Australian Nerf fans were outraged to learn how Martyn Yang, a Nerf-gun blogger writing for Urban Taggers, was tricked by Hasbro into revealing his home address with an offer of a giveaway for his readers, only to receive a lawsuit threat and takedown demand from Nerf's lawyers at that address. At issue is a review the blogger ran of the N-STRIKE ELITE “RAMPAGE” BLASTER, a product that wasn't officially released yet (though as he points out, there are lots of places you can get them). Nerf's lawyers demanded that Yang turn over the identity, IP address and other personal information on his source, or face legal sanctions.
Things got worse when Yang complied with the takedown demand, but still came home to find "representatives" of Hasbro's law firm, Baker and McKenzie, skulking around his apartment building and freaking out the neighbours, asking nosy questions and demanding to know where he got his information. Meanwhile, there are calls for Hasbro boycotts on Facebook, and Yang says he's reconsidering whether he'll devote his energies to promoting Hasbro's products in the future.
First of all, you’re lucky that no one called the police. Secondly, I really do not appreciate being ambushed by lawyers or their representatives on a Sunday afternoon when I haven’t done anything wrong, I have taken down the images and it’s not my fault that neither you nor Hasbro seem to be able to find out whoever the original source of the guns. It would also have been appropriate to give me forewarning so that I could have a lawyer present.
I’ve told your friend ‘Christine’ what I know but it was extremely rude to just show up on my doorstep and scare my neighbours like that. Regarding Nitro and Rayven - I really wish that you’d been up front and mentioned the products in question in your first letter, it could have saved everyone a lot of time and Hasbro a lot of legal fees.
Regarding the “Vortex Nitron” and “Rayven”, these products are freely available for purchase online at this website: http://www.taobao.com/index_global.php. I don’t have the listing details anymore, but if you search for Nerf stuff there, you should find it. I realise that the products weren’t officially released yet but it’s not my fault they were on taobao and it’s pretty common to find promo stuff on taobao/ebay that the recipients have decided to sell online … I’ve showed your friend Christine the site but I really can’t be expected to teach people how to use an internet search engine. You’ll also have to learn how to read Chinese. I don’t read Chinese so I can’t help you there.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.