Jargon To English: Sony Website TOS Version

Terms Of Servicing You

Earlier this year, I, along with my personal kick-ass attorney Ed Brass, did a section by section legal jargon to English translation of the iTunes Terms Of Service Agreement. Recently I encountered the Terms Of Service Agreement for the Playstation Network. This TOS confounded me in a way that usually only communicating with drunk people does. Therefore I teamed up with Ed Brass again to translate the Playstation Network Terms Of Service from legal jargon into English that is understandable by humans.

The first thing I am going to tackle is the Terms Of Service that you have to agree to when you make an account and sign into one of Sony's websites. That is not the PlayStation Network Terms Of Service agreements, just the agreement you, apparently, agree to when you use one of Sony's websites. The Sony website TOS agreement is six pages long, the Sony PSN TOS is much longer. No, seriously. I will tackle the Sony PlayStation Network Terms Of Service agreement once I and Ed Brass has a free month and a half.

Link to Terms Of Service Agreement

Here are the Terms of Service we expect you to follow:
This section says that this Terms Of Service agreement is a legally binding contract between you and Sony. It also says that by using Sony's websites you affirm that you are able to enter into legally binding contracts.

This section says that you do not need to create a Playstation Network (PSN) account to view Sony's sites, but if you do create an account, you will have access to more of the features of Sony's websites, as well as Sony's online community, which allows you access to games, additional content for games, movies, television shows, and original programming. This section also informs you of how you can create your own PlayStation Network account, but also informs you that creating such an account will result in you having to agree to another Terms Of Service agreement, as well as a Privacy Policy that governs PSN. These agreements also apply to you when you sign into your PSN account on Sony's websites. Also, creating a PSN account is free.

This section states that Sony respects your information and privacy and will not disclose your personal information to any third party, other than parties states in their Privacy Policy. It also states that by using Sony's sites, you affirm that Sony is not responsible for the personal information that you disclose on it's sites. This section also warns you about disclosing personal identification on it's sites.

This paragraph discloses that you may be provided with information about products and services from companies not affiliated with Sony, and that Sony is not responsible for information given to you by any outside party.

This section deals with the ownership of content on Sony's websites. This section makes it abundantly clear that content that appears on Sony's sites are owned by the people who created that content, not you. This section also states that you CAN NOT create content based on content on Son'y sites without express permission of the content owner. It also says that you can not tell content that is available on Sony's sites.

This paragraph explicitly states what you, the user, can do with the content that is made available on Sony's sites. This paragraph states that you can:
1. Surf and view sites that have Sony's content on it in a manner consistent with normal web browsing activity
2. Use the content available on Sony's sites for personal, non-commercial use. It also makes it abundantly clear that you, the user, can not make money by distributing the content available on Sony's sites for any profit making venture. This includes many ideas that Sony does not go into great detail about because they do not want to make an exhaustive list of such ideas. (It actually says that they do not want to create an exhaustive list)

This paragraph states that, even if Sony does give you permission to use the content on Sony's sites, they still own that content. Also, if they include any information conveying any ownership information on the content, you should not alter that information.

This section deals with User Generated Content, hence the section title. This section informs you that some of Sony's sites allow you to communicate with other users and create, upload, share, and distribute content in connection with those sites. Content governed by this section does not include blog posts and message board postings. If you post your viewpoints on your blog site or message boards, you have no right to restrict or allow access to that content.

This section tells you that, while it is great for you to share and upload content, that certain kinds of content are not authorized to be uploaded to Sony's sites. This section then tells you what kinds of content are not authorized for use on Sony's sites. There are as follows:
1. Copyrighted material, unless you have permission from the copyright holder.
2. Content that contains false statements or misrepresentations that could damage Sony or any third party.
3. Contents that contain messages that make fun of Sony or any third party.
4. Contents that can be deemed offensive in any reasonable context, or encourages people to break the law.
5. Content that serves as an ad for any commercial activity.
6. Impersonates a person that is not yourself.
7. Content that acts as SPAM for a product or service.
8. Content that violated the Code Of Conduct, to be described later, the Terms Of Service, or any other agreement referenced in this Terms Of Service.

This section pertains to licensing of User Generated Content. If you post content to Sony's sites, assuming you have to right to use that content, you are giving Sony the right to use that content. Sony's does not have to gain permission to use any content you upload to Sony's sites, as this agreement serves as your consent. Nor do they have to pay you for said content.

By loading content onto Sony's sites, you give Sony an unconditional, perpetual, and boundless license to use that content in any way they deem fit. They can use your content in any way, in any media form, in any country, and do not have to compensate you for doing so. Sony can also create derivative works based on content that you upload onto their sites. Sony can also license the content that you upload to any Sony site to any third party that they see fit without having to obtain permission from the creator.

Also, if you upload content based on any copyright you hold or have right to, you give Sony the right to distribute that content consistent with the paragraph seen above. You have no right to dispute Sony's use of said content. It is also your responsibility to resolve any dispute that arises if you lose the right to any copyrighted property that you create content for that you upload to any of Sony's sites. Your responsibility, not Sony's.

This section states that Sony has the right, but not the obligation, to screen, move, edit, or remove any content uploaded to Sony's sites for any reason.

This section makes it clear that Sony is not responsible for content that they do not create. Sony advises that you should enjoy this content at your own risk.

The following paragraph affirms that the content that appears on Sony's sites is the responsibility of the person who created the content, not Sony.

This section deals with copyrighted work. Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. ("SCEA") respects the copyrights of others, and has adopted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. 512 et seq.).

SCEA, once they are altered about an infringement of copyright law, may remove or block access to the disputed content, and can deny users access to Sony's sites if the repeatedly engage in this behavior. If SCEA does take action in relation to a copyright dispute, they will take reasonable steps to inform impacted parties of their actions.

Procedure for Reporting Copyright Infringement:

This paragraph tell you that if you believe that content uploaded to one of Sony's sites infringes on your copyright, the Designated Agent for such disputes is:

Riley Russell
Legal & Business Affairs Department
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
919 East Hillside Blvd., 2nd Floor
Foster City, CA 94404
By phone: 650-655-8000
By email: infringement@playstation.sony.com

The following paragraphs and bullet points tell you what information must be included when you make a claim of copyright infringement. If you legitimately feel that something uploaded to one of Sony's sites infringes on your copyright, might I suggest contacting a powerful attorney about this manner, such as Brass Cordova.

Supplying a Counter-Notice Regarding Alleged Copyright Infringement
The following paragraphs and bullet points deals the process you must undertake if you feel that a wrongful claim of copyright infringement has been made against you. Again, if you feel this is the case, contact a powerful attorney, such as Brass Cordova.

This section lays out the Code Of Conduct, governing permissible and impermissible conduct on Sony's online community, PlayStation Network. This section stipulates that if you sign into PSN, you must adhere to Sony's Code Of Conduct.

This paragraph stated that you are not allowed to give any legitimate and legal information that can identify you, your family, or your business directly on one of Sony's sites.

Under Sony's Code Of Conduct policy, you are also prohibited from doing the following:
a. Anything deceptive or misleading
b. Any abusive, intimidating, harassing, or stalking behavior
c. Making any content available on one of Sony's sites that can be seen as offensive in any way. This includes content that is racist, ethnically offensive, bigoted, sexist, libelous, defaming, threatening, bullying, or stalking
d. Organizing hate groups
e. Spreading viruses, worms, spyware, time bombs, or other programs that can damage, interfere, or disrupt Sony's sites, computers, or users
f. Doing anything that causes a disruption to one of Sony's sites, hardware, software, or network
g. Engaging in hacking or reverse engineering while utilizing one of Sony's services
h. Making a false report of user abuse
i. Violating the law
j. Taking action that disrupts the normal flow of things on one of Sony's sites, including posting junk letters, unauthorized material, SPAM, excessive mails, or chain letters
k. Using one of Sony's sites to distribute commercial content
l. Posting content that you are aware infringes on the rights of any third party, as well as breaks the law, regulation, contract, or fiduciary obligations
m. Impersonating any person on one of Sony's sites
n. Using information taken from one of Sony's sites to develop your own hardware or software, whether that hardware or software is authorized or unauthorized.

This section details the process you must undertake when you want to report abuse on one of Sony's sites. To report violations, call SCEA Consumer Services at 1-800-345-7669, or use the moderation tools on the website that you are using.

This section informs you that Sony is not an Internet Service Provider, and that they are not responsible for problems, charges, or information collecting that comes with utilizing a Internet Service Provider, which Sony is not.

This section tells you the rules for linking to something on one of Sony's sites from a site not owned by Sony. The link in question must not disparage Sony, the site linking to Sony's site must not claim to be a connected to Sony, the website doing the linking must not alter the way that Sony's site appears, and the website doing the linking must not display any of Sony's logos to create the link that they are using to deliver users to one of Sony's websites.

This paragraph states that you may use Sony's sites to link to a third party site. It also says that Sony does not screen such links and are not responsible for the content that such links take you to. By using Sony's sites, you agree that Sony does in fact hold no responsibility. Enjoy!

This section deals with contests that are made available on Sony's sites, and makes it clear that there are different rules for every contest and that the rules for those contests must be read in full before you participate in those contests.

This sections conveys that Sony hopes that you enjoy the sites that Sony owns and hopes that they function properly, but is not responsible for any damages that occur when utilizing Sony's sites. There is no warranty of any kind implied or administered when utilizing Sony's sites whatsoever.

This section limits the liability that Sony can occur when users utilize their sites. In summation, Sony, it's employees, executives, shareholders, representatives, agents, or anybody else associated with Sony assumes no liability of any kind for anything.

This sections states that upon agreeing to this Terms Of Service agreement, you, the person agreeing to this agreement, agrees to hold Sony, or anybody affiliated directly with Sony, blameless from any and all damages that can arise from you posting User Generated Content on Sony's sites. Sony also refuses to defend you if any third part makes any claims against you for the posting of such content on Sony's sites.

This section states that Sony can make changes to this Terms Of Service agreements at any time. This section also states that by using one of Sony's sites, you agree to follow the current Terms Of Service agreement. To print out a copy of this document, go to http://www.us.playstation.com/termsofuse.

This sections makes it clear that you are not Sony, are not affiliated with Sony, do not have a working agreement with Sony, and are not allowed to represent yourself as being Sony, being affiliated with Sony, or having a working agreement with Sony.

This sections asserts that Sony can terminate your access to Sony's sites at any time, but if Sony terminates your sections sections 3-9, 12, 13, 15 – 19, 21 and 22 of the Terms of Service will still apply to you.

This section states that, regardless of any law or statute to the contrary, that all grievances that you have in relation to this Terms Of Service will not result in legal action after one (1) year.

This section states that the Sony's Terms Of Service is governed by San Mateo County in the State Of California, and that, upon agreeing to this Terms Of Service agreement, all legal disputes must be made through those jurisdictions.


The paragraph that informs you of all of the trademarks that Sony hold that you commonly run across in use of Sony's sites.

The Terms Of Service is copyrighted by Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC. in 2011.

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