Blog Network

About The Bloggers


The Story Behind the Xbox Class Action

Jason Gibson, the lawyer who filed a class action lawsuit against Microsoft on behalf of three Xbox Live consumers angered by connectivity issues experienced over the Christmas holidays, is now explaining the reasons for the lawsuit.  As reported in Wired, the lawsuit isn't a "get rich quick scheme" for the plaintiffs, but rather, an action to draw attention to a serious issue. However, the article notes that Microsoft has acknowledged the issues with Live and promised to compensate subscribers for outages with a free Xbox Live Arcade game. But that's not enough for Gibson, who says that the damage has already been done.  There's more information on the lawsuit at

Blogger Mark Methenitis of Law of the Game analyzes the damages and liability aspects of the Xbox class action suit.  First,  he explains that Microsoft's offer of a free live arcade game approximates the value of the service time lost as a result of connectivity issues.  In addition, Methenitis also cites the Xbox Live Terms of Use which include several stringent "no warranty" and limitation on liability clauses.   
Menthenitis concludes:

In short, the service is provided "as-is," and any damages are limited to the value of one month of service. Whether a court will allow payment in the form of, say, additional time on Xbox Live or a free game is yet to be seen, but I would imagine that, given the low per user amount involved, Microsoft's remedy would likely be adequate, especially since the outage was not 100% over the time claimed and not too terribly extensive in the grand scheme of things.  This is by no means to say the suit is doomed or without merit. There are a number of possible interpretations under which the plaintiffs could succeed, but in general, this seems similar to so many of the other suits levied against the house that Gates built: mostly for profit or for principle.

While I don't know enough about the merits of the suit to comment, I had to chuckle about Gibson's comments that the plaintiffs "aren't out to get rich."  That's most likely true -- but what about their lawyers?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 17, 2008 at 03:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


About ALM  |  About  |  Customer Support  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions