Sony Settles with Canada Over 2011 PlayStation Network Hack
It was recently announced that a settlement has been reached in the May 2011 class action lawsuit filed by Canadian citizen Natasha Maksimovic against Sony Computer Entertainment over the breach of security and potential exposure of user data brought on by the hacking of the PlayStation Network. Despite reaching an agreement, however, it must still be approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which will hold a hearing regarding the matter on June 10th, 2013.
Should that go through, then there are still a few hoops left for users to stake their claim in the one million dollars worth of assorted freebies up for grabs. Those who signed up with a Canadian PlayStation Network, Sony Online Entertainment, or Qriocity account prior to May 15th, 2011 should have received an e-mail like the one below (though it may be worth noting that I’ve not received one yet) titled “PSN-SOE-Canada Settlement,” detailing within what goods there are to be had. They’ll be available on a first come, first serve basis to those who post this form. “Eligible Class Members” can also call 1-(877)-389-4482 in order to inquire about the benefits.
Those who do not opt out physically will be legally bound by the settlement so that they cannot sue Sony over the hack. Those wishing to opt out should start by visiting this link, and be aware that one can only opt out prior to May 20th, 2013, or else “you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue, the Sony companies regarding the legal claims this settlement resolves, ever again. If you opt out, you cannot get any benefits from the settlement.”
“If you can’t trust a huge multi-national corporation like Sony to protect your private information, who can you trust?” asked Maksimovic when filing the one billion dollar suit. “It appears to me that Sony focuses more on protecting its games than its PlayStation users.”
As part of the settlement, “The Sony Entities [involved] deny any claims of wrongdoing in this case, and the settlement does not mean that the Sony Entities violated any laws or did anything wrong.”
Read on for the contents of the e-mail:
If you had a PlayStation Network account, a Qriocity account, or a Sony Online Entertainment account at any time before May 15, 2011, you could get benefits from a class action settlement.
A settlement has been reached with the Sony Entities in a class action lawsuit about the illegal and unauthorized attacks in April of 2011 on the computer network systems used to provide the PlayStation Network (“PSN”), Qriocity, and Sony Online Entertainment (“SOE”) services (the “Intrusions”). The settlement provides benefits to eligible Canadian consumers who file a valid claim.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice will have a hearing to decide whether to give final approval to the settlement, so that the benefits can be issued. The included consumers have legal rights and options, such as excluding themselves from the settlement, or alternatively, objecting to and/or submitting a claim for benefits from the settlement.
The Sony Entities deny any claims of wrongdoing in this case, and the settlement does not mean that the Sony Entities violated any laws or did anything wrong.
The Class includes everyone who resides in Canada who had a PSN account, a Qriocity account, or an SOE account at any time prior to May 15, 2011.
WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE?
There are various benefits, depending in part on what type of account(s) you had:
Inactive PlayStation Network Accountholders:
If you used any of your PSN accounts any time from January 1, 2011 through May 14, 2011, but you did not use them after that through January 24, 2013 because of the Intrusions, you can get a payment equal to any balance of paid virtual currency in your account wallet if that balance is at least U.S. $2.
Active PlayStation Network Accountholders:
a) If you paid other companies for certain media services that you could not access through the PSN during the PSN outage from April 20 through May 14, 2011, you can get 3 free PS3 themes or a 50% discount on PlayStation Plus for 3 months. Up to U.S. $100,000 in total benefits will be available, on a first-come, first-served basis.
b) If you participated in the PSN “Welcome Back” program that followed the April 2011 service outage, you can get either a free game for your PS3 or PSP, 3 free PS3 themes, or a 50% discount on PlayStation Plus for 3 months. If you did not participate in the PSN “Welcome Back” program, you can submit a claim for two of the above benefits. Up to U.S. $1 million in these benefits will be available, on a first-come, first-served basis; claimants who file claims thereafter can get a 50% discount on PlayStation Plus for one month.
If you were not a PSN accountholder but you had a Qriocity account at the time of the April 2011 service outage, you can get one free month of Music Unlimited.
Inactive Sony Online Entertainment Accountholders:
If you used any of your SOE accounts at any time from January 1 through May 14, 2011, but you did not use them after that through January 24, 2013 because of the Intrusions, you can get a payment equal to any balance of paid virtual currency in your account wallet if that balance is at least U.S. $2.
Active Sony Online Entertainment Accountholders:
You can get a deposit of U.S. $4.50 in “Station Cash” into that account, usable for SOE digital products and services. Deposits will be reduced proportionally if total deposits exceed U.S. $240,000 in benefits.
Identity Theft Reimbursement Claims:
If you incurred out-of-pocket charges due to actual identity theft and submit documentation proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the intrusion(s) directly and proximately caused the identity theft, you can submit a claim for reimbursement up to $2,500. Reimbursements will be reduced proportionally if the amount payable on all valid claims exceeds U.S. $90,000.
For more information, including limitations and conditions on all of these benefits, read the detailed notice at
HOW DO YOU ASK FOR BENEFITS?
Eligible Class Members can call 1-877-389-4482 or go to www.PSN-SOE-CanadaSettlement.com for a claim form, then fill it out, sign it, include the documentation it requires, and mail it to the address on the form. Deadlines to make a claim for benefits will start 60 days after the settlement becomes effective.
DO I HAVE A LAWYER IN THIS CASE?
The Court has appointed Bryan C. McPhadden, McPhadden Samac Tuovi LLP of Toronto, Ontario; Stephen Osborne, Merchant Law Group LLP of St. Catharines, Ontario; Careen Hannouche, Lauzon Bélanger Lespérance Inc. of Montreal, Quebec; and David Assor, Lex Group Inc. of Montreal, Quebec as “Class Counsel” to represent you and other Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.
YOUR OTHER OPTIONS.
If you do not want to be legally bound by the settlement, you must opt out by May 20, 2013, or you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue, the Sony companies regarding the legal claims this settlement resolves, ever again. If you opt out, you cannot get any benefits from the settlement. If you do not opt out, you will be able to participate in the settlement if it is approved by the Court. If you do not opt out, you may also object to the settlement by May 20, 2013. The detailed notice explains how to exclude yourself or object.
The Court will hold a hearing in this case, known as Maksimovic v. Sony of Canada Ltd. et al., Court File No. CV-11 425487-00CP, on June 10, 2013, to consider whether to approve the settlement, including Class Counsel fees, costs, taxes and disbursements of U.S. $265,000. You or your own lawyer may ask to appear and speak at the hearing at your own cost, but you do not have to. For more information, go to the website shown above, which has a copy of the detailed notice.