Sony has just laid the proverbial smackdown on the popular import retailer Lik-Sang by winning a court case that ruled the website was in breach of Sony's intellectual property rights by grey importing its products. Grey importing is importing a product into a country without the manufacturer's consent.
Lik-Sang, which sells Japanese PSPs to consumers through its website, argued it did not break the law since they're located in Hong Kong and "has no trading presence in the Uk or European Economic Area," according to Gamesindustry.biz.
"The law is clear; grey importing PS2, PSP or PS3 into the EU, without the express permission of SCE is illegal. Therefore, we will utilise the full scope of the law to put a stop to any retailers who chose to do this," a Sony spokeperson told GI.biz. "Ultimately, we're trying to protect consumers from being sold hardware that does not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards, due to voltage supply differences et cetera; is not - in PS3's case - backwards compatible with either PS1 or PS2 software; will not play European Blu-Ray movies or DVDs; and will not be covered by warranty."
Wow, check out Sony going to bat for our safety! To be perfectly honest, I'm torn between whether this is a good thing or a bad thing for us consumers. On one hand, it's great to be able to buy those cool Japanese PSPs and other hardware that aren't available in the States, but on the other, it does protect consumers from retailers jacking up the price of imported hardware.
Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)
10-20-2006 @ 2:37PM
I'm sure they really care about consumers *sarcasm*.
Like any corporate lawsuit, this is about the bottom line. I think this had more to do with the price they wanted to release the psp for in Europe than the safety and convenience of consumers which, let me assure you, is at the bottom of Sony's list of priorities. Yea they make great games but they're not advocates for consumer rights.
For some reason it really bugs me when they try to convince people that they "care" about them. No, they just care about your money.
I think lik sang provides a great service by bringing us the stuff we can't get at the local gamestop or target and I would imagine that all but the complete morons know that when you buy an import (especially anything that has to do with media) you're doing it at your own risk.
10-20-2006 @ 4:22PM
I agree 100% - unfortunately Lik Sang has been the target of many such lawsuits over the years, not the least of which was Nintendo shutting down their sale of flash linkers.
Frankly, it's amazing to me that a company can say that once you buy their product (which they do - often at full retail in Japan), that you somehow are limited to what you can do with it. It's ridiculous, and part & parcel of why anti-consumer policies and DRM are becoming so goddamned commonplace.
A big FU goes out to Sony over this one. You guys need to be working on your OWN reputation and business ethics, not those of small internet retailers.