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.