Sony Ericsson files legal action against a fan site, forces it into closure

Sony Ericsson files legal action against a fan site, forces it into closure
How's that for a company treating its fan community – Sony Ericsson is suing a fansite dedicated to its Xperia lineup for using the trademarked name “Xperia” for their domain. The Swedish Japanese JV flexed its legal muscle against its own fans over at Xperiablog.net to request the site to transfer the domain name it uses as well as another domain, XperiaX10.net, to SE. With the healthy fear of crazy legal charges, the website has announced that it can't afford to fight this and will shut down.

“We do not have the resources to fight Sony Ericsson on this and therefore this is the last you will hear from us. Sony Ericsson has made great strides in its Xperia portfolio, especially in listening to the community. This makes it all the more confusing as to why Sony Ericsson would want to shut us down. We genuinely believe that 2012 could be a bumper year for the company, we just wish we could have been there along for the ride.”

The website actual does mention that it's not affiliated with those trademarked names, even though it uses “Xperia” for its title. Of course, the site still has the option to move to another domain, but given such an aggressive statement from the company it willfully covers, the owner seems to have given up. 

While Sony Ericsson definitely has the trademark and the right to defend it, the decision to force a fan site into closing still strikes us as extremely shortsighted whatever the reason could be.

In the same fashion, Nokia could sue websites like Symbianblog, Google could sue other domains like AndroidAuthority and so on. Again, this crosses a very thin line risking to get a lot of company's fans angry and we'd understand their feelings.


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18 Comments

1. Rawrzellers

Posts: 224; Member since: Aug 22, 2010

So I'm guessing everyone over at SE is smoking crack now? Like where the f**k did this come from?

2. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

wow. what were they thinking?

7. TMobileRep_52_SwaaaG

Posts: 40; Member since: Oct 03, 2011

Arby's

3. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I am speechless. What a bunch of Morons Sony-Ericksonn are. So long as the web site had a disclaimer, how were they hurting and not helping? Even if they were making money off of adds on the website, wouldn't a compromise been better? Gee, I wonder why this company is in trouble......

4. tehcnoboy

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

They really need to update the title of this post....they just stated that the website didn't have any affiliation with SE except for the title. So really it's not a fan site since they said it themselves and since it's not a fan site then why bother suing anyway it's not like it's doing anyone harm.

12. twenti7

Posts: 152; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

The lack of affiliation is exactly what makes it a fan site. The website was neither sponsored or financed by SE, therefore it was a fan site. Same way that Androidcentral.com and Camaro5.com are fansites, not affiliated sites.

5. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

This is why Sony is stupid. Get hacked again.

6. nanozander

Posts: 97; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Its because PSN gets hacked that US soldiers are able to concentrate on finding Osama~

8. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Idiocy and corporate buffoonery, this is. This is not the way to build brand loyalty. This is however the way to alienate fans and tank your brand.

9. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

wow is natural that geeks around here support hacking and using trademark names.... not surprise at all.

10. AhmadAlsayegh

Posts: 326; Member since: Jul 18, 2011

I said "F*ck u sony I am not buying ur sh*t anymore" when they sued GeoHot...so I wish I had more f*ucks to give abt sony

11. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Stupid, stupid move, SE. This is the kind of thing I'd expect Apple to do-though even Apple doesn't sink this low.

15. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Really Sniggy? Why mention Apple?

13. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

I see nothing wrong here. It's clearly a copyright infringement.

18. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

The point is that it's possible to win the copyright infringement battle but lose the public relations war. And given the problems SE's missteps with the Xperia franchise (late to market, confusing pre-release buzz, late updates), SE should be looking to leverage their friends and fans, not sue them into submission. Essentially what SE just did was use their legally acquired handgun and shot themselves in the foot. - They're within their rights to do so, but that doesn't make it a good idea.

14. Lwazi_N

Posts: 205; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

I'm really disappointed in S.E. Very dumb move.

16. hepresearch unregistered

If I ever do stoop to buying a Sony-Ericsson device in the future, I'll have to make sure it's not an Xperia device... I'll make sure to buy something old and crusty and outdated, like somebody's old scratched-up heavily-used Z300a that I can pick up for $5 or trade for my old Nokia 6010 via Craigslist... just to be contrary. >8-P

17. GeekMovement unregistered

and I thought I was a fan of Sony Ericsson... sure they have the right, but to be that dramatic towards their now ex-fans, man...

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