Following in Sony’s footsteps, Microsoft has updated their Xbox Live Terms of Service to include a new clause that forces users to relinquish their right to file or engage in a class-action lawsuit under any circumstance. They may file suit as an individual, but waive their ability to enter litigation as part of a larger dispute.
The following section of the Terms of Service Agreement covers their new approach to protection:
18.1.6. CLASS ACTION WAIVER. YOU AND MICROSOFT AGREE THAT ANY PROCEEDINGS TO RESOLVE OR LITIGATE ANY DISPUTE, WHETHER IN ARBITRATION, IN COURT, OR OTHERWISE, WILL BE CONDUCTED SOLELY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS, AND THAT NEITHER YOU NOR MICROSOFT WILL SEEK TO HAVE ANY DISPUTE HEARD AS A CLASS ACTION, A REPRESENTATIVE ACTION, A COLLECTIVE ACTION, A PRIVATE ATTORNEY-GENERAL ACTION, OR IN ANY PROCEEDING IN WHICH YOU OR MICROSOFT ACTS OR PROPOSES TO ACT IN A REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY. YOU AND MICROSOFT FURTHER AGREE THAT NO ARBITRATION OR PROCEEDING WILL BE JOINED, CONSOLIDATED, OR COMBINED WITH ANOTHER ARBITRATION OR PROCEEDING WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF YOU, MICROSOFT, AND ALL PARTIES TO ANY SUCH ARBITRATION OR PROCEEDING.
If users do not agree to these new terms, however, they will not be permitted to use Xbox Live. Microsoft issued a statement to Kotaku, adding more detail to this aspect of the Terms of Service:
Customers may also choose to bring their claims in their local small claims court if they meet the normal jurisdictional requirements. For detailed information, please visit: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Legal/LiveTOU.
Currently the new TOS only seems to be effective for users in the United States and similar waivers have not been implemented internationally.