Court approves settlement over Sony's 2011 PSN breach

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Court approves settlement over Sony's 2011 PSN breach
The US District Court for the Southern District of California approved a settlement for the class action lawsuit resulting from Sony's 2011 PSN data breach. The settlement may result in Sony doling out as much as $17.75 million, which includes an offer for one free game (PS3 or PSP only), three PS3 themes or credit for three months of PlayStation Plus membership (valid only for new subscribers).

The claimant groups are divided based on whether PSN account holders prior to May 15, 2011 took advantage of the "Welcome Back" program following the intrusion. Those that did not accept the PSN Welcome Back offer can claim two of the benefit options among the games, themes and PS Plus membership credit on a first come, first served basis until a $6 million allocation from Sony is reached. For those that did take advantage of the program, they will receive one of the benefits above until a $4 million allocation is reached.

The non-Welcome Back account holders can select the same benefit twice, so receiving two free games is an option for claimants. Once the allocated amounts are reached, further claimants will receive one month of PS Plus credit. Likewise, up to three claims can be made per household, and further claims from the same household will receive one month of PS Plus.

Those benefiting from the settlement will pick from a list of eight PS3 games and six PSP games, of which include Dead Nation, Infamous, LittleBigPlanet, Super Stardust HD and Rain on PS3. As for PSP, the list includes LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, Patapon 3 and Killzone Liberation. The rest of the eligible games have not been determined, but will have launched six months of more from the time the claims form is posted online and will be "similar quality as those above." As for the PS3 themes, claimants will have their pick of three themes from a list of six, as designated on the claims form.

The settlement also benefits Sony Online Entertainment users who can receive $4.50 in Station Cash on a first come, first served basis, up to $4 million total. Sony also will pay out up to $1 million to those that suffered from identity theft as a result of the 2011 security breach; those with valid claims will be entitled to receive up to $2,500. Eligible Qriocity account holders without a PSN account can receive one month of free Music Unlimited service as well, and those with unused money in their dormant PSN wallets since the intrusion can file a claim for credit for that money, resulting in closure of the account. Sony will pay up to $2.75 million in attorneys fees combined as a result of the settlement.
[Image: Sony]
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