Updated Microsoft EULA prohibits class action lawsuits

By on May 29, 2012, 3:30 PM

Microsoft is following in the footsteps of several other large corporations by adding a clause to their end-user license agreements that will prevent individuals from filing class-action lawsuits against them. The decision was announced in a post on the Microsoft on the Issues blog by assistant general counsel Tim Fielden.

In the post, Fielden outlines that if a user has a dispute about a Microsoft product that the company cannot formally resolve, the customer may resort to small claims court or arbitration but isn’t allowed to file a class-action suit. He says that a Supreme Court ruling in 2011 permitted companies to add the clause to their EULA and that several have already done so.

Sony released a mandatory update for the PlayStation 3 in September that included a similar clause while EA’s Origin did the same thing a few weeks later. Microsoft even made changes to their Xbox Live EULA in December to prevent class-action suits. GeekWire highlights that the four largest US wireless carriers have all adopted the practice while pointing out that they weren’t able to find the clause in the terms of service agreements for Apple or Google.

Fielden didn’t detail exactly which products would get the updated EULA moving forward nor did he give a projected timeframe for the rollout. When reached for comment, Microsoft declined to release a list of affected products to GeekWire.

Those unhappy with certain Microsoft software or hardware for whatever reason have 45 days to return said product for a full refund. Microsoft will refund up to $7 in shipping costs if applicable.




User Comments: 18

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Guest said:

Linux looks better and better each day...

ikesmasher said:

seems kinda questionable to me.

viperfl said:

Your only limited to a certain amount in small claims court and arbitration don't usually favor the victim. Microsoft would cut down there losses considerably by doing this. On the other hand, in a class action lawsuit, the victims get very little while the lawyers make out big time. In the end, the victims lose either way.

Guest said:

Did SONY not do something similar recently?

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Did SONY not do something similar recently?

You would know for sure if you had taken the time to read the article.

Sony released a mandatory update for the PlayStation 3 in September that included a similar clause while EA's Origin did the same thing a few weeks later. Microsoft even made changes to their Xbox Live EULA in December to prevent class-action suits. GeekWire highlights that the four largest US wireless carriers have all adopted the practice while pointing out that they weren't able to find the clause in the terms of service agreements for Apple or Google.

Guest said:

Perhaps that Supreme Court ruling should be repealed. Not that I am a fan of lawyers making loads of money but it removes a avenue of holding a big corporation responsible for misdeeds...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I smell foul play in the future. Something MS & Sony is wanting to protect themselves against before hand.

tonylukac said:

I thought there was a recent ruling that said eulas are not the word of god and can be invalid in courts. Realize that eulas are not laws and don't have to be followed.

Scshadow said:

<p>I thought there was a recent ruling that said eulas are not the word of god and can be invalid in courts. Realize that eulas are not laws and don't have to be followed.</p>

I dunno what dream world you're living in, but the only way you aren't bound to an agreement is if its unlawful. These anti class action lawsuit clauses are deemed legal by the supreme court so its legally binding.

Cota Cota said:

thats it.. im done.. I don't wanna live on this planet anymore.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Pretty smart imo. People are jumping on the bandwagon as soon as they hear "class action."

killeriii said:

1. eulas are not law.

2. clicking a mouse button does not always bind you by law.

3. there's no witness to the act.

sort of seems like the issue with holding people lawfully accountable to their IP addresses.

In the end, money talks.

Guest said:

ohh too bad for MS and all other companies that this kind of clause doesnt work against the consumer law at my country...well, keep trying MS ...

Guest said:

Agreed with the above comment, it is akin to a shop keeper saying no refunds with sign out the front of their store.

It isn't the law and it is only to discourage ppl from trying, when I see this type of stupidity I tend to think what are they scared of that they resort to such lamented practices.

Jibberish18 said:

I don't think this should EVER be allowed to happen under the law and their should be a law preventing this from happening, BUT I do think that CAL's today can get ridiculous as their are lawyers who would love to take the chance to sue a huge corporation. I mean Apple got sued for Siri....wtf? I mean really, their have been automobiles that have almost killed people in the past let alone features that thousands of people didn't like and people didn't sue and that's on a $15k+ product but everyone wants to sue Apple for a $700 phone?

Lurker101 said:

Wasn't there a recent court ruling that declared EULAs not legally binding?

rrplay said:

yeah that is why the wordsmithy lawyers can charge the big bucks writing these Eulas up, with "By clicking on the submit you agree to these terms and conditions" along with the "terms and conditions of this agreement are subject to change at any time" .Some of this is also with health care too ,with a signature that may be required before a surgical procedure stating that you are not going to file suit or hold the doctor or office liable in the case something goes wrong. ...yeah right !!!

The brainwashing continues ...oh well...

tonylukac said:

[link]

Right here on Techspot. EULAs are not law.

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