Online game retailer Lik-Sang.com is shut down due to Sony lawsuits.
Lik-Sang.com, a Hong Kong based online game retailer and division of Pacific Game Technology (Holdings) Limited, has announced that they will be shutting down operations. An announcement on the Lik-sang website describes the cause of the shut down as legal pressure from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) to cease selling Japanese PSPs to European customers.
On October 18th, Judge Michael Fysh in London, England, ruled that Lik-Sang's PSP exporting business was a violation of Sony's intellectual property rights. Lik-Sang claimed that because they did not operate in Europe, they were not constrained by European retail laws. Sony was able to counter and win by saying that the actions under question took place under European territory, and were subject to their laws.
Sony did not comment on the case, but a representative told 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. 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."
The Lik-Sang announcement states that they will cease taking product orders and are in the process of refunding all customers who have an order in the pipeline. Additionally, the post notes multiple Sony executives who have been customers and received special treatment and Lik-Sang swag.
Pascal Clarysse, Marketing Manager of Lik-Sang.com, ended with a personal response: "Today is Sony Europe victory about PSP, tomorrow is Sony Europe's ongoing pressure about PlayStation 3. With this precedent set, next week could already be the stage for complaints from Sony America about the same thing, or from other console manufacturers about other consoles to other regions, or even from any publisher about any specific software title to any country they don't see fit. It's the beginning of the end... of the World as we know it. Blame it on Sony. That's the latest dark spot in their shameful track record as gaming industry leader. The Empire finally 'won', few dominating retailers from the UK probably will rejoice the news, but everybody else in the gaming world lost something today."
MCV is featuring Sony's response to Lik-Sang: "Sony Computer Entertainment successfully sued Pacific Game Technology (Holding) Limited (one of who's company trading names is Lik Sang.com) for infringing our Intellectual Property rights. Lik Sang did not contest this case (ie. they did not turn up and therefore incurred no legal costs). We have been awarded substantial costs against Lik Sang which have not been paid. We would therefore strongly deny that our actions have had anything to do with this website closing (we assume the legal entity is still trading) and would suggest that this release is sour grapes on behalf of Lik Sang which is aimed to belittle Sony Computer Entertainment and the British judicial system that ruled against them. The purchasing of PSP consoles by SCE employees would be for investigatory purposes. We would also like to express our surprise at a company releasing personal information about its consumers, as this is contrary to data protection principles around the world."