Lik-Sang lives! (Minus mod-chips)
Back on feet after MS, Sony, Nintendo lawsuit
Hong Kong-based online retailer Lik-Sang, one of the most popular importers of console hardware and software, has reopened its website for business after over a week offline which resulted from a lawsuit filed by Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft with the high court of Hong Kong.
The suit, which accused Lik-Sang on infringing on copyrighted material by selling mod chips and other development and backup devices for consoles, caused the court to issue an injunction against the retailer forbidding it from selling or advertising any of the disputed products.
Although the company's website is once again accepting orders for hardware and software, and existing orders will be processed over the coming days, no development, chipping or backup devices are listed on the site, and the company says that it is "not committed to selling the questioned products in the future".
In many ways, this can be seen as a victory for the console companies - Lik-Sang was a popular source of mod chips among hardcore gamers. However, casual gamers seeking chips are still infinitely more likely to acquire one locally and pay to have it installed, while more technically minded consumers will simply acquire chips elsewhere. Worse, the closure of the company was a PR disaster for Microsoft, whose name was originally associated with the lawsuit - a great many customers, many of them ordering legitimate goods, felt that the handling of the situation was heavy-handed at best and showed little respect for the rights of consumers caught in the situation.
Mod chips designed with piracy in mind are a serious problem for the industry, and anything that cuts down on their availability is to be welcomed; however, there are more diplomatic ways to deal with situations such as this one, and a company like Microsoft which needs all the consumer goodwill it can get at the moment would be well advised to consider those routes in future before sending in the ferocious attack lawyers.