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Judge Throws Out PSN Banning Lawsuit
Judge Throws Out PSN Banning Lawsuit
October 1, 2009 | By Kris Graft

October 1, 2009 | By Kris Graft

A California judge last week ruled that Sony Computer Entertainment America did not violate a gamer's First Amendment rights by banning him from the PlayStation Network.

Erik Estavillo filed suit against SCEA this year after he was banned from the online gaming service and Sony's forums for allegedly violating multiple parts of the user agreement for PSN. Estavillo claimed that by kicking him off the service, Sony infringed on his First Amendment rights, and the plaintiff asked for $55,000 in relief.

SCEA moved to dismiss the case, claiming that the First Amendment "does not apply to the Network," and the judge agreed, throwing the suit out last week.

"There is no indication that Sony has assumed functions traditionally reserved to the government, or that the government had any part in encouraging Sony to create the Network," wrote Judge Ronald Whyte in his order, made available by a law professor's blog.

"Count one of the complaint does not state a plausible First Amendment claim for relief, and therefore must be dismissed," Judge Whyte added. He said that Estavillo's claims failed to "contain sufficient factual matter to state a plausible federal claim to relief."

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Robert C.
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It's sad to me how many people simply do not understand what the First Amendment is. It does not entitle you to say whatever you want without consequences. It won't protect you from your boss firing you for saying something he doesn't like. It can't force anybody to listen to you or to give you a forum to express your opinions. And it certainly has nothing to do with being banned from a game network service.

People who cry about free speech in these situations degrade the First Amendment and real free speech issues.

Weston Wedding
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Well, spell it out, then. What fundamental misunderstanding is Robert expressing in two sentences (not one)?

Peter Young
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LOL Andre completely misunderstood what Robert said.

Doug Poston
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"LOL Andre completely misunderstood what Robert said."

But it is his right to do that. :)

I'm surprised any lawyer would take this case (maybe they got money up front?), or maybe he was trying to work a different angle then just the First Amendment.

Tommy Hanusa
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"But it is his right to do that. :)"

I don't beleive there is anything that says we are allowed to do anything that isn't prohibited in the account registration contract*. So really all of our rights on gamasutra are in constant limbo. we could be banned at the whim of any gamasutra 'head-honcho' at any time for any reason.

there is immense chaos in the current situation, and I wouldn't be surprised if they banned us all to prove a sarcastic point. or maybe just to be funny. I do like tacos; so that is probably suitable grounds for my prompt removal from this web-site.

*I don't remember the account registration contract (also suitable grounds for removal), and I may not have read it (once again more suitable grounds for removal) but I guess legaly I did (suitable grounds for removal) so that should protect gamasutra from any leagal actions I may bring against them (those actions being suitable grounds for my removal).

P.S. I dont want to be removed from this website; but you could if you wanted to, it would just make me sad ( all of that is probably suitable grounds for my removal, as is stating what is suitable grounds for removal from this site. unless I'm wrong and misrepresenting the contract in a slanderous manner, thus probably reacting grounds for my remomval from this site anyway. Honestly I'm strating to think it must be a pain to remove people from this site, or we are very entertaing to watch as we stumble around and try o make sense of legal contracts we havent read and don't remember. I'm leaning toward the second one)

Joseph Garrahan
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Crazy lawyer...what was he thinking??!