In a highly dramatic press release Lik-Sang announced that is going out of business effective immediately. The online import game retailer has ceased taking new orders and is working to refund any existing open orders. The reason behind the sudden announcement is the current and ongoing legal action against the company by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
According to Lik-Sang, "Sony claimed that Lik-Sang infringed its trade marks, copyright and registered design rights by selling Sony PSP consoles from Asia to European customers, and have recently obtained a judgment in the High Court of London (England) rendering Lik-Sang's sales of PSP consoles unlawful."
Interestingly enough Lik-Sang made public a number of import orders for Sony Europe executives. "Sony Europe orders reads like the who's who of the videogames industry, and includes Ray Maguire (Managing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Alan Duncan (UK Marketing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Chris Sorrell (Creative Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Rob Parkin (Development Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited)" and others.
ars technica speculates that given the melodramatic Lik-Sang announcement this may be a PR or marketing ploy to rally the public around its cause. Region encoding and import restrictions have always been a weapon in the companies arsenal to goose more profits out of a given platform or game. Gamers typically find such tactics distasteful and would view Lik-Sang as necessary to getting their big-eyed, big-haired Japanese import fix.
I cannot imagine that this announcement helps Sony's already tarnished image in the slightest.
Well at least there's some good news regarding regional issues. The BlueRay/DVD playing is supposedly region 0.
So these bastards from Sony won after all... unbelievable! I have bought several import games from Lik-Sang. Very friendly, great service.
What now? Will they shut down PlayAsia as well? If they do, I'll kill them.
Why stop at Lik-Sang? Why not just go ahead and put domes over every country on the planet to keep them from ever interacting with each other? I can understand their stance on homebrew applications for the PSP, because that opens the door to other software they surely don't endorse, but imports? Have they lost touch with reality completely?
Granted I'm not all that versed in law, but is selling a Japanese PSP to someone in Europe really a big deal? I just fail to see how that can hurt Sony in any way.
According to gamesindustry.biz, Lik-Sang didn't turn up for the trial. Therefore the case was basically a summary judgement. From my limited experience, it seems that when defendants don't bother to defend themselves... the ruling usually does not go in their favor.
That's the case for both sides. For example, if you appeal a ticket (speeding, or whatever) in the US and the officer doesn't appear at court, you win no matter what.
It's crazy to be sure. Here I was not buying X-Box products due to some of Microsoft's business practices, and now I find myself having to consider Sony as well...
Considering the Japanese language barrier and the relatively small number of people who order overseas, I don't see how importing is such a large threat to their business. Oh wait... This is Sony... Perhaps they've become a cornered and dangerous animal, what with their "stable" financial situation and "quality" laptop batteries. Who will they lash out at next?
Well, again I'm no lawyer, but I thought that it was up to the judge's discretion. The reason that speeding tickets are thrown out is because it's a... lower crime and the evidence in the statement of fact (e.g. "He was speeding 60mph...") usually isn't enough to go by. In more serious cases, I think it would depend on how much information the prosecution/defense provided... but you're right in that there's some stuff they simply can't bring up until trial: And if there's no trial... this evidence is not considered.
Then again, I could be completely wrong... and it should be pointed out I don't live in the United States.
Well, right or wrong, if the "prosecutor" doesn't take the time to appear, it is just thrown out. I've heard of cops telling people not to worry about the ticket and just to appeal it because the cop never goes to the trials. Kind of stupid, but it happens here.
For that matter, in Massachusetts, if you appeal a ticket (even if you don't win the appeal), your ticket amount is reduced by around 40-50%... even if you don't go the court. (Your first appeal goes to just a court person who decides to drop the ticket or not. If they don't drop it, the price is reduced and you have an option to go to court to appeal it further. That is when the cop needs to show up.)
I wasn't disagreeing that it happens to "traffic crimes". I'm just not sure that those rules still apply when you get to more serious cases. Then again, corporate trials are seperate from the criminal system... so maybe they'd be considered on level playing field with speeding tickets in the eyes of the court.