Since many authors use Paypal, this story’s worth reporting here: Paypal is launching an update to its policy, which means users will in most circumstances not be allowed to join class-action lawsuits against the company. It’s possible to opt out of this part of the agreement… but you have to do that part snail mail (details at the link above).
You read that right. If you don’t want to sign away your right to join any class-action lawsuits that might arise, you have to mail them an Opt-Out Notice to an address in California. It would appear that if you do this, you can continue to use Paypal without being contractually obliged to avoid class-action cases, although this isn’t entirely clear. Users who don’t opt out of the new Paypal terms will still be able to take individual action if they so wish, but class-action cases are prohibited.
I think (and bear in mind I’m not a lawyer) that this shouldn’t affect those of us in the EU, because this directive seems to provide protection against this type of thing. Then again, class-action lawsuits aren’t an option in many parts of the EU, although some countries have their own laws regarding ‘collective redress’.