PM

          If they wanted to take a balanced approach to reporting, then yes. That would mean hopping off the sensationalist Origin fear mongering train everyone's riding because it drives page hits though.

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      September 26, 2011 9:48 AM

      when I ordered SWTOR I was charged a $4.95 tax, I wondered where this came from and where the "tax" is remitted too. If it turns out to be improper everyone who paid it will be SOL because no laywer will take a 4.95 case. Its almost like the AT&T case was a greenlight to nickel and dime customers. I mean the EA tax might (and probaby is) totally legit, but in the rare case it wasnt, its like nothing can be done about it anymore.

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        September 26, 2011 9:57 AM

        Was the the pre-order deposit or something else?

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          September 26, 2011 10:07 AM

          Origin charges taxes, apparently they don't want to deal with the fact that they have a presence in so many places and deciding whether or not to charge tax based on location so they charge everyone tax.

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            September 26, 2011 11:04 AM

            But they have to figure out the exact tax rate and then remit that to the proper agency - they don't get to "just charge tax" because it may be easier that way.

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              September 26, 2011 11:22 AM

              Obviously, I meant it was easier for them to charge everywhere than have to update shit every time they opened/bought another studio.

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            September 26, 2011 11:49 AM

            Not everywhere. I live in Florida, and didn't get charged tax.

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              September 26, 2011 12:01 PM

              I could've sworn it was everywhere, maybe they do just charge tax where they have studios.

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              September 26, 2011 12:09 PM

              that's because the only things remotely resembling 'electronics' or 'art'' in florida are dale earnhardt tribute bug zappers

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      September 26, 2011 10:11 AM

      None of those would ever hold up if challenged in court, though.

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      September 26, 2011 9:17 PM

      Hmm... I guess you can still sue them individually, just not as part of a class action lawsuit.

      I'm not sure what I would want to sue EA over anyway.

      I guess if they leaked my credit card information over Origin or something.

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