Why was the PS5 banned by Sony?
To understand this judicial process, you need to know three things:
In the lawsuit in question, the owner of a PS5 confirms that he has distributed the PS Plus Collection to several people. On December 9, 2020, he saw this warning when turning on the console: “This PS5’s access to PlayStation Network has been suspended”. Sony support explained that it had “permanently banned” the device, with no chance of reversing the decision.
The PS5 owner filed a lawsuit and asked for the console to be unlocked during the course of the case in court, as he could not wait until a final decision (the PS6 could have left by then). In late December, Sony complied with an injunction and reversed the ban on the PS5 – it was its first defeat.
Permanent PS5 blocking is abusive, says judge
Now, Judge Carolina Santa Rosa Sayegh makes the judgment on the merits: could PS5 be banned in this way? She believes not, explaining that Sony breached two factors: the legal duty to provide clear and accurate information about its products and services; and the duty to maintain an equal relationship as far as possible, because the consumer is considered a vulnerable party.
The judge writes that, first, Sony does not properly inform the user of what can happen if he breaks the rules. The punishments appear in the contract without any prominence, such as a major source or specific field, and “the severity of the imposed contractual consequences required it”.
Besides that, the company does not give details about how these punishments would be. The contract mentions the suspension and / or cancellation of services and products, however “without the minimum specification of form, term and the like”. According to the magistrate, this violates the duty to report on contractual punishment.
There’s more: for Sayegh, the PS5’s permanent block may even be provided for in the contract, but violates the CDC (Consumer Protection Code). She explains that the restriction “puts the consumer at an excessive disadvantage, being clearly abusive”; therefore, it would be void in its own right.
The judge does not rule out the possibility of a temporary block, but says that this measure cannot be irreversible, since it affects the consumer’s assets in an absolute way.
Finally, Sayegh raises an interesting point: she believes that the PS5’s permanent block, coupled with a temporary suspension of PS Plus, benefits Sony “patently disproportionately”.
After all, the customer could spend another R $ 4 thousand to buy a new console that would work normally with his account, and would still have to pay for the subscription of PS Plus. “This puts the consumer at an exacerbated, unmotivated and disproportionate disadvantage, which is not allowed”, writes the magistrate.
No moral damage
The lawsuit requested, in addition to the permanent release of the PS5, an indemnity for moral damages in the amount of R $ 15 thousand. However, for the judge, “The request for moral damages is not justified”.
She claims that Sony violated the duty to inform and was disproportionate in its punishment – but none of this “represents a violation of honor, intimacy or reputation”. For the magistrate, the annoyance “did not reach the level necessary to justify indemnity for moral damage”.
This is a first degree decision and both parties can appeal.