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Judge Throws Out PSN Banning Lawsuit

A California judge last week ruled that Sony Computer Entertainment America did not violate a gamer's First Amendment rights by banning him from the PS3's PlayStation Network online service.
A California judge last week ruled that Sony Computer Entertainment America did not violate a gamer's First Amendment rights by banning him from the PlayStation Network. Erik Estavillo filed suit against SCEA this year after he was banned from the online gaming service and Sony's forums for allegedly violating multiple parts of the user agreement for PSN. Estavillo claimed that by kicking him off the service, Sony infringed on his First Amendment rights, and the plaintiff asked for $55,000 in relief. SCEA moved to dismiss the case, claiming that the First Amendment "does not apply to the Network," and the judge agreed, throwing the suit out last week. "There is no indication that Sony has assumed functions traditionally reserved to the government, or that the government had any part in encouraging Sony to create the Network," wrote Judge Ronald Whyte in his order, made available by a law professor's blog. "Count one of the complaint does not state a plausible First Amendment claim for relief, and therefore must be dismissed," Judge Whyte added. He said that Estavillo's claims failed to "contain sufficient factual matter to state a plausible federal claim to relief."

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