During 2011, Sony chose to change their PlayStation Network Terms of Service relatively quietly. At a glance the change was not massive, and it did not impact on the gaming experience of its millions of users. The change did, however, stop you from filing a lawsuit against the company for future problems encountered. This stemmed from the havoc caused when the PlayStation Network servers were breached earlier in the year and the service was down for more than a month.
As TechDirt reports, Sony's change has been approved by the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Their reasoning for this was that people make a conscious decision to use what is now known as the Sony Entertainment Network. The change also means that lawsuits filed will go into arbitration, instead of going into court. This is beneficial to Sony since typically, businesses are able to win more easily at arbitration.
In addition, it is also much less expensive for them. After Sony made their change, some of the more vocal users took a stand and filed a lawsuit against Sony. This lawsuit took all of five minutes to be rejected for the main person in the lawsuit failed to show any evidence he had been harmed by it.
The possibility for this to open some doors to companies is clearly visible. Should a company be able to argue that using their service is a choice they could quite probably push users into situations where they have to comply. Cases like these are historically difficult to show actual 'harm' to the end user, so Sony is more than capable of simply steamrolling any opposition. While it might not be to everyone's satisfaction that Sony's edited terms have been accepted, there is little than can be done now.