Import PSP owners 'absolutely not' a target for Sony

Not existing ones, anyway.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has no intention of taking action against consumers who have purchased PSPs from grey importers, with the firm categorically denying press reports that it plans to "impound" imported hardware.

Speaking to us this morning, SCEE head of corporate communications Nick Sharples said that "we're absolutely not going after consumers - that's not our objective at all."

"We can assure people who bought consoles on the grey market that we're not going to be going after them," he concluded.

Reports in the British press this morning had claimed that SCEE was planning to "impound" imported consoles, leaving consumers who had paid hundreds of pounds for the hardware empty-handed.

The claims seem to stem from a clause in Sony's high court action against a number of import retailers, which demands that they hand over the names and addresses of customers who have purchased hardware from them.

However, Sharples explained that this is standard procedure in legal actions of this type, with the data simply being used to trace back the full supply chain and establish the level of damages resulting from the importing.

The concerns seem to centre on the idea that Sony might emulate the RIAA, a music industry body which took individuals who downloaded music off the internet to court in a number of high profile cases.

The situation with PSP importing is completely different, however, and Sony acknowledges that it's unlikely that it would have any legal avenue to pursue individual consumers even if it actually wished to do so.

The firm's court case against import retailers, however, will continue - and earlier this week SCEE president David Reeves confirmed that over 600 letters have also been sent to individuals and companies engaged in selling import PSP devices on eBay.

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