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Sony Agrees to Offer Free Game or PS+ Subscription as Part of PSN Breach Settlement (Update)

July 24, 2014 Written by Jason Dunning

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Update:

A Sony rep sent an email to Game Informer with the company’s response to the settlement:

A proposed settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuits arising from the April 2011 criminal cyber-attacks on the PlayStation Network, Qriocity, and Sony Online Entertainment services. Information regarding the proposed settlement, which is subject to final approval by the Court, is available in the settlement agreement and other documents filed with the Court. While we continue to deny the allegations in the class action lawsuits, most of which had been previously dismissed by the trial court, we decided to move forward with a settlement to avoid the costs associated with lengthy litigation. To date, the Sony entities have received no confirmed reports of identity theft linked to the attacks, and there is no evidence that anyone’s credit card information was accessed. We are glad that the parties are working toward a resolution of this matter and that our gamers will continue to enjoy our entertainment services.

Original Story:

It may have taken place back in April 2011, but Sony is still dealing with the PlayStation Network’s lengthy shutdown, with the company now agreeing to a $15 million preliminary settlement in a class action lawsuit due to the security breach of 77 million accounts.

As a result of this preliminary settlement, Sony will be offering those who participated in the Welcome Back program a choice of one free PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable game, 3 free themes, or a 3-month PlayStation Plus subscription (provided you aren’t a PS+ member already).

For those of you who didn’t participate in the Welcome Back program, Sony will be honoring claims on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a cap of up to $6 million. You’ll then be able to choose two separate benefit options or two instances of one PSN benefit option.

However, this settlement appears to only be eligible for those in the United States, with the final hearing where a judge will assess the reasonableness of the outcome not scheduled until May 1, 2015. So, nothing will go into effect until May of next year at the earliest, provided a judge signs off on it.

If the settlement does go through, this is an example of the letter you can expect to see:

If You Had a PlayStation Network, Qriocity, or Sony Online Entertainment Account 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 (the “Intrusions”) in April of 2011, on the computer network systems used to provide PlayStation Network (“PSN”), Qriocity, and Sony Online Entertainment (“SOE”) services.

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.

WHO IS INCLUDED?

The Class includes everyone in the US who had a PSN account, a Qriocity account, or an SOE account at any time before May 15, 2011.

WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE?

There are various benefits, depending in part on what type of account(s) you had. Benefits you could get (if you qualify) include:

  • Payment equal to paid wallet balances (if $2 or more) in PSN or SOE accounts that have been inactive since the Intrusions,
  • One or more of the following: a free PS3 or PSP game, 3 free PS3 themes, or a free 3-month subscription to PlayStation Plus (once valid claims exceed $10 million, class members will still be eligible for one free month of PlayStation Plus),
  • A free month of Music Unlimited for Qriocity accountholders who did not have a PSN account,
  • $4.50 in SOE Station Cash (amounts will be reduced proportionally if valid claims exceed $4 million).

Identity Theft Reimbursement: If you had out-of-pocket charges due to actual identity theft, and have documentation proving that the theft was actually caused by the Intrusion(s), you can submit a claim for reimbursement up to $2,500. Reimbursements will be reduced proportionally if the total amount payable on of all valid claims would exceed $1 million.

HOW DO YOU ASK FOR BENEFITS?

You need to file a claim to be eligible for benefits. Claim forms are available at WWW.PSNSOESETTLEMENT.COM [TREAT WITH CAUTION -Bertie] or by calling 1-800-000-0000. The earliest deadline to file a claim is Month 00, 2014, or 60 days after the settlement becomes final and effective.

YOUR OTHER OPTIONS.

Even if you do nothing, you will be bound by the Court’s decisions. If you want to keep your right to sue the Sony Entities yourself, you must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class by Month 00, 2014. If you stay in the Settlement Class, you may object to the Settlement by Month 00, 2014. The detailed notice, available at the website or by phone, explains how to exclude yourself or object. The Court will hold a hearing in this case on Month 00, 2014, to consider whether to approve the settlement, and a request by Class Counsel for fees, costs, and expenses up to $2,750,000. You or your own lawyer may appear and speak at the hearing at your own expense.

[Source: Polygon, ScribD via Eurogamer]