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UK High Court rules that sales of Japanese PSPs to the region are illegal - expected to follow suit with the PS3

European gamers have been dealt yet another blow by Sony. After being informed that they would have to wait until March 2007 to receive the PS3, followed by being European VP Jamie MacDonald's assertation that they "didn't mind waiting" for the console, the UK High Court has granted Sony a judgement that could set a nasty precedent for those hoping to avoid the wait by buying a PS3 from another country.

The UK High Court has ruled that the online importer Lik-Sang's sales of Japanese versions of the Playstation Portable to the UK and European Economic Area are illegal. While gamers might not fret over this, it does set a rather bold precident for Sony to request a similar ruling preventing the import of their "soon to be released" (in North America and Japan) Playstation3 console. Lik-Sang's marketing manager, Pascal Clarysse, was clearly annoyed by the ruling.

"Fighting multiple lawsuits in different countries at the same time and paying high premiums to expensive lawyers is an overwhelming situation for a small company like Lik-Sang. Launching separate court actions with separate claims and different judges is completely unnecessary, except for the fact that it helps reaching one single target: outspend Lik-Sang to death. 'Pay Beyond.'"

Lik-Sang is currently exploring its legal options; but with this recent ruling against them adding to eBay's tightening restrictions on pre-order sales, European gamers may not see the Playstation3 through any channels until the official launch next spring.

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How is that?
By Madellga on 10/20/2006 4:08:12 PM , Rating: 5
I don't understand, is it illegal for a privat person to buy an original console overseas and get it shipped home, even after paying taxes and custom duties? How is that?

Do they mean that the PS is an illegal substance? Drug?

Global Markets: send jobs to cheaper countries, but don't let us take advantage of that by buying cheaper from those countries...unless it is imported directly by Sony.

Corporations cannot have both ways. If they want to choose, so do we...

RE: How is that?
By Aikouka on 10/20/2006 5:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
Madellga, you're looking at it in the opposite direction. You're asking why can't a person buy an object from another country, but that's not what's in question here... we're discussing someone selling an object to another country. The concept is called "exporting" and it's a hot term in the corporate world when it comes to business ethics.

What Sony's trying to say is that Lik-Sang is violating their copyright by taking their product and exporting it to a foreign country where the company has a presence and is not currently distributing their product. It's a really awkward concept and it's kinda dumb to think of it like that, but that's how it works. I don't know how the PSP held up in court though... it's not like Sony necessarily was harmed via loss of proprietary information or possibly even monetarily. They just want to grab the market by the "balls" (excuse my crude metaphorical statement).

RE: How is that?
By Madellga on 10/20/2006 5:35:19 PM , Rating: 5
You're correct.
I still think it would be a problem if the product would be a fake, copy or pirate version. If it is the original product, why should the court care? What about competition? Free market?

Or is it because they sell the console (let's say) for 200 pounds in UK, but imported from another country including taxes would cost (let's say)'s then a question of price (and profit), not cost.

The court should be looking into the consumer rights, why should we be ripped off? Why should we buy for more when it costs less on other countries?

Why a monitor X (Dell for example) costs 800 dollars in US, 1000 pounds in UK and 1000 euros in Europe?
A customer in UK could import it, pay its taxes and have spare money. They all come from the same place, why the difference? I know the companies are not doing charity, but why not a Global Price if the cost is the same?

RE: How is that?
By BZDTemp on 10/21/2006 8:04:20 AM , Rating: 2
As for monitors there are specific reasons for the price difference. There is a EU tax on flat screens from outside the EU set up to protect regional production (and jobs).

Also when you compare prices you never see the US sales tax as it depends on which state in the US you are in and it's therefore added at ordering time.

Still prices are higher in the EU but so are wages. The guys doing the handling and all of the stuff you buy proberly earn double of what the people in the US does if not more. That reflects on the price you pay.

RE: How is that?
By Madellga on 10/21/2006 2:08:48 PM , Rating: 4
3 years ago, I needed a new laptop. It was 1000 dollars cheaper in US than in Europe. I have a friend living in Boston (works at MIT). So I bought a ticket for 400 dollars (FRA-BOS-FRA) with Lufthansa, spent the weekend with my friend, bought a Toshiba laptop at local Compusa and came back home. Savings? 500 dollars, plus the joy of spending a weekend in Boston (and collected some milleage).

Manpower is more expensive in Europe, but that accounts for less than 5% of a manufactured product cost. That and sales taxes don't explain the difference.

Crucial sells RAM sticks exactly for the same price in US, UK and Europe mainland. They just use the exchange rate and different sales taxes. The others could do the same.

Dell hardware are made in Ireland or Eastern Europe (cheaper manpower), components como from China. In US, they probably come from Mexico. That still does not account for the huge price difference.

RE: How is that?
By Lord Evermore on 10/21/2006 4:35:06 AM , Rating: 3
If the copyright infringement is actually occurring in Japan, where they do the exporting, but importing into the UK isn't illegal, then how does a UK judge determine that they have to stop doing it?

Two towns side by side, A and B. It's illegal in town B to sell product X outside of town B. In town A, it's legal to buy product X from other towns. Somebody in A buys X from a seller in B. Judge in A tells the seller in B that he has to stop selling?

Are the basing it on the principle of tattling? Sony tells on Lik-Sang to all the other countries, instead of taking it to a Japanese court and just stopping the exporting cold, and the UK says "you can't sell to our citizens because you aren't allowed to sell them at all"?

RE: How is that?
By Madellga on 10/21/2006 2:15:23 PM , Rating: 2
I know that in some countries, Sony has a price list and it is forbidden for the retailers to give a discount.

If they are caught, the consequences are:
1) Allocation is lost
2) They get kicked and cannot sell Sony in the future.

I experienced that first hand years ago, when I wanted to buy a Sony TV and after researching, all street stores had the same price. I asked all about a discount, which was denied in all stores. One store manager told me why (the explanation above). I was finally able to find a store willing to give a discount (15%), but I was asked not to "spread" the good news....

Justice for the buyers
By crystal clear on 10/21/2006 9:15:35 AM , Rating: 2
"The UK High Court has ruled that the online importer Lik-Sang's sales of Japanese versions of the Playstation Portable to the UK and European Economic Area are illegal"

Sony has the right & responsibilites to protect its Authorized Dealers in the UK.These authorized dealers are losing in sales,due to Sonys lack of ability to supply them
with PS3 for sale,Especially in the Christmas buying season.
So remember Authorized Dealers are losing,whilst online importers are thriving.THAT NOT FAIR COMPETITION.

Sony (UK) should simply refuse to service PS3 not bought
from Authorized Dealers in UK.Thats the right response for
the momemt.How-besides Faulty machines also the below-

Did you know
By crystal clear on 10/20/06, Rating: 2
By crystal clear on 10/20/2006 11:54:02 AM , Rating: 2

"Those wondering about battery life will be happy to note the controller is expected to get about 30 hours of playtime out of one 2.5 hour charge. As the battery isn't replaceable, when it's no longer recharging the controller needs to be replaced or sent for repairs."


Yes I know the ordinary buyer in the UK/EU is at disadvantage due to Sonys marketing & distrubution policy,
but they sony have to protect their Authorized Dealers also.

SONY has the prime responsibilities to protect the consumers/buyers from companies out there to MAKE A FAST BUCK.
prices fluctuate as per maket condions & demand supply forces in action.
This is a consumer product with authorized retail prices.

So the legal Ruling is justified.

RE: Justice for the buyers
By Madellga on 10/21/2006 3:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
People buying this from outside are well aware of the risks. Imported gods = no support.

Sony does not have to protect these consumers, as they know what they are doing. Or Sony now replaces our parents?

As for the dealers, PS3 is not the only thing they sell.
Besides that, people buying from outside the country are a small share of the customer base. Most people are not willing to take the risks you just mentioned.

In the vehicle market, EU law allows you to buy from a dealer from other countries. This is why many people from UK buy from dealers in Holland (which can order also RH cars) and Germans buy from Italy. This "damages" the dealers in the original countries, but consumer rights come first.

RE: Justice for the buyers
By Christopher1 on 10/21/2006 3:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I didn't know that imported goods = no support.

I thought that the Limited Warranties and stuff were still in force in other countries. Actually, come to think of it, most companies WILL honor limited warranties from other countries, why wouldn't Sony?

It seems that this isn't about 'protecting the consumer' or even about protecting the dealers. It appears to be about protecting a price-fixing scheme by Sony, in order to inflate THEIR profits.

RE: Justice for the buyers
By Burning Bridges on 10/21/2006 4:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
it's OK wii "don't mind"

RE: Justice for the buyers
By Madellga on 10/21/2006 10:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
Normally to get warranty for imported gods you have to send it back, which is expensive considering shipping and you may end paying taxes for a 2nd time.

If you buy stuff in US and take to Europe, for example, there is normally no warranty.

Exception is Dell and IBM, they give international warranty for Notebooks, as far I as I know.

Sony does not honor warranty outside country of sale (perhaps only inside EU they have to do that).

This was even the reason for a JVC (or Panasonic or Toshiba, I forgot) TV ad some years ago, the message was: Sony will not support you internationally, but we will....

RE: Justice for the buyers
By crystal clear on 10/21/2006 5:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
You say-
As for the dealers, PS3 is not the only thing they sell."
But as I said earlier-
" remember Authorized Dealers are losing,whilst online importers are thriving.THAT NOT FAIR COMPETITION.
The dealers have NO PS3 to SELL.

You say-
"people buying from outside the country are a small share of the customer"
My response-
Equal opportunities,it does not matter what share of the market.
Both the dealers & importers should sell PS3 at the same time & not the dealer left out empty handed & the importers selling at primium prices.

RE: Justice for the buyers
By Madellga on 10/21/2006 10:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
Consumer right to buy cheaper gods comes before business protection. That's called free market and it goes back to my first post - companies do Global Sourcing, why can't private people do the same?

Do you know what Global Sourcing is?

If you want to talk about fair competition, then we all have to stop buying Nikes, clothes and other stuff from cheaper countries. You want to protect local PS3 business (PS3 itself is made in Asia, not UK), what about the other stuff? Do you buy only Made in UK products?

Did you notice traditional manufacturing businesses moved out of country?

Why Rover went out of business? Wasn't Rover more important to UK than PS3 sales?

RE: Justice for the buyers
By crystal clear on 10/22/2006 3:32:13 AM , Rating: 2
"companies do Global Sourcing, why can't private people do the same? "
Laws of your country do not permit you-example Sony/UK courts-PS3.

"Did you notice traditional manufacturing businesses moved out of country? "

Japanese style,then you would not be in a situation like
Ask any American company how tough it is to operate in
Japan & enter their markets & compete there.

"Do you buy only Made in UK products? "

I wish I could I surely would,cause I want my money go to pay salaries to the citizens of UK.

Anyway I do not wish to divert from the subject.

RE: Justice for the buyers
By crystal clear on 10/22/2006 4:09:10 AM , Rating: 2
"Lik-Sang loses PSP case in High Court"

RE: Justice for the buyers
By Scott66 on 10/22/2006 3:31:07 PM , Rating: 2
There is no rights for consumers to buy cheaper goods. Businesses who become authorized retailers do have the right (given to them in their agreements) to compete with other retailers. They also have some responsibilities as well (warranties, customer service)

Importers buy from one country and sells them into another country for max profit and no worries. As long as PS3 can't be sold in Europe Lik-Sang and such destroy the level playing field. Consumers will pay too high of a price and get no support (as it should be). You then have other companies paying for the licensing fees, losing potential customers with more money than brains(and they are the customers retailers want to sell to).

If Sony says we aren't selling product in certain countries until Mar then there should be nothing sold until Mar. Sony owns the product and if they want to keep their bat and ball at home, it is their right.

The truth in the shit
By daftrok on 10/20/2006 4:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
The concern that Sony has with this is because they are already pressed with the number of PS3's at launch. If people from Europe or Austrailia buy PS3s, there will be even fewer consoles for Japan and US. So to avoid this, they simply ban it temporarily. Shitty, yes. Thinking about the consumers, yes. Sucks to be in Europe or Austrailia, yes.

RE: The truth in the shit
By AxemanFU on 10/20/2006 4:19:58 PM , Rating: 5
I don't even want to pretend to understand the legal issues involved here, but the philosophical issues are very bothersome. A company can have it rendered illegal to purchase and then re-sell a physical product just because they don't want that re-seller to beat them to a new market with their own product? In essence to restrict the free market flow of goods that benefits everyone in the end? That's just freakin retarded, if you ask me. If Sony doesn't want them floating around to all available markets, they shouldn't freakin sell ANY of them until they are ready. That goes for anyone else segmenting markets like this. I mean, deal with your own supply problems Sony, and don't get some big legal collossus to bail you out. I say this as a disinterested party, as I don't use or own consoles. I just hate retarded trade laws with no clear purpose other than to restrict freedoms.

RE: The truth in the shit
By BladeVenom on 10/20/2006 7:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, those laws do seem very anti-freemarket.

If I was European, I think I'd be offended at how hard Sony is trying to keep Europe from getting their products. Treating Europeans as unwanted customers has to be bad for business in the long run.

RE: The truth in the shit
By daftrok on 10/20/06, Rating: -1
RE: The truth in the shit
By Madellga on 10/21/2006 2:17:11 AM , Rating: 2
Please learn to write before posting. It looks like pimp talking.

RE: The truth in the shit
By daftrok on 10/21/06, Rating: -1
RE: The truth in the shit
By Madellga on 10/21/2006 3:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
Like Homer says, TV can teach you just about everything.....

RE: The truth in the shit
By Wwhat on 10/21/2006 8:26:48 AM , Rating: 3
"first come first serve" what made you come first?
Because you are fat? or what

RE: The truth in the shit
By Burning Bridges on 10/21/2006 4:24:57 PM , Rating: 2
I hear premature ejaculation is a big problem nowadays

RE: The truth in the shit
By Wwhat on 10/21/2006 8:20:47 AM , Rating: 2
Thinking about the consumers? oh the europeans aren't even consumers anymore now, how about the EU bans goddamn sony and they lose a market of 450 million people? perhaps that will make them happy.

By AndreasM on 10/20/2006 4:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
The UK High Court has ruled that the online importer Lik-Sang's sales of Japanese versions of the Playstation Portable to the UK and European Economic Area are illegal.

Hmm, why does the UK High Court have the authority to decide that it's illegal to import PSPs to the EEA, wouldn't this belong to the European Court of Justice? Or does this have something to do with the fact that Hong Kong was a part of the British empire? Seems odd though, the operative word being 'was'...

RE: Huh?
By Griswold on 10/20/06, Rating: 0
RE: Huh?
By Aikouka on 10/20/2006 5:10:07 PM , Rating: 2
The reason why he's allowed to rule for the whole European Union is probably because of how a product cannot exist in a EU country and not be tradable to another country. I believe that's how the rule goes. So, since the PSP was not allowed in England, because of the copyright issues, it shouldn't have been shippable to any other EU country.

And they say American politics are bollocks!

RE: Huh?
By Griswold on 10/21/2006 5:11:02 AM , Rating: 1
Nope, thats totally wrong.

RE: Huh?
By ghost101 on 10/20/2006 6:25:54 PM , Rating: 2
The UK High Court has no authority to make a ruling that imposes restrictions on the whole of the EU. It has simply made a ruling that can be used by Sony to prevent sales in the UK.

RE: Huh?
By ghost101 on 10/20/2006 6:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
All it does is set a precedent that other EU countries may follow, completely at their discretion. However, the point being made is can Lik-Sang afford to continue selling units in Europe and then face the possibility of lawsuits which may not go in their favour - as shown by the UK case.

RE: Huh?
By Wwhat on 10/20/2006 6:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
Or lik-sang goes to the EU and has the ruling declared illegal and the EU forces its retraction and it's all ok again.

RE: Huh?
By Christopher1 on 10/21/2006 3:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
Bingo! That is what is probably going to happen sooner or later. There becomes the argument that if Sony is selling their product at a 'lesser' cost in Japan than the EU (without taxes), is there price fixing going on?

That would be the real question that I would be asking, why is the price higher in the EU (before taxes) than Japan? There is some argument for the 'shipping costs', but then they could just build a plant in the EU and probably STILL sell them at the same price as in Japan.

as usual
By Xavian on 10/20/2006 11:21:38 PM , Rating: 4
As per usual Sony is messing up the system in the UK with frivilous court cases. Right now i honestly fear for the UK legal system, because everything is ass-backwards (i live in the UK and i should know), we have people doing more time in jail for theft then for murder.

When the PS2 was launched, Sony pushed for modchips on the PS2 to be illegal in the UK and once again the court passed the law, all because they didn't want people importing their games early and playing them on a modded PS2. Ofcourse they used piracy as a scare tatic in order to get the ruling, but still not a single other console maker has made modchips illegal in any country.

I for one, will be glad when sony dies. I just hate how they seemlingly love to sh** on anyone or anything just to save their own skins, plus Sony is not even attempting to hide it, which makes it more arrogant then any other company i've known. For Sony, the only way is down.

RE: as usual
By Christopher1 on 10/21/2006 3:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
That ass-backward thing is the same in the United States and other countries as well as the UK. In the United States, most people get more jail time for DRUG POSSESSION, than for murdering someone else.

We need to realize that is backwards, and also realize that most of these 'laws' that they say are protecting people, are really about protecting the 'moral imperative' of religious people and others.

I also have to agree that I will be glad when Sony dies. Their PS3 looks good, and I like the fact that PS2 and PS1 games will play on it, but the freaking PRICE?! Way too expensive for my taste and for most people's taste.

By cnimativ on 10/20/2006 7:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
not surprised. this is not the first time the EU and Aussies got farked over by sony.

give me a break
By mforce on 10/20/2006 8:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
I've grown kida tired with all this console stuff . I for one could care less . That guy was right ... we really don't mind waiting. I for one think I'll wait for a long time ( read forever ) before buying a PS 3 or any other console for that matter. A PC is good enough for games , you can get free pirated games and all my friends are happy with that.
Yes , I'm sure there are those that can't wait to get thei hands on a PS 3 but I don't think waiting a couple of month will really kill em. Besides if you want a PS 3 that bad you'll probably be able to get it . Just think that by this time next year the PS 3 will be all over the place.
Just my 2 cents.

By Wwhat on 10/21/2006 8:31:49 AM , Rating: 2
After the so maniest ruling ignoring the rights of people and supporting the big corporations 'above and beyond their duty' in the british courts I start to see a trend and start to smell a rat, I wonder how long it will be before the brits do, and if they are going to let it be like that, they re-elected blair so it's hard to tell how masochistic these people really are.

By mgambrell on 10/22/2006 1:02:49 AM , Rating: 2
I am proud to announce that I was at tweeter, a week ago, buying a new stereo receiver. my requirement was: digital input, and cheap as possible. The cheapest receiver with digitial input was a sony ($200). However, I no longer buy sony products. So I went with the next most expensive--a $300 denon.

I'm doing my part--now go do yours, guys!

Hey, do what they (Sony) ask...
By ED666 on 10/22/2006 7:36:25 AM , Rating: 2
...Just don't buy the PS3.

They are making it sooo difficult for Europeans and Aussies to get the thing, let the US and JP have it.

The rest of us can have bagloads of fun with the XBox360.
Or PC's...

Who really NEEDS a PS3, really, come on....

Pay Beyond
By bplewis24 on 10/20/2006 10:48:58 PM , Rating: 1
'pay beyond'



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