Apparently Selling Products To Customers Who Want Them Doesn't Fit Sony's Strategy

from the not-good-for-anyone dept

pandlcg was the first of many to submit the story about Hong Kong electronics retailer Lik-Sang going out of business following years and years and years of lawsuits from the likes of Sony, who didn't like that Lik-Sang sold modified versions of their gaming console in the past and also would sell Sony devices released in Asia to people in Europe and the US. Sony, for its part, says they have nothing to do with it, and the claim from Lik-Sang is just "sour grapes." They note that Lik-Sang didn't incur any legal costs in the recent lawsuit, as the company chose not to show up and did not pay the fine they were assessed when they then lost the case. Lik-Sang's original going out of business notice, however, makes it clear that the loss in the legal case, making it illegal for them to sell Sony products into the UK is a big hit on their business. Sony had claimed that they filed the lawsuit out of a fear that the Asian products do "not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards." Lik-Sang claims that's untrue, and, if anything only raises questions why Sony believes its own products aren't up to that higher safety code. Sony also complains that these products would not be under warranty -- but that's hard to justify as a legal reason for stopping their import. If the customer is aware that these products are not under warranty, isn't that their decision to make? What this comes down to is the same problem that Sony has face over the past few years: it's unwillingness to bend on "control." It needs to control every aspect of its products, even long after they've been sold -- and that includes things like trying to price their devices much higher in Europe than elsewhere. Unfortunately for Sony, thanks to things like the internet and globalization, control on a regional level just doesn't make sense any more -- no matter how hard they pretend otherwise. While Sony may be happy that Lik-Sang is going out of business, it only does more long-term damage to Sony by making it harder for people who want to buy Sony products to get the version they want.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Joe, 24 Oct 2006 @ 2:42pm

    I wonder how long Sony is going to last at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Geren, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:25pm

      Re:

      Sony will likely last forever, despite their marketing foibles. While they haven't more than an inkling of a clue about how to market to consumers, they are pretty close to, if not the number 1 manufacturer of professional and broadcast video equipment in the world.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Yay first post!!!!!!!!!!!, 24 Oct 2006 @ 2:44pm

    What else is new a electronics super giant is complaining that it's not making enough.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kevin, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:04pm

    ..

    I don't think money is the issue here. Private businesses selling Sony's merchandise is wrong whether Sony cared or not. Legally, it is wrong. Morally, it is wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Geren, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:23pm

      Re: ..

      So, you're saying that, for instance, Best Buy or Sears or Circuit City selling a Sony stereo system is wrong? Get a clue. That's what dealers do, and Sony has a very large dealer network.

      That said, Sony has long had a history of missing the mark when trying to market consumer electronics, with the exception of television sets. Witness the far superior Betamax.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2006 @ 8:00pm

        Re: ..

        I see no problem with selling modified consoles. They're not so much selling the console, as they are selling a service. Having a mod chip preinstalled or what ever it is, is a service, and there apparently was a market for it and someone willing to fufill it. Thats economics at work.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:31pm

      Re: ..

      What you telling me that if I buy 1 or a 1000 widgits, I'm not allowed to resell them ?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      SPECIFICS matter, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:40pm

      Re: ..

      Kevin, you are wrong. You said, "Private businesses selling Sony's merchandise is wrong whether Sony cared or not. Legally, it is wrong. Morally, it is wrong."

      Please be specific.

      If a company decides to buy and sell used Playstation consoles, that would be entirely legal and would have no problems on the ethics front. However, it would still match your definition of what is 'wrong'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      xamm, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:53pm

      Re: ..

      Ummmmmm, what?!?

      Sony is a "private" comapny and so, presumablym was Lik - Sang. Are you saying that only state run outlets should sell Sony?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      poploser, 25 Oct 2006 @ 7:54am

      Re: ..

      Dude... it's called "retail."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Guy, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:29pm

    Sony!

    Well it seams to me that if he paid for the PS2's he modded he should be able to do what ever he wants with them...... it's not ike anyone is signning any legal contract saying they won't Mod or Sell their PS2 Sony is still getting their dime out of it so im not sure what the real problom here is

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:45pm

      Re: Sony!

      I agree with Guy who said "Well it seams to me that if he paid for the PS2's he modded he should be able to do what ever he wants with them...... it's not ike anyone is signning any legal contract saying they won't Mod or Sell their PS2"

      Buying a new PS console straight of a retail shelf, and then modding it, and then selling it, is NOT morally wrong (as long as it is true that there were no contracts signed, etc, promising not to mod it). Just because it may be illegal to do in some countries does NOT make it morally wrong. I should have the freedom to buy at retail and resell something that I've added value to. Just because Sony doesn't like it doesn't make it morally wrong. Just because the UK made it illegal doesn't make it wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:38pm

    Right of First Sale

    So what happened to the right of first sale ?

    If I buy the product, I though I could re-sell it to whomever I want.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    smokebreak, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:51pm

    im so sony, so very sony............

    sounds to me like another of sony's blunders on the P.R. front.............modded ps2's are already a private commodity, but more and more it seems that companys don't want users to be able to touch any part of the devices internals, which brings my next thought......why don't we just outlaw screwdrivers. think about it now :), they allow you to fix a product, which cuts sales of another new product to do the same thing for the user, bundle in some blu-ray, DRM, And a Root-Kit or two and you have a marketing strategy. One last sarcastic tidbit.....this is my idea and I'll sue your ass on copyright infringment grounds if you attempt to take so much as one of my vowels from this list to use as your own.

    Thanks coorperate america for patenting the american dream

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    smokebreak, 24 Oct 2006 @ 3:56pm

    sony woes

    Anonymous Coward.....if you read this, It's my re-test, and i want my damn A+

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2006 @ 4:09pm

    I used to have a household full of Sony products. Now Sony is completely missing and almost every electronic device I have is from a different mfg and they all interoperate just as well (or better) than when it was all Sony...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Someone, 24 Oct 2006 @ 4:13pm

    the morality of modding

    I agree with Guy who said "Well it seams to me that if he paid for the PS2's he modded he should be able to do what ever he wants with them...... it's not ike anyone is signning any legal contract saying they won't Mod or Sell their PS2"

    Buying a new PS console straight of a retail shelf, and then modding it, and then selling it, is NOT morally wrong (as long as it is true that there were no contracts signed, etc, promising not to mod it). Just because it may be illegal to do in some countries does NOT make it morally wrong. I should have the freedom to buy at retail and resell something that I've added value to. Just because Sony doesn't like it doesn't make it morally wrong. Just because the UK made it illegal doesn't make it wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Bailey, 24 Oct 2006 @ 4:36pm

    Didn't Sony go through this several times before? I seem to remember something about the PSP being updated with anti homebrew stuff built into games, getting snotty about people rewriting the code of the Aibo robot dogs etc. Sony like many others are getting far too pushy with their products. Some day consumers might actually wake up and see what an almighty mess they have got all of us into by meekly buying the DRM laden appliances and media.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2006 @ 6:22pm

    add another business blunder to the list when the PS3 releases

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Doe, 24 Oct 2006 @ 6:25pm

    Sony

    I love Sony products but I hate (with a passion) thier desire to be totally propietary.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Doe, 24 Oct 2006 @ 6:25pm

    Sony

    I love Sony products but I hate (with a passion) thier desire to be totally propietary.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ted, 24 Oct 2006 @ 7:50pm

    I DON'T BUY THEIR TV'S ANY MORE

    I have tv's, stereo's, vcr's, digi8, & computer's that are sony's, but my dvd, flat panel, etc are Sharp and others. In fact, haven't bought a Sony in over 5 years. HMMMM..... are they stuck in old world distribution model?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2006 @ 9:32pm

    Sony Say Sure.... But..

    I am sure that Sony wouldn't mind someone selling a modded PS2/3 as long as you buy the Games.

    Or is you buy copied Games and send the difference to Sony.

    Come on... Biz is Biz.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Stevens, 24 Oct 2006 @ 9:58pm

    Do I smell Microsoft?

    This does not benefit Sony in any way. It simply hurts them, people BUY their stuff and make it MORE valuable, then Sony tries to shutdown the very people that are helping them?! Terrible business sense. Imported stuff generates free marketing and promotion for Sony but they decide they want more "control" so they help shutdown Lik-Sang!?

    Sony seems to have trouble marketing its products to consumers. Maybe they need some more training. Sony is starting to remind me of this decade's Microsoft. First they may have copied one of Nintendo Wii's controller ideas, then they shoot themselves in the foot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan, 25 Oct 2006 @ 1:04pm

    How did we get on modding?

    I don't know how everybody got on the subject of modding, but remember that Lik-Sang was only reselling units NOT modding them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MadJo (profile), 26 Oct 2006 @ 1:31am

      Re: How did we get on modding?

      They did once, long time ago. Got sued over it, and picked up the pieces and carried on as a legal reseller/importshop.

      In my opinion, Sony has just done the industry a large dis-favour.

      Many people like to import crazy Japanese games, or like to import games that will not be released in their region. Thus creating a revenue stream for those companies that they otherwise don't have.

      Now, with the demise of Lik-sang, the future of for instance Play-asia is at risk too, as well as your local import shop (insofar you have a games-importer nearby).
      Which makes getting those crazy Japanese games harder, or perhaps impossible.
      Which results in those companies getting cut off from a source of income.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.