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Sony staff defy company policy on import PSPs - Dan Morelle

Sony employees are buying import PSPs from one of the very same online stores the company is targeting with Cease and Desist orders over import sales, according to one of the retailers involved.

While Sony's lawyers have been issuing Cease and Desist orders to UK online retailers who attempt to sell imported American and Japanese PlayStation Portables, the MD of one of the companies targeted claims that even Sony staff members have been buying import PSPs through his website - some of them using Sony company credit cards.

Speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz, Dan Morelle, managing director of online store ElectricBirdLand, commented: "Sony suffers under the weight of its own bureaucracy and the fact that we're selling to divisions within Sony Europe is proof of the pudding.

"We're even selling to leading developers working on behalf of Sony such as Team 17, Criterion and Atari," he added.

ElectricBirdLand is contesting Sony's Cease and Desist order forcefully, this week issuing a stern statement which claims that Sony's legal argument is based upon the infringement of trademarks the company doesn't even own. EBL has so far refused to budge on the issue — with US and Japanese PSPs still on sale on the company's website. The full story can be found elsewhere on GamesIndustry.biz.

âThe threat of legal action is not because Sony is concerned about the impact that small importers like us will have on its brand or sales — itâs simply because of their inability to implement something so vital to the success of its new product,â Morelle said in the statement.

âLooking at the bigger picture, Sony isnât concerned about controlling small businesses importing a few units. The real story is about profit,â he claims.

Sony plans to launch the PlayStation Portable in Europe on September 1st, priced £179.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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