Article ID : S1Q0243 / Last Modified : 01/04/2008

Warning About Counterfeit Memory Stick® Media

    Warning on Counterfeit Products
    A letter from Sony Electronics
    Please read the letter below from
    Steve Haber, SVP, Digital Imaging & Audio Division

    Counterfeit Products: A Problem Affecting Sony® Products

    Dear Sony Customer,

    Sony, like many other companies with well-known brand names, is the victim of product copying by third parties. The Sony brand name is often used without permission on counterfeit products and packaging. Counterfeit products, which are in some cases practically identical to genuine Sony products, are generally of poor quality and performance. The products are often offered at "unbeatable" prices, and are presented to consumers as bargains. But, in reality, a counterfeit product is far from being a bargain.

    Although there are various sorts of counterfeit products, we would like to bring to your attention the existence of fake Memory Stick media in particular. These counterfeit products are mainly offered for sale through internet auction sites. These counterfeit products normally have the SONY logo on them and it can be hard to tell at first glance whether they are genuine or counterfeit. However, in many cases those counterfeit products are of inferior quality or simply do not work. Therefore, to avoid purchasing counterfeit products you should only purchase genuine Memory Stick media through Sony authorized dealers.

    Purchasing counterfeit products is not worth it. The origin, quality and reliability of all counterfeit products are uncertain. Because the format and technology used in counterfeit products differs from that used in manufacturing genuine Sony products, the use of counterfeit products can damage your electrical products, and can cause loss of data that you may have wished to save or transfer to another product. If another product is damaged through your use of a counterfeit product, its warranty is unlikely to cover the damage and your consumer rights may be invalidated. Furthermore, counterfeiting is illegal and is punishable in the civil and/or criminal courts. To combat the economic damage caused by counterfeiting, the law provides an arsenal of sanctions aimed at the entire counterfeit product network in the market: from the manufacturer to the consumer, including the importer and the retailer. The copyright-holder can obtain an order for confiscation and destruction of counterfeit products and be awarded damages in the civil courts. If the case is taken to the criminal courts, the consequences can be much more serious for offenders.

    How do you protect yourself and react in case of a fraud? Packaging and product designs are often copied very convincingly and the fraud is often difficult to detect visually. Nevertheless, there are certain tell-tale signs: unusually low prices compared to the usual market retail price, abnormal sales conditions compared with the usual commercial practices, claims of product performance that do not exist in the manufacturer's information. If you come across any of these signs, we advise caution and suggest you obtain details of the retailer's identity and product origin before taking the risk of purchase. If the product you purchased malfunctions and you suspect it to be counterfeit, we advise you to please contact Sony Support at 800-222-7669 (SONY) if you have any questions. We can determine whether the product is a counterfeit or not and let you know. If the product you have purchased is counterfeit, you are entitled to contact the person or the retailer who sold it to you and demand a refund.

    Best regards,

    Steve Haber
    Senior Vice President
    Digital Imaging & Audio Division

    To help Sony take action against counterfeit activity, please report counterfeit Memory Stick media to: