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Lik-Sang Is Out Of Business 722

Posted by Zonk
from the sony-sony-sony dept.
AKAImBatman writes "Thanks to Sony's heavy handed tactics, popular game importer Lik-Sang is closing its doors. All Lik-Sang customers are having their orders cancelled and refunded. Any attempt to place a new order redirects your web browser to the news of Lik-Sang's demise." From the announcement: "'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', stated Pascal Clarysse, formerly known as the Marketing Manager of Lik-Sang.com. 'Blame it on Sony. That's the latest dark spot in their shameful track record as gaming industry leader. The Empire finally won, a few dominating retailers from the UK probably will rejoice the news, but everybody else in the gaming world lost something today.'" Many thanks to Sony for ruining it for the rest of us. I hope that your business model makes up for the customer goodwill you're lighting on fire today. Update: 10/24 21:34 GMT by Z : Eurogamer has Sony's response to Lik-Sang's accusations.
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Lik-Sang Is Out Of Business

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  • BOYCOTT SONY! (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:20AM (#16560302) Homepage Journal
    To add to my submission, I think we should outright BOYCOTT Sony. As consumers, we've put up with rootkits, massive price increases, being treated like criminals when we're customers, faulty products, and just about every other mistreatment imaginable. Well, I think it's ENOUGH. I draw the line at shutting down a perfectly legal and useful business.

    If you're not already Boycotting Sony for their misdeeds, then I call upon you to stop purchasing ALL Sony products. Yes, that means no PSP, PS3, or PS2 stuff. (The PS2 and PSP games can be purchased used without majorly impacting a boycott, but it's better if anything Sony sits on the shelf.) More importantly, though, we have to hit Sony where it hurts! Which means no more Sony movies [sonypictures.com], music [sonymusic.com], and television [sonypictures.com].

    That means that we can't watch, purchase, or rent popular movies like:

    • James Bond: Casino Royale
    • Open Season
    • Monster House
    • Spiderman 3
    • Stranger Than Fiction
    • The Da Vinci Code
    • Zoom


    It also means that we need to stop watching popular television shows like:

    • The King of Queens
    • JEOPARDY!
    • Wheel of Fortune
    • Ripley's Believe It or Not!
    • Dragon Tales
    • The Boondocks


    Understandably, some of these are very entertaining pictures/shows that I (and I'm sure many others) would enjoy seeing. Unfortunately, a complete boycott means that every Sony product line must fail. So I ask you all, politely and humbly, will you boycott Sony? There is no excuse for their behavior, and I cannot in good conscience allow my dollars to support that behavior. If you feel the same way, then I would ask you to LOUDLY proclaim that you are joining the boycott.

    Thank you.

    P.S. If anyone has Sony contact info, please post it. A flood of angry but well-worded letters will help Sony pay attention to our displeasure.

    P.P.S. Read the Lik-Sang announcement for yourself! Apparently, Sony Europe's execs are big customers of Lik-Sang!

    /End Soapbox
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:25AM (#16560394)
      Love,

      Kieth (Manager EB Games #47564)
    • by Robmonster (158873) <slashdot.journal2.store@neverbox.com> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:29AM (#16560494) Journal
      Boycotts are often called for but they just don't work.

      Even though this move against Lik-Sang is outrageous, it turns out that people just don't care enough to deprive themselves of entertainment.
      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadin@NOsPam.xoxy.net> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:34AM (#16560618) Homepage Journal
        Boycotts don't work because consumers don't like giving stuff up.

        In this case, you could always just pirate it instead of buying. Still gives them mindshare, but no profits. Seem to me that's the only way you'd ever accomplish a Sony boycott.

        Consumers are sheep; unless provided an equally-attractive alternative, they'll never really give anything they enjoy up, no matter how repugnant its production might be.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lymond01 (314120)
          Consumers are sheep.

          You can call some people sheep all of the time, and you can call all people sheep some of the time, but you can't call all people sheep all of the time (yes, even Republicans...).

          I, my good people, am Nike-Free going on 8 years. They definitely have the largest range of nice sportswear, but their business practices turn my stomach and close my wallet. Just have to decide to do it.
          • by NekoXP (67564) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:55AM (#16561082) Homepage
            I am sure Nike really miss the few hundred dollars you'd spend on them, compared to the many billions they make off everyone else.

            At the end of the day, you can't effectively boycott a company which takes in so much cash per week as Nike, Sony or so on. You may win morally and feel nice inside but they will never see any impact on their bottom line. They probably own a bunch of brands you buy anyway, you just don't know it. It's pretty hard to do when these companies are so big and have so many assets and sub-brands.

            However, doing it to the PS3 might be easy; you can make Sony Computer Entertainment look up from their beanbag chairs, by making the Wii the top selling console this Christmas. Or the XBox360. It won't take much. Or do things like buy a DS instead of a PSP - but, well, everyone is doing that ANYWAY. Your choice.

            That would be easy to do given their problems with production we so hear rumors about. It only takes a hiccup over that holiday buying period for them to take notice. After years of domination of the console market, why not just show that over 2 or 3 weeks, you can knock them off the CHARTS (not lose them money or mindshare..) and stop them being so smug? Then they get the moral message of it.

            You can buy a PS3 after Christmas if you are not still too disgusted with them.

            Depriving them of money or mindshare isn't the answer, making a recordable, long-lived statement is, and I think having them lose the holiday season top-seller contest is a prime target.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Some_Llama (763766)
            "I, ... am Nike-Free going on 8 years... Just have to decide to do it."

            I think you mean:

              Boycott Nike "Just do it".
        • by iainl (136759) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:08PM (#16561328)
          Good idea - could you give me a torrent link where I could download a PS3?
        • by Jerf (17166) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:24PM (#16561686) Journal
          Consumers are sheep;
          People who call other people "sheep" because they don't share your priorities are arrogant assholes.

          "People" have no reason to know Lik-Sang is being shut down, and no reason to care. Seriously, why should they? What priority should Lik-Sang displace? How well things are at work? Should I take time off from spending time with my family or any number of other things in my life to Take Action(TM) about a small company that I've only barely heard of?

          You can't care about everything. Shall I call you a sheep because you don't devote 10 hours a week to the plight of African diamond miners? Or because you didn't shout out to Breast Cancer awareness in your post?

          Any given human can only worry about so many things at a time. Many, many, many of them are way more important than whether Sony is shutting down Lik-Sang. It may be an interesting story and maybe some people should work on it, but calling people "sheep" because they can't keep up with every sin, both real and perceived, of every corporation they deal with is just arrogant.

          I guarantee you you don't even meet your own standard for "non-sheepness", if you took the time to articulate it. (Of course, most people who toss around the word "sheep" seem to simply know they aren't a sheep.) The reason I can guarantee this is that, for example, to explain this situation to my wife who probably isn't even aware that games are imported because they are never released here, let alone who Lik-Sang is, would take several minutes. In order to worry about all the things of a similar magnitude in life that occur would take way more than 100% of your life. We are not sheep for not spending more than 100% of our time worrying about your particular choice of sins in the world.
          • by giorgiofr (887762) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @01:07PM (#16562484)
            Wait a second there... you are partially right, but you went too far (just like he did). It's true that you can't care about everything; but being a sheep is not about not "keeping up with every sin, both real and perceived, of every corporation they deal with": it is about knowing about a problem but not bothering to THINK about it and DECIDE whether it's necessary to act. You're not a sheep if you don't know the details of this Sony case or don't care about Sony at all. You are, on the other hand, a sheep if you know that company XYZ is doing something you dislike but you just go with the flow and meh your way through the problem (neologism! you heard it here first, folks). You are a sheep if you think your political system is broken but don't take the time to at least think about such problem and try to devise a solution; and at the end of the day you vote for your usual party while muttering that everybody sucks anyway.
            Come on, you know the sheep. Judging by your post you are not one, but you see them around you. You know who they are and why some people call them so.
            Oh and finally. I might not meet my own standards for non-sheepness but at least I can look at myself and assess my sheep level, fully aware of the possibility of there being a problem with it. This does not stop me from seeing other people's sheepness, and in fact it makes it easier.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MilenCent (219397)
          They can indeed work, and have worked in the past. Just ask Proctor and Gamble.

          If a company takes some controversial practice that upsets enough people that they boycott, then it does not have to drive the company into unprofitability to be effective. Sony has a duty to its stockholders to maximize profits? They aren't getting as much of those as they could be if people are purposely avoiding their products simply because Sony is selling them.

          The things that make it difficult for a boycott against Sony t
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) *

        Boycotts are often called for but they just don't work.

        They usually don't work because a good company diversifies its product line far too much. That's why Phillip Morris [wikipedia.org] can't be put out of business. They own too many key product lines.

        Sony, however, has been scaling back their operations. As it stands right now, their electronics lines are in shambles after cheapening and/or withdrawing a huge number of them. Great stuff like the Clie and the Vaio are simply gone or no longer the great products they once

      • Even though this move against Lik-Sang is outrageous, it turns out that people just don't care enough to deprive themselves of entertainment.

        I do. I saw the trailer for Ghost Rider, and wanted to see it. Now that I know it's a Sony picture, I'm not going.

        Fuck Sony. And fuck the UK courts too - what the hell is happening to that country?
      • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:54AM (#16561062) Journal
        Boycotts are often called for but they just don't work.
        Wrong -- insufficiently complete boycotts don't work. Boycotts are very effective provided that:

        1. Enough people participate to make the cost of ignoring the boycott greater than the cost savings or revenue increase associated with whatever actions prompted the boycott.

        2. The company that is being boycotted sees the boycott as being a long-term issue.

        The following factors increase the likelihood of a boycott working against Sony:

        1. Sony depends on volume sales for profitability. Their non-unit costs are significant (advertising, marketing, admin costs, etc) which means that they need to sell a lot of units of each product to make a profit.
        2. Sony is aware of the bad rep they are accumulating. Should that rep cross over into the mainstream, it could _really_ hurt their bottom line. Companies with already-weak public images are more vulnerable to boycotts.

        There are some factors that help Sony withstand a boycott:

        1. Most of their products are non-commodity goods. One cannot simply substitute movie X from Sony with movie Y from Columbia/Tristar in the market. This is true of any of their IP-derived products (music, games, etc), so consumers are less likely to go without the Sony product. This is especially true with the game industry, as the field of competitors is very small.
        2. Sony is an extremely large company with deep pockets. It's quite possible that they can weather any smaller boycott of a few years duration (and given the short-term memory of at least the American consumer, even a few years is more than enough).
        3. Sony is a global corporation, and the larger the scale of a boycott, the harder it is to pull off.

        I'm sure I've missed a lot of factors, but it is a fallacy to believe that boycotts don't work. Any company that ignores their customer base for too long will inevitably lose market share (unless, of course, there are market inequities (like monopoly status for IP distribution)) to their competitors.

        My point is that a boycott WILL help (if only only a small scale), as long as it's a vocal boycott that hits the press. What's needed is a Sony insider to write a scathing tell-all book that makes the non-fiction best-seller list :).
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Knos (30446)
          Also, interestingly, calling for a boycott is actually illegal in some countries. Like France. I'm wondering about other countries.
    • Re:BOYCOTT SONY! (Score:5, Informative)

      by _xeno_ (155264) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:30AM (#16560498) Homepage Journal

      It also means you can't buy any music by "Weird Al" Yankovic. His label, Volcano [wikipedia.org], is a subsidiary of Sony BMG. I'm sad to say I didn't realize this until after I got "Straight Outta Lynwood" home and noticed that, below the sticker that read "this CD does not conform to CD Audio specifications and may not play in all CD players" there was a Sony BMG logo.

      So if you want to boycott Sony, you also have to boycott "Weird Al," something Slashdot may not enjoy doing [slashdot.org].

      • Re:BOYCOTT SONY! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:41AM (#16560770) Homepage Journal
        So if you want to boycott Sony, you also have to boycott "Weird Al," something Slashdot may not enjoy doing.

        I think we all need to send a polite letter to Mr. Yankovic that we cannot purchase his music because of his distributor. With any luck, that will add a semi-important figure to the cause.
      • Re:BOYCOTT SONY! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Wilson_6500 (896824) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:50AM (#16560986)
        Sometimes I think it just would make more sense to pirate Al's music, then just mail him a check. Let him take care of distributing it.
      • Re:BOYCOTT SONY! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dare nMc (468959) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:58AM (#16561142)
        It also means you can't buy any music by "Weird Al" Yankovic.


        Does that also mean no Apple, Dell, HP, or Toshiba Laptops which use sony manufactured batteries?

    • by Pharmboy (216950)
      The root kit CD's were enough for me to stop buying Sony products or contributing in any way to their bottom line. Not buying Sony products has become a matter of self-defense and monetary preservation.

      If you really wanted to make a dent, I would suggest writing the advertising SPONSORS of Sony related TV shows, like Jeopardy and The King of Queens and tell them you have discontinued buying their products until they quit sponsoring entertainment that Sony has ownership in. Nothing like the threat of lost
    • by HunterZ (20035)
      Woot! I was already boycotting Sony and didn't even know it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      As consumers, we've put up with rootkits, massive price increases, being treated like criminals when we're customers, faulty products, and just about every other mistreatment imaginable.

      Not to mention acting like criminals themselves by lying about the their exploding batteries [cnn.com]. Most recently, they pulled batteries from their VAIO notebooks after trying to pin the blame on Dell, Toshiba, HP, etc. They had to admit that it was their own fault. Sorta. But then they said "Well, it could happen if the user bu

    • by El Torico (732160)
      Based on their bad judgement, I think it may be time to start selling or shorting their stock. That will get the Senior Management's attention.
    • I can't boycott Sony over this! It'd mean I'd have to call off the boycott I imposed over the rootkit fiasco.

      Sony have gone out of their way, time and again, to show that they are no friend to their customer. Personally, I'm amazed that anyone is buying their stuff at all.
    • by Dan East (318230)
      That means that we can't watch, purchase, or rent popular movies like:

      What does watching have to do with purchasing or renting (or even buying tickets)?

      Dan East
    • Re:BOYCOTT SONY! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by xtracto (837672) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:04PM (#16561262) Journal
      Ah yeah, exactly the same Sony that I started boycotting when the rootkit fiasco was unveiled, I followed that quite close and even made a list of the affected discs [slashdot.org].
      Unfortunately I had just bought some sony brand earplugs (I like them because they are in-ear but not as expensive as the shure E3c [or something like that]). After some time I had to buy replacement for the replaceable buds but sony wanted to rape me with £10 for I believe 2 pairs.

      I held my boycott and bought some from a chinnese guy on Ebay, just for £5 for something like 6 pairs black and white :).

      I just bought a DVD player, and I chose a Phillips (I believe Sony electronics are pretty overpriced, not as Bose of course but they are still overpriced).

      I have explained my girlfriend about Sony practices and at least she will think again before buying Sony (although she still wants that iPod... even if there are other better mp3 players I have not been able to convince her).

      I dont buy movies, I rent them via lovefilm and I seldom go to the cinemas, just when some nice "independent" film is screened.

      I will buy a Wii, because mmm because I am not attracted to the othe 2 systems. Oh, and for all of you who believe that the PS3 will be incrdible expensive, just the other time I was showing my girlfriend the differences in prices (in the wikipedia), the price of the ps3 for Mexico is: MXN$7,999 ($640 US) MXN$9,499 ($760 US). Can you believe that shit? $760 US. I think that the market in Mexico for it is what, 2 persons? (well, lets say Fox children and the new president children). Of course you still have to buy the $99 US for the games... that is INSANE.

      Yeah, I agree with the Sonny boycott. I hope more and more people realize that corporations are consuming their rights and start fighting the only way they can to stop them (no, political movements and any other kind of government related tactics wont work as corporations already spoon feed politicians, no I am not paranoid enough, I am from and lived in a country where corrupt government is blatant and the rich are the ones that control the goverment with the Mordida).
    • by Russ Nelson (33911) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:10PM (#16561384) Homepage
      Sony hasn't wanted our business for years. Look at all the restrictions they put on their products: the weird file formats, the proprietary "Memory Stick", the DRM on their media products, the rootkit, and ..... Mission Impossible 3.
  • WTF!?!?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by trdrstv (986999) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:21AM (#16560312)
    Sony's sues someone out fo business for selling their official products?
    • That's exactly the point.
    • It would make sense that when you sell a product to someone, it's theirs to do with as they wish, but apparently not...

       
      • by trdrstv (986999)
        Ultimately they (Sony) don't have to win, just backrupt them with nuisence suits.

        What I don't understand is the logic behind suing them in the first place... They buy your products and sell them to others to increase your install base...

    • If the grey market product is cheaper than the offically licensed product it hurts Sony's relationship with their customers, aka the Retail Stores, that sell their products.

      Now the percentage of people who buy outside of the regular retail channel is probably pretty small, but given that Europeans pay more for the same product (DVDs, Games etc) it is believeable that the margins hurt Sony and the regular retail chains.
      • Re:correct (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hijacked Public (999535) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:38AM (#16560704)
        Photography has had a grey market for years and manufacturers have more or less resigned themselves to its existence. They take specific steps to protect their business arrangements, Canon USA will not provide warranty service for a non-Canon USA imported item, but they generally do not pressure retailers.

        So camera manufacturers have figured out how to live with it, I'd like to see why Sony has gotten the idea that it is better to sue it out of existence.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by smellsofbikes (890263)
          Even better: they've started to assign custom part numbers based on not only region but even retailer. So, if Target advertises "we will beat any price on this product!" and you bring in an ad from WalMart, turns out that they're not the same product, because one is an (for example) Olympus 340DL digital camera part number AO56789-123, and the other is an Olympus 340DL digital camera part number AO56789-456.
          WalMart actively pressures its suppliers to do this, I've read. Nice, huh?
    • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadin@NOsPam.xoxy.net> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:37AM (#16560682) Homepage Journal
      They were bypassing Sony's "official" channels and hurting their ability to price discriminate.

      The 'grey market' is an equalizer; it's a basically unified marketplace that defies the attempts of the monopolists to charge different prices for the same thing in different places, by taking advantage of the cheap global transportation that we're blessed with today.

      This is why it's so hated.

    • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:06PM (#16561284)

      Sorry, I had to say it. That is all.

  • Not only Sony (Score:2, Informative)

    by McNihil (612243)
  • Don't understand (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pubjames (468013) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:24AM (#16560378)

    I really don't understand how Sony can do this kind of thing. Isn't this the kind of thing the World Trade Organisation is supposed to prevent? I thought that there was supposed to be essentially "free trade" between countries in the WTO. Or is it only free trade that benefits corporations that's allowed, not that which benefits us lowly consumers...

    • by rkcallaghan (858110) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:30AM (#16560506)
      pubjames wrote:
      Or is it only free trade that benefits corporations that's allowed, not that which benefits us lowly consumers...
      See, you do understand.

      ~Rebecca
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Russ Nelson (33911)
      "Free trade" would be a one-page agreement saying "There shall be no restrictions on trade between our countries." Signed: the president, the prime minister, the king, etc.

      What we have is not free trade, but is instead "free-er trade". As such it is full of compromises which restrict our freedom.
  • Way to go Sony. (Score:5, Informative)

    by dpaluszek (974028) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:24AM (#16560384)
    You are only hurting your business, and complementing your competition.

    Just like the above posters, I will not recommend nor buy anything from Sony. They are a hack company, and I'm done with them.
  • Sony's Fault (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SQLz (564901)
    Lik Sang's entire business revolved around shipping PSPs to Europe? I doubt it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by honkycat (249849)
      No, but as they mention in their explanation, the foreseeable future of this is additional lawsuits striking at their other markets. Rather than run into the ground, they're doing the responsible thing and closing up while they still have the resources to refund/service their customers. Nice to see a company being responsible in this regard.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PygmySurfer (442860)
      No, but Sony's win sets precedent for future lawsuits. Sony could in turn sue Lik-Sang for PS2 and PS3 sales. Then Nintendo could do the same thing. Better for them to get out now than face more lawsuits.
  • by TheBiGW (982686) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:25AM (#16560410)
    This is a sad day for gamers everywhere. Lik-sang were one of the finest gaming websites anywhere in the world. Lets hope the founders setup another website similar to lik-sang very shortly.

    I wonder if play-asia.com are worried?

    • by Channard (693317) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:35AM (#16560628) Journal
      .. since I really don't give a monkeys about the PSP, but it's where I've had a bunch of region-free 360 games [play-asia.com] from for half the UK shelf price. Microsoft have shown no sign of legal action against them yet, but given that Play Asia also sell Sony stuff, I'm a little worried.

      This isn't the first time Lik-Sang have run into trouble. They changed hands a year or two ago when they were being sued for selling mod-chips. I thought they'd at least be safe now, but no. Perhaps Sony should have funnelled the money they spent on the lawsuit into making their SoundStage software half-decent and producing an MP3 player that doesn't use their shitty ATRAC format.

  • Regulation is good.
  • Allright, I've had it. from now on NO MORE SONY.

    If I absolutely positively must have any of its media(games movies cds etc) or electronics products i'll either warez it or buy it second hand.

    None of my money will ever support those greedy assholes again.
  • RIP Lik-Sang (Score:2, Informative)

    by noname4444 (972861)
    For anyone who isn't very familiar of Lik-Sang, they were a Hong Kong based company who would ship video games all over the world. Easily one of (if not the) best import websites on the internet.

    Out of my many transactions with them, there was an error only once. A simple call to customer service and they quickly corrected everything. This is truely a sad sad day.
  • So what's a good alternative website for ordering gear from?

    Also, I'm looking for GBA game dev "home-brew" related hardware. Any recommended sites?

    Cheers
    • by revlayle (964221)
      you can try play-asia.com, dunno how their prices and services are to lik-sang. i know they operate in a similar manner, but only beer to their site a couple of times ever.
  • Well, crap. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:31AM (#16560536) Homepage Journal
    I may not have been the biggest Lik-Sang customer ever, in fact apart from a few relatively small purchases I mainly used their site for window-shopping, drooling over all the stuff I couldn't afford yet but wanted to save up for. They were often the only way to avoid the cesspits of eBay for certain things, and they always went above and beyond in terms of customer service for me.

    Sure, they were a Hong Kong import/export warehouse who wrote websites in broken English, but they really seemed to care about making people happy more than the rest of them that just want to shift merchandise. They had news. They had reviews. They had style.

    I feel like I've just lost the modern Internet version of the classic little mom-and-pop shop that always had the coolest stuff.
  • clarification please (Score:4, Interesting)

    by free space (13714) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:32AM (#16560562)
    I read the linked articles and I can't get it..is this a copyright infringement lawsuit or an equipment safety one?

    Sony keeps talking about voltage levels and such but the suit is always labelled as "intellectual property". Which is it?

    Also, in the case it's IP, doesn't the doctrine of first sale allow anyone to resell the copyrighted stuff any way he or she wishes?

  • by blueZhift (652272) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:33AM (#16560592) Homepage Journal
    Too bad for Lik-Sang. They sold a lot of cool stuff and was definitely near the top of the list if you wanted to import consoles or games. While one can understand Sony's behaviour from a certain point of view, it still seems really odd to go after a company that actively promotes their products. If Sony is in such bad shape, that the perceived losses due to Lik-Sang's activities are significant to them, then I wonder if the end of Lik-Sang is a prelude to the end of Sony if the PS3 transition goes poorly. Just how close to the edge of failure is Sony? Will Korean archrival Samsung come in and buy what's left if Sony totally tanks? Yeah, that Samsung part is total wild outta the a** speculation, but it is widely known that Sony is not in the best of shape.
  • It's a pity Lik Sang closes because I really liked that shop. It was especially easy to order there because they had bank accounts in many countries so I didn't have to pay for international bank transfers.
    I also have to add that Sony is not the only company that restricted game imports from Japan. Nintendo has done it before with the N64 and as much as I like Nintendo, I have never understood the reason for that restriction. It's the same with DVDs - if the publisher in my country produces an acceptable ve
  • Fishy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by muel (132794) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:38AM (#16560690)
    Nothing in this news report explains exactly why Lik-Sang is closing. It makes mention of action against the reselling of PSPs, but it sells plenty of Nintendo hardware and other systems' software...IANAL, but I don't see any precedents set in the most recent ruling that affect software (nor do I see Nintendo legal action brewing on the horizon). Is this a case of Sony being aggressive behind the public's back and ordering Lik-Sang to shut its doors without saying why to avoid future action? Is Lik-Sang using this opportunity to dump the business and divert potentially angry customers at a red herring? This story is dying for more research and explanation.
    • Re:Fishy? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jasin Natael (14968) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:53AM (#16561040)

      How about, "The kind of world that would harm us for doing something harmless, that helps people get what they want and are willing to pay for, is no world that we want to do business in. And the chance of us losing our savings and the shirt off our back in the next lawsuit are a bit too scary for us to sleep well at night." Just conjecture, but it's how I might feel in their situation...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Volante3192 (953645)
      No, it's because Sony has filed suits against Lik-Sang in nearly every country of Europe.

      Lik-Sang can either (a) try to defend themselves in the entirety of Europe and get sucked dry, most likely negatively hurting their customers or (b) accept defeat and shut down gracefully, going out with style.

      They don't have the warchest Sony does, and Sony knows it.
  • by Tellarin (444097) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:39AM (#16560734) Homepage Journal
    Sony suing Lik-Sang is one of the most stupid things I've seen a company do.

    And besides that, it is also a obvious example of double standards. Even Sony directors were huge clients of Lik-Sang.

    For example (as stated in the note):
    - 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)

    I'll be avoiding Sony stuff after this...
  • I won't be purchasing a PS3. Ever.
  • by William_Lee (834197) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @11:41AM (#16560784)
    The one that used to actually make great TVs, decent quality, feature rich consumer electronics devices, revolutionized and revived console gaming with the PSX, after revolutionizing portable music with the walkman?!

    Didn't think so!

    Ever since Sony acquired large media properties, the old Sony has been slowly dismantled piece by piece, as one horrible business decision after another is foisted on the consumer by the influence of the media divisions. If Sony wasn't so concerned about defending their media units (dvds,cds,film,etc.), we wouldn't have had things like the root kit fiasco, crippled MP3 players, and $600 gaming systems. We also might have a company that focuses on what they did best, delivering consumer electronics to a willing market.

    This is just the latest in a string of strong arm tactics from a company that has lost its roots and its way. Apparently, hitting them in the wallet is the only chance of getting them to change. Maybe if the PS3 flops, they will be forced to reexamine their structure and strategy.

    I'm all for the calls of BOYCOTT! I wasn't going to buy an overpriced PS3 anyways, but I'm not going to be buying other Sony products either.

    Lik-Sang was a great, quirky outfit. They'll be sorely missed!

  • R.I.P. Lik-Sang (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:05PM (#16561280)
    Too bad to see such a good company go. I've checked their site regularly for years to look for interesting items I could use with my curent gaming hardware, such as the Japan-only Nintendo DS web browser. I'm sure someone else will eventually take Lik-Sang's place, but no one will ever have such detailed information about foreign products like Lik-Sang offered.
  • by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2.earthshod@co@uk> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:09PM (#16561354)
    What did they do anyway that was so illegal or wrong?

    AFAICT, Lik Sang bought goods in one place, thereby invoking "Exhaustion of Rights" -- i.e., the law which says that once you have sold something that used to have been your property once to somebody else, whatever the hell they do with it next is none of your bloody business -- and sold the same goods in another place. What's so terrible about that? For crying out loud, there are laws in place that protect your right to do exactly that! For instance, on the European Mainland, DVD players must be multi-region; because it has been ruled by the European courts that preventing a movie sold in one country from being watched in another is anti-competitive behaviour. How is this not the case with video games? Or is this another bit of the Maastricht Treaty that John Major opted us out of while he was Prime Minister?
    • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:32PM (#16561846)
      What did they do anyway that was so illegal or wrong?

      I don't know about EU law, but US law makes it illegal to import trademarked items (even if they are real) for resale without the trademark owner's (written) permission 0 if the owner is a US citizen or corporation. In effect, corporations with US operations can limit the gray market importation of their products if they have a US subsidiary. There are personal use exemptions - i.e. I can buy a Rolex in Switzerland and bring it to the US; since Congress amended the law to allow for personal use exemptions after they discovered that people were buying things overseas for their own us only to be faced with customs seizure when they got back.

      In effect, it protects the US company's ability to exclusively market their goods - whether or not that is a good thing is a different story. Of course, the US sub is glad to sell as much of its product to tourists or whomever and let the other region's distributes worry about their lost sales.

      Of course, companies can limit the profitability of the gray market by minimizing price differences around the world, although currency fluctuations will always open up arbitrage opportunities; and selling products widely instead of limiting some to specific regions. They also try to limit it by not offering world wide warranties; or, in the case of some car manufacturers, requiring you to agree to not export the vehicle within a certain amount of time after purchase.
  • Sony's Response (Score:4, Informative)

    by miller60 (554835) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @02:59PM (#16564824) Homepage
    Sony has provide a statement to GamesIndustry.biz [gamesindustry.biz] in which it proves it can be a sore winner by bashing Lik-Sang:


    "Lik-Sang did not contest this case (i.e. 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," the statement claims. "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 found against them."

    The mention of "substantial costs" suggests the size of the judgment may have been what caused Lik-Sang to close its doors.

  • by Archfeld (6757) * <treboreel@live.com> on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @04:08PM (#16566088) Journal
    and fight them with satire humor and MASS PUBLICITY. Someone talented needs to make a funny video that will get 10 million hits from google. THAT will hit Sony where it hurts, in the AD CAMPAIGN. They make money by default, give everyone somthing to laugh at them for and they will make another brand the COOL one and SONY will feel it. Not only would a VIRAL video hit them here in the US, but world wide exposure. The thing the CORPS fear the MOST IN THE WORLD IS INFORMATION. It is how they control us, using their game against them is the MOST EFFECTIVE TOOL.

"The geeks shall inherit the earth." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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