Sony puts popular importer Lik-Sang out of business

Sony, a company not content with illegally putting root kits onto customers machines, pushing out proprietary formats as much as they can and making sure customers laptops explode has now gone one step further.

The much delayed and arguably overpriced PS3 is due to be released in Japan in less than a month and Sony is aggressively pursuing anyone attempting to import the PS3 into Europe before the consoles delayed release in March next year.

In a notice on Lik-Sang's website, the company apologises to customers and sheds some interesting light on what Sony's directors get up to with their bonuses:

Sony have failed to disclose to the London High Court that not only the world wide gaming community in more than 100 countries relied on Lik-Sang for their gaming needs, but also Sony Europe's very own top directors repeatedly got their Sony PSP hard or software imports in nicely packed Lik-Sang parcels with free Lik-Sang Mugs or Lik-Sang Badge Holders, starting just two days after Japan's official release, as early as 14th of December 2004 (more than nine months earlier than the legal action). The list of PSP related 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), just to name a few.

It's likely that a huge backlash will follow in light of Sony's recent threats, may this be a lesson to a company that never seems to learn.

Update: Sony has responded to Lik-sangs claims and admits successfully suing the company. Sony is owed a substantial amount of money which has not been paid so one can only assume that the company cannot afford to pay and must cease trading. Therefore, Sony has effectively put Lik-sang out of business even though Sony is denying this. Sony described the purchasing of PSP consoles by SCE employees for "investigatory purposes". Believe what you will but you can read their response here

Thanks to Matt Hill for the heads up.

View: Lik Sang Notice

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That is not at all stupid. Sang should have simply stopped that practice long ago and it did not. Tell me one thing, if some Sony not compliant with EU rules was found being sold in Europe and eventually it exploded to whom would the courts be talking to? Sang? I doupted, it would be Sony all the way. So Sony is acting preemptively now, it had to happen. So Sang was actually a Jap exporter of Sony products to Europe, and that is what is at stake. Nothing less nothing more.

I'm sure Sang also got a good state of doing business with Sony. So is not that Sang is feeding Sony but more the otherway around.

It's such a shame that something like this couldn't be settled outside courts.

As for the price of PS3 being high, what a joke. It's not high at all.

Trance

PS: Keep on Sony, seams that since M$ started being interested in the console market a lot of people started being angry with you. But notice that not all of us are angry for precisely the same reasons. The image of unfairness that you now have, only you have created it. Start trating your customers better.

Well, that's how they tried to convince the users, even saying "Ultimately, we're trying to protect consumers " ( http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=20489 ) and now are being laughed at; as 1) In EU law, that's the person's (importer's) responsibility, not Sony. 2) What was sold was genuine Sony thing. If it could explode, basically it could also explode in Japan.

You are based on another wrong assumption: Hong Kong is not Japan, like Cantonese is not Japanese. Lik-Sang is not a Japanese exporter. If it was, Sony would have sued it in Japan, not in Hong Kong.

Don't forget boycott Blu-Ray Discs and players !!!, Support HD-DVD and let's give HD-DVD the market share it deserves.

am I the only person who couldn't care less about a webstore going out of business? they broke a law, and paid for it, it's no one's fault but lik-sang's.

Pacific Game Technology aka Lik-Sang.com is in Hong Kong where parallel importing/exporting is legal. Hong Kong has freedom, unlike in Europe. That twisted decision of Judge Fysh from the UK High Court (Patents Court) is another thing to blame. To be concrete, Sony has no rights to stop parallel importing because of copyrights, so they used "trademark infringement" as pretext.

^^ Therein lies the problem. Sony can now go and sue any other retailer tha imports their products. I say the others like Play-Asia and the like should just stop carrying Sony's merchandise.

im glad i never got on the sony bandwagon in the first place. remember most of you guys r just now seeing what sony is. long live sony haters since day 1

wonder if i can sue sony if their cdrs ruin my cd player? the surface that gets burned has started to flake off on my 3 month old discs and if any of that jams up my player........

Biased or not, Sony has been trying to screw people for years with their proprietary products. The RootKit was the one that finally put me over the edge, I will not buy their crap for any reason. Like eilegz says, low quality, overpriced and all the other crap that goes with it. I say SCREW'EM, long and hard!!!! Rock on!!!!

I haven't purchased anything Sony in 5 years. A lot of people I know got turned away from them by me also. This little act by them is one more nail in their coffin. Everyone should boycot them and help put the rest of the nails in.

Guys, Sony obviously had a good reason to do this. A company doesn't try and shut down one of its major retailers just because it's bored. I'm sure they asked politely at first, no company would sue without giving a fair warning.

I think that we should boycott all sony products, its low quality, overpriced and they act with more evil than microsoft itself...

I just want you guys to know that gamers in japan do NOT support this move at all either. One blog says, like "If I lived in the UK, I'd be furiously criticizing the decision of the court." and another one is like "I guess this is the most stupid one of all silly moves Sony recently made. What's so fun about making their own customers in Europe angry in this crucial period". Just a few examples out of many. Sony is generally hated even in its own country, altho I personally didn't hate it before. This mess is really getting ugly...

Sony is just another thug. Funny how they also own the online game Everquest, which also has been run by power-tripping hungry thugs over the years.

This is sad. i personally didnt want a ps3 (getting a 360 soon and will be getting a wii) but some here did. so no ps3 in the uk. well thats bs. why block us out over here? does the whole massive land area known as europe not exist? do we not matter? are we second rate citizens, cuz thats how some of us feel.

I didn't know anyone was wanting the PS3 anyway. Hoepfully they release an edition that comes with a fire extinguisher in case it overheats.

Classic Sony do as I say, don't do as I do. Its okay for them to tap what ever country is good for parts or to import pre-launch consoles from other countries, but us mere consumers should be happy with what ever they feel like tossing us.

Its sad to see how far they have fallen, the Walkman and PS1 seem like distant memories now.

Hi,

If true then the managers of Sony Europe who bought products from this company should be fired immediately for breaking company rules and EU / UK Health and Safety Laws.

Hopefully they will get the idiots who sanctioned the Root Kit fiasco in the process.

I doubt they will though and the usual double-standards and hypocrisy will no doubt apply to Sony's own employees.

I for one won't be buying any Sony products in the near future, nor will I supply any to my customers. I would urge you all to do the same.

Perhaps if Sony earns a few less $ £ or € in the next few months they might take notice as stop being so crass and idiotic to their customers and business partners.

Kind Regards

Simon


what?!? first of all it's p0wn3d, second... are you saying your comment was by Lik-Sang, or that your called Lik-Sang. Because hmmm you said by Lik-Sang. Or maybe you meant bye Lik-Sang right?
So I guess you got p0wn3d yourself garçon

I can almost bet this will hurt their business. I think it's cheap, and a low blow. Why does it matter if they get it imported, they're still gaining revenue from it. But whatever, when their shares fall, they will see the harm they've done. RIP.

What, omg Lik-Sang sold Sony products to people in Europe? Didn't they know that Europeans aren't allowed to have Sony products, what were they thinking!? No seriously, this is so stupid. I hope all the laptop manufacturers decide to sue Sony into the ground. Any company that vile and arrogant doesn't deserve to be in business.

Quote - Joel said @ #1
Wow. At the rate they're digging this hole for themselves, they should pop up in my back yard any day now.
Quote - Joel said @ #1.2

If you want play cute; show me where I posted the angle of their digging. You're assuming that Sony could do ANYTHING in a straight line these days.
The two of you are halarious ... and Joel, your right, if they DID dig a tunnel, it'd ... wait ... what the ... there's a guy in my living room w/ a Sony jacket on!!!! :laugh:

Quote - Tomo said @ #6
It'd be nice if everyone boycotted Sony's products and put them out of business! Sony have turned from an innovative, respected company into one of the most selfish and untrustworthy companies ever. There's no need Sony! No Need!
Look at what sony has done in the last ... 18 mths
DRM, Proprietary BS, exploding laptops, and this crap. They are worse then MS. At least MS dosn't stop ppl from importing software etc.

As of this moment, 12:10:35pm Eastern Time, in the province of Ontario, in the country of Canada, I do hereby swear, I shall never buy another Sony product. Be it headphones, cellphone, game or console. They have lost all business of mine. tosses the $120 sony cdplayer I got onto Ebay immediatly for $1

Hmm... I'm not chucking out these parts just yet:

- previous VAIO computer from 2003
- an old 1980s stereo that still works
- plus a 21st century stereo that matches the quality of just about anything coming out of China these days
- the free Walkman CD player I got
- and a Walkman tape player
- and those numerous CD-R(W)s lying around that contains my personal stuff

just because of the recent arrogance arising from their games/record label departments. They've got others that sell decent stuff.

To anyone stating they're tossing out their Sony accessories right away, bull ****ing s***.
Go ahead and toss it away if you must, but I feel most of you are just letting your anger force words out of your asses.

I can't believe Lik-sang are actually closing down. This is an absolute outrage. So many hardcore gamers have imported a game or console at some point and lik-sang has been there since day 1. And now they're being forced to close because of what? Sony's inability to supply a market? Sony's absolute disregard for the European market? Do they even realise that lik-sang probably supplied a ton of the PSPs which were imported to the UK ahead of the release date which probably generated more interest in the product.
All of this so they can 'protect the consumer', protect their bottom line more like. I think the consumer needs to be protected from Sony, they seem to think that treating all of their stakeholder groups like dirt will have no effect on them because the Playstation brand is so strong.

I don't see why this had to happen... Lik Sang should have just stopped selling anything Sony before this happened. They provided a great service to us. I'm a bit more than miffed that this had to happen.

EDIT: from what I've read on their forums, they're closing shop because they can't afford to run it anymore. Sony's lawsuits have squeezed them dry. They're refunding all unshipped purchases, and will be working with banks to refund store credits.

http://forum.lik-sang.com/showthread.php?t=16513

I was always more of a Play-asia guy, but every once in awhile, Lik-sang would have a pretty good deal. Too bad they had to go.

And I think here begins my official Sony boycott. I just can't believe them and their scumbag practices. Lik Sang and companies like them are on their side FFS! And they're so well regarded on the gaming scene!

I already own a PS2 but from here on in, i'm never buying another Sony product or game, ever. Screw you Sony.

Talk about biting the hand that feeds them. Surely sales are sales, regardless of where they come from.

I don't "hate" them. I will not waste such strong emotions on a corporation.

I do hate some of the things that they do... but the market will sort them out.

Shame really... Sony, like HP, used to be a company that put out quality, well-engineered products. How the might have fallen.

I pity them

It'd be nice if everyone boycotted Sony's products and put them out of business! Sony have turned from an innovative, respected company into one of the most selfish and untrustworthy companies ever. There's no need Sony! No Need!

actually on their current record (batteries, consoles sold at loss, tons of good looking but shodilly built returns) you can best put them out of business by buying their products

The last Sony product that I bought was a Walkman DC2 - that was back in the late eighties or early nineties. I will not buy anything from them until they learn to "play nice with others"... and I see no evidence that this will happen anytime soon.

Whats the point? I mean if people did import the PS3 (all three of them in eu), I dont understand how it could hurt Sony. I wanna say its only Sony, but look at MS and their insanely restrictive Vista which only allows the user only ONE time to transfer it after adding new hardware. Or look at Apple and their screaming foul at MS after their OWN manufacturer put a virus in Ipod.

Sony is just another in a long line of corporate scumbags out for the bottom line: profit. Screw Sony and screw the PS3. Bring on PC gaming

Every single corporation is "out for the bottom line: profit". Microsoft has put people out of business, too. As did Coca-Cola, Xerox, McDonalds, etc. Let's boycott all corporations!

This is different, in most of those cases it was competition. Lik-Sang was NOT hurting Sony here though, and they could not afford to put up a defense. Sony simply stepped on them and crushed them out of sheer arrogance.

This is different, in most of those cases it was competition. Lik-Sang was NOT hurting Sony here though, and they could not afford to put up a defense. Sony simply stepped on them and crushed them out of sheer arrogance.

They teach you that in business school? Corporations are not people. They don't have feelings or act out of spite and arrogance. Did you think there might be actual reasons that Sony wanted to have a delayed release of their products?

First of all, different countries have different regulations with consumer products. Second, Sony may want to concentrate their marketing dollars on different markets at different times. Third, they may want to satisfy demand in certain markets (to create a concentrated foothold) before moving onto another market. There could be many other reasons on top of those obvious three.

Every company, be it Ben & Jerry's or Sony or McDonald's, is out to make money. If you think anything else, you just fell prey to their marketing.

Corporations are not people.

No but they are run by people. Unless Sony is run by AIBOs now.

They don't have feelings or act out of spite and arrogance.

In the case of Sony I would have to strongly disagree.

"Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?"

Quote - shawnbttu said @ #1
Whats the point? I mean if people did import the PS3 (all three of them in eu), I dont understand how it could hurt Sony. I wanna say its only Sony, but look at MS and their insanely restrictive Vista which only allows the user only ONE time to transfer it after adding new hardware. Or look at Apple and their screaming foul at MS after their OWN manufacturer put a virus in Ipod.

Sony is just another in a long line of corporate scumbags out for the bottom line: profit. Screw Sony and screw the PS3. Bring on PC gaming

Wrong Shawn.

Everyone keeps reading the Vista license wrong.

You are allowed to transfer the license to other machines, but it can only be on one machine at a time.

Here's how it works.

Let's say you have Vista on a machine and that machine fails, you can then transfer it to a new machine as long as you remove it from the previous machine.

At that point in time the new machine is now the licensed machine. If it fails you can then transfer Vista to the new machine as long as you remove it from the previous machine.

In other words you only have the license to transfer it once per machine. That license extends each time you need to do it, but at no point in time are you allowed to have it on more than one machine at a time.

I had to check this out when I was up on campus and had it verified.

Quote - SomeAzn said @ #3.3
They teach you that in business school? Corporations are not people. They don't have feelings or act out of spite and arrogance.

True... but looking at Sony's behaviour in the last year or so - rootkits, "astroturf" graffiti campaigns, closed hardware architecture etc. - "arrogance" is as good a term as any other to describe their behavior.

Wow. At the rate they're digging this hole for themselves, they should pop up in my back yard any day now.

Quote - Sartoris said @ #1.1
You live off the coast of South America in the Atlantic Ocean? I did not know that.

If you want play cute; show me where I posted the angle of their digging. You're assuming that Sony could do ANYTHING in a straight line these days.