If you're looking to opt out of the class-action lawsuit prevention clauses inserted by certain companies like Electronic Arts for Origin and Sony for PSN, a new service is seeking to streamline the process. The trick about opting out is consumers must send something known as a physical letter and use a "stamp" (an antiquated method of payment, we understand, to facilitate this analog-mail). Because this letter-mailing artform has been lost to time, GamersOptOut.com will help.
Gamers Opt Out claims it is a free service run entirely on donations from users. Donations pay the costs involved in sending the opt-out letters, and any extra cash will be donated to Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child's Play. Potential dramatic irony abounds, given that you have to provide GOO with personal information, but it promises only to use it for good.
We asked lawyer Mark Methenitis if it was kosher for EA and PSN to force consumers to use snail mail to opt out of a digitally-based service.
"[EA and Sony] can restrict the manner of opt out -- in this case to physical mail -- so long as it's not unduly restrictive. That usually means physical mail or online, whereas hand delivery or something would be too restrictive," Methenitis said, explaining these type of class-action clauses aren't just going on in the games industry. "It's being added to lot of other EULA/TOU/TOS type agreements in a ton of industries. In short, companies are tired of getting hit with huge class actions, which ultimately usually pay the lawyers a small fortune so that the consumers get $20 in the mail. Of course, the flip side is that if companies did more to remediate their problems such that these class action suits weren't necessary, then there might not be so many of them."
For those seeking to send a letter on their own, you can easily find the addresses required buried in that terms of service you totally didn't click through without looking. They can be found right before the clause about your first born and near the Ariel's voice stipulation.