Patreon Faces New Legal Peril Under California Law - Local Weather Man see Wonderful Change

Lord of the Large Pants

Chicks dig giant robots.
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I'm not quite sure I understand the revised terms of service. Have they basically dropped arbitration and allowed themselves to be sued again? Or are they basically going the "fuck you, we can do whatever we want and you can't complain" route?
 

I can't imagine

kiwifarms.net
I'm not quite sure I understand the revised terms of service. Have they basically dropped arbitration and allowed themselves to be sued again? Or are they basically going the "fuck you, we can do whatever we want and you can't complain" route?
They kept the arbitration clause, but added in this little gem:

"You may not bring a claim against us for suspending or terminating another person’s account, and you agree you will not bring such a claim. If you try to bring such a claim, you are responsible for the damages caused, including attorneys fees and costs."

Now, I'm not a lawyer, so I'm only working off my "law for accountants" classes when I was in school, so someone like @AnOminous could tell me if I'm off-base on this one. But I'm pretty sure a business can't offer a contract of adhesion (a "take it or leave it" contract) and require as a condition of it that you won't take legal action against them. Or rather, you can, but it's considered unconscionable and won't really go over well in court.
 

Absolutego

Middleman who didn't do diddly
kiwifarms.net
They kept the arbitration clause, but added in this little gem:

"You may not bring a claim against us for suspending or terminating another person’s account, and you agree you will not bring such a claim. If you try to bring such a claim, you are responsible for the damages caused, including attorneys fees and costs."

Now, I'm not a lawyer, so I'm only working off my "law for accountants" classes when I was in school, so someone like @AnOminous could tell me if I'm off-base on this one. But I'm pretty sure a business can't offer a contract of adhesion (a "take it or leave it" contract) and require as a condition of it that you won't take legal action against them. Or rather, you can, but it's considered unconscionable and won't really go over well in court.
The way its worded sounds like they're saying you can't take legal action against them on behalf of someone else, not that you can't do it period.
 

AnOminous

Really?
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Retired Staff
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Very curious if lawsuit was the correct word used seeing as you waive you're right to a lawsuit when you agree to Patreon's ToS, BUT California consumer protections laws state you can't give up your right to take them to court. Who knows.
That's not true. California recently prohibited employers from forcing employees to sign such agreements. However, employers immediately filed suit to block its enforcement and there's an injunction on its enforcement until the case is resolved: https://archive.vn/Vdrkk

The injunction is currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

Even if the law ultimately goes into effect, it wouldn't apply to agreements predating the passage of the law.

They kept the arbitration clause, but added in this little gem:

"You may not bring a claim against us for suspending or terminating another person’s account, and you agree you will not bring such a claim. If you try to bring such a claim, you are responsible for the damages caused, including attorneys fees and costs."

Now, I'm not a lawyer, so I'm only working off my "law for accountants" classes when I was in school, so someone like @AnOminous could tell me if I'm off-base on this one. But I'm pretty sure a business can't offer a contract of adhesion (a "take it or leave it" contract) and require as a condition of it that you won't take legal action against them. Or rather, you can, but it's considered unconscionable and won't really go over well in court.
Even if they're contracts of adhesion, arbitration agreements are almost universally enforced. Saying you're not allowed any forum whatsoever for a certain type of cause of action is pretty questionable. I'd think anyone who actually wants to pursue such an action should cancel their account immediately lest they inadvertently agree to such a clause, though.

So any of Lauren Southern's patrons who plan on following in the path of the Owen Benjamin claimants should probably cancel their accounts immediately before pursuing arbitration. As much as such a clause looks unconscionable on its face, "I never agreed to that" is a much more guaranteed success as an argument than "I agreed to that but it's unconscionable."

Obviously, back up all your shit first that you wouldn't be able to access after canceling the account.
 
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I can't imagine

kiwifarms.net
Even if they're contracts of adhesion, arbitration agreements are almost universally enforced. Saying you're not allowed any forum whatsoever for a certain type of cause of action is pretty questionable. I'd think anyone who actually wants to pursue such an action should cancel their account immediately lest they inadvertently agree to such a clause, though.

So any of Lauren Southern's patrons who plan on following in the path of the Owen Benjamin claimants should probably cancel their accounts immediately before pursuing arbitration.
Southern's tweets said as much: don't log in, and delete your account. Even if there's a legal argument that they actually can't put that clause in their ToS, it's better to avoid the problem entirely if you can.
 

Don't Tread on Me

Mankind is amazing. People are terrible
kiwifarms.net


A court has issued a final ruling denying fan-funding platform Patreon’s request for an injunction against 72 former backers of comedian Owen Benjamin who are seeking arbitration against the company for disrupting the economic relationship between themselves and Benjamin.

The final ruling follows a tentative ruling against Patreon from earlier this month and means that the company now has to pay upfront filing fees on each of the 72 individual arbitration claims within 30 days of the due date on the invoice. These fees can be upwards of $10,000 per arbitration.

When the arbitration commences, Patreon will also have to pay further legal fees and have a rolling obligation to pay them within 30 days. Lawyer, commentator, and producer Mike Cernovich has predicted that these fees could be as high as $20 million.

In the final ruling, the court cited three reasons for denying Patreon’s request for an injunction.

First, the court wrote that Patreon “fails to show that it will suffer any irreparable injury or interim harm” if it’s not granted the injunction and noted that “merely having to incur expense in order to participate in arbitration proceedings is not irreparable harm.”

Second, the court wrote that “Patreon fails to show a reasonable likelihood of prevailing on its claims” and added that even if the claims are “not arbitrable,” “those issues are for the arbitrators, not the court, to decide.”

Third, the court wrote that “California courts rarely grant the extraordinary relief Patreon seeks here” and noted that once a dispute is submitted to arbitration, “the [California Arbitration Act] contemplates limited, if any, judicial involvement.” The court added that “typically, those who enter into arbitration agreements expect that their dispute will be resolved without necessity for any contact with the courts” and “that conclusion is ‘especially true’ where, as here, ‘the arbitration began without the need to seek a court order compelling arbitration.'”

Not only does the ruling mean Patreon has to pay these likely substantial fees but the ruling also gives users a legal avenue to defend against censorship under this California arbitration law.

Under this law, the drafting party of employment or consumer arbitration agreements has to pay the arbitration fees and they can’t reclaim the fees, regardless of the outcome. This means that companies such as Patreon, that force arbitration through their terms of service, risk potentially huge arbitration fees when they ban users because the former backers of these users can seek arbitration over “tortious interference” (disrupting the economic relationship between the creators and their backers).

For deplatformed users that had hundreds or thousands of backers when they were banned, this could leave these companies liable for millions of dollars in arbitration fees.

Lawyer Nick Rekieta said that this case is likely to act as a warning to Big Tech companies that deplatform their users:

“This is an extremely important case and what just happened is a shot across the bow of Big Tech companies. Your terms of service are binding upon you at least in so far as these arbitration and anti-class action provisions and we can use them against them.
That is important because this is how we defend ourselves from things like deplatforming, from things like cancel culture, and it is a big win in this sphere.
Even if they [Benjamin’s former backers] end up losing the arbitration, the threat of removing someone from the platform and facing thousands, potentially thousands of arbitrations claims coming in, that should give them pause at least.”
Cernovich added that in this specific case, because Patreon changed its terms of service after it was put on notice by Benjamin’s former backers, it could also face arbitrations because it unilaterally altered the terms of service “in a way that’s illegal under California law.”
 

Judge Holden

Explorer in the further regions of autism
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Honestly as burnt out as I am by how blatantly wokespeds dont give a fuck about the causes they latch on to, and thus have zero concern for said causes going up in flames because of their actions, I do very much find some level of amusement in seeing corporate drones who went out of their way to pander to these assholes at the expense of everyone else recieve a karmic gangbang like this
 

Don't Tread on Me

Mankind is amazing. People are terrible
kiwifarms.net
So, fuck Patreon and all that, but can someone explain all this to a poor layman who is too lazy to use Google?

What is "arbitration"?
 

AnOminous

Really?
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kiwifarms.net
So, fuck Patreon and all that, but can someone explain all this to a poor layman who is too lazy to use Google?

What is "arbitration"?
Binding dispute resolution outside of a court. Instead of a court trial, you try the case in front of an arbitrator, and the decision is legally binding.
 

The-Patriarchy

Objectivity is Racist
kiwifarms.net
The egregious part of what Patreon did is that they dropped in the modification to their terms of service AFTER Owen Benjamin's fans started the process to go through arbitration, and tried to argue that it retroactively applied to them because (they argued) accessing their patreon accounts amounted to agreeing to the new terms and would invalidate their arbitration... and tried to use the lengthy process that leads up to arbitration as time to adjust their TOS.

The judge that ruled on the injunction didn't seem to like this idea that you can change our on rules retroactively to block an action in-progress. Patreon probably would've done better if they nicely gave the plaintiffs the option to file as a class action rather than as individuals even though that would be an exception to the written rules, and try to negotiate in good faith rather than to abitrarily change the ules and apply them retroactively.
 

Getting tard comed

kiwifarms.net
The egregious part of what Patreon did is that they dropped in the modification to their terms of service AFTER Owen Benjamin's fans started the process to go through arbitration, and tried to argue that it retroactively applied to them because (they argued) accessing their patreon accounts amounted to agreeing to the new terms and would invalidate their arbitration... and tried to use the lengthy process that leads up to arbitration as time to adjust their TOS.

The judge that ruled on the injunction didn't seem to like this idea that you can change our on rules retroactively to block an action in-progress. Patreon probably would've done better if they nicely gave the plaintiffs the option to file as a class action rather than as individuals even though that would be an exception to the written rules, and try to negotiate in good faith rather than to abitrarily change the ules and apply them retroactively.
Which leads me to think that even for patrons who were kicked off(most likely unjustly) years ago could still file for arbitration due to the infraction happening under the ToS used at the time, not the one subsequently updated.

@AnOminous just double checking. If California state law is a consumer cannot waive their right to trial by jury except in a trial and a ToS(let's say Patreon's) claims in the beginning of said ToS that you agree to waive you're right to trial by jury, is that enough to sue for deceptive practice.
 

AnOminous

Really?
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@AnOminous just double checking. If California state law is a consumer cannot waive their right to trial by jury except in a trial and a ToS(let's say Patreon's) claims in the beginning of said ToS that you agree to waive you're right to trial by jury, is that enough to sue for deceptive practice.
You can agree to waive your right to any kind of a trial, before a jury or otherwise. That's what an arbitration agreement does.
 

northstar747

True & Honest Fan
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You can agree to waive your right to any kind of a trial, before a jury or otherwise. That's what an arbitration agreement does.
True story I was admitted to a hospital and they had an arbitration paper for me to sign and as sick as i was i told the administrator "i have a right to trail i am not signing this" and i was still treated.

Using arbitration in tos agreements should be illegal
 

AnOminous

Really?
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Retired Staff
kiwifarms.net
True story I was admitted to a hospital and they had an arbitration paper for me to sign and as sick as i was i told the administrator "i have a right to trail i am not signing this" and i was still treated.
I'm not sure of the legality of this, but I think an arbitration agreement signed under those conditions would be considered coerced, at least depending on the level of emergency. Still, better not to sign something at all than later have to argue it isn't binding.

Using arbitration in tos agreements should be illegal
That's the one situation where they're unlikely ever to be found illegal, though. Small consumer purchases and optional services with thin profit margins almost depend on these things. They may have to rethink trying to bypass class actions with them, though, or cobble up some kind of arbitration equivalent of a class action.
 

Archeops

Whispering seeds of doubt into the ears of troons
kiwifarms.net
Good, hopefully they’ll bleed dry and the suits responsible never find substantial work in the tech/media sphere ever again.

Now all I wish for is that Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites follow Patreon into the fire.
 
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Getting tard comed

kiwifarms.net
What happens if Patreon refugees move to OnlyFans but don't change their content? All that's necessary is a money middle man. How Patreon managed to fuck this up is amazing but that's besides the point.

Is OnlyFans a real option for refugees of Patreons incoming demise?
 

The-Patriarchy

Objectivity is Racist
kiwifarms.net
Good, hopefully they’ll bleed dry and the suits responsible never find substantial work in the tech/media sphere ever again.

Now all I wish for is that Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites follow Patreon into the fire.
Indiegogo hasn't gone full retard, at least not yet
 

knobslobbin

King knobslob the pious
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Maybe this battle (if won) will spillover into reforming our broken payment system where they are even happier to cancel people. Imagine if you could sue visa for excluding you from their network and win. (no idea if visa uses an arbitration clause in their TOS, and they could definitely afford the costs even if they did) Just saying that when new precedent gets set it can have a wide ranging effect.
 
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