Thursday, April 26, 2012

Clarifications on this Hasbro Saga...


I was hoping not to post on this issue anymore but I see that some of the Internet reporting is getting a bit distorted- which is something that just happens I guess. While I appreciate the support, to be clear, here are a few clarifications.

1.  To the best of my knowledge - I have not been "sued".  Hasbro's lawyers issued a letter on 21 March with which I complied.  I then voluntarily took the blog down for a month to ensure I had complied with their request - I was not ordered to do so but wanted to on my own.  I have provided Baker & McKenzie with all of the information that I can - the rest of the information that they are seeking, I do not have.

2.  The Baker & McKenzie representatives were not IN my apartment when I got home - they were hanging around outside of my apartment/apartment block.

3.  I have updated my original post to reflect Hasbro's official statement on the issue that was released today and have acknowledged that it is quite possible that this was all an extremely unfortunate, badly handled misunderstanding and possible that there was no malice intended. I have also acknowledged that it is quite possible that Hasbro/its lawyers did not realise how their ordinary/normal investigative techniques would come across to a non-lawyer ordinary person like me.

4.  Although I am very grateful and touched by all of the support from everyone, I have not urged people to boycott Hasbro and its products. It's up to everyone to decide for himself/herself which company's
products to buy and it's not my intention or place to try to influence people.

5. I DON'T look anything like NMA's CGI portrayal of me!! :P  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7HoC_Rnx_U

Thanks again all, I really didn't know that my hobby of shooting toy guns and foam darts was going to lead to all of this ...

40 comments:

  1. Don't need to ask us to boycott Pocket, we're right behind you and can think for ourselves.

    And we boycott. All the way.

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    Replies
    1. Same here - they're being d-bags, and need to be reminded who buys their kit.

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    2. Nerf pinpoint sights? You can get better airsoft sights for less. I'm not on Hasbro's customer list anymore.

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    3. I'm a viking, and I feel the need to pillage, not boycott.

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  2. Dude. You are way too nice to hasbro. They deserved to be boycotted and I bet the lawyers knew how their investigative techniques would come across to most people: intimidating.

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  3. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You're back!!!


    Nerffan
    http://nerffansnerfhq.blogspot.com.au

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  4. maybe I will forgive them if they send you what they promised .

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  5. For me personally I am boycotting due to multiple smaller reasons, but this saga did resonate strongly with me to the point that it was the icing on the cake. I am happy to end my boycott once the dust settles and (to Pockets level of) a satisfactory result. I do enjoy Nerf and wish to continue my support of such great products, but not as long as they poorly practice or mis-treat the one place/blog/passionate hobbyist that got me educated, interested in and take part in this wonderful hobby/obsession :p

    As an individual, but more importantly a fan of both Nerf and this blog, I am totally aware that you (Pocket) did not instigate this boycott. Started by a third party, it is simply a demonstration for us fans to have our voices (text) to be heard (read) to show both our support for you and this blog, in that we believe how this whole incident has played out has dissapointed and frustrated us. It just shows how dedicated we are about our fellow 'comrades in arms' or those that lead & inspire us.

    In a way, if this saga had not been so publicised or taken this seriously, you can nearly guarentee it would have just been swept under the rug and left to fester until the next big problem comes along and this gets dug up again. Kind of better to get it sorted out now, let all the steam out so we can get over it and move on to enjoy what has brought us all here together in the first place: our shared fondness, enjoyment, fellowship (and in some cases like mine: extreme geeky obsession) of Nerf foam-shooting goodness :p

    ...ok Im going to end this hippy TLDR rant now on a final note: all the best for what the future holds for you Pocket, right behind you all the way (in whatever shape or form that can be) :D

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  6. They Should be Boycotted this is the best blog, boycott Hasbro!

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  7. Thanks for your clarification!

    Your blog is a good-looking, informative and friendly blog - positive and quirky. Don't bow down to the crushing, oppressive yoke of the oppressive corporates! Remain a free spirit, pocket!!

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  8. This is an example of how stories like this always end up getting distorted and taken out of context... honestly, UT could have chosen to handle it with more tact and just kept all the correspondence confidential in the first place.

    Its common for blogs to get requests from affected companies and individuals to remove photos, articles or posts, most bloggers just comply with the requests out of respect and carry on running the site, no need to create all the unnecessary hoo-ha and hype.

    Btw, its also not nice to publically post up confidential correspondence and the names and titles of people involved either, these things should be settled off-site and kept off-site.

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  9. Latest Anonymous: you may need to actually read the posts. This matter and all correspondence WAS kept confidential for almost a month - UT took down the images and gave up all the information he had. It was only when the law firm reps showed up at his house on a Sunday and were still wanting him to hand over information that he didn't have that he went public. It's easy to judge other people but ask yourself what you would have done if you couldn't make yourself heard/understood by the lawyers despite all your attempts and they showed up at your door? It's confronting and freaky unless you're used to that sort of thing. In any case, if there is hype, it's not UT's fault - he only posted his side of the story on his own blog - the fact that it was picked up by non-nerf people wasn't something to be expected given how specific the blog's subject matter is. I haven't seen anything posted by UT anywhere else except here and FB and this is popular but very niche blog with nerf-specific traffic. You wouldn't normally see non-nerf people around here. From what I can see, UT just wants to move on and be left alone by everyone except fellow nerf-enthusiasts ...

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  10. Why should things like this be kept confidential? It's not like they're state secrets. I haven't been in litigation for a very, very long time but even when I was doing it, we were told to write our cease and desist letters in the expectation that they would be made public. I would imagine that's even more the case these days with the new media.

    I think it's probably good for consumers to see how different corporates and their attorneys handle different situations. Sure they're not governmental authorities with disclosure obligations but as consumers, we put a lot of money into them and it's good to have a degree of transparency regarding their enforcement conduct. All big corporates aren't the same and the way they handle the same things is illuminating.

    It's probably good for people to see what a C&D letter looks like. If the corporates and the law firms have done nothing to be ashamed of, then they should be fine with people disclosing things.

    I've noticed that the power imbalance between corporate and consumer has shifted a great deal in recent years and gone are the days of heavy-handed letters sent in dark corners to silence people.

    Even if you don't have the money, resources or appetite to wage a legal battle to defend yourself - you can still have a voice. As a consumer, I think that this is a good thing.

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  11. I've been watching this saga unfold and it's absolutely fascinating to see what is abundantly clear to me at least: the battle behind archaic old school thinking vs the new school of social media and building a community. Guess who's winning?

    The first thing that should be so obvious to everyone INCLUDING the likes of Hasbro and their legal team is Pocket from Urban Taggers IS VERY VERY CLEVER. 2 years ago he started a blog. Big deal right? About Nerf guns. There were plenty of blogs before him, some were good, most- not so much. In that time, he managed to turn it into what is considered to be the authoritative source of information for not all things Nerf, but other toy guns too. He also aligned with the right people, added just enough controversy, such as the scantily clad model posts, but as a whole his use of words and photos very quickly made his blog exceptional. Very often would you search for images of Nerf would you end up with images from Urban Taggers. This guy, whoever he is, definitely is a master of social media and web marketing. All done without any advertising, financial backing (that we know) or even endorsement from Nerf themselves.

    And then you have Hasbro, who uses a more traditional approach to marketing and an almost embarrassing attempt at using social media with patronizing, disinterested copy and websites that serve no purpose other than to just be a waste of space. But they are big, and have lots of money.

    Hasbro went after Martin assuming he was easily bullied and naive, but it was Hasbro and their legal team who were naive. Any half intelligent person would realize that "Pocket" was very good at what he did. He had built a community that appreciated him as much as he appreciated them. A very strong and proud fan base. When the lawyer first approached him and he took Urban Taggers down, the amount of cries from the public to reinstate the blog should have been a warning to Hasbro. But they didn't take notice.

    Even as this whole thing came out, I have noticed one abundantly obvious point: Pocket has not said a bad word about Hasbro. On top of this, he has been quite successful in portraying himself as totally transparent, thoughtful and accepting. This very post I am commenting on is genius as he is demonstrating he is not wanting to let things spur out of control. What is also clever is he allows his haters and critics through; there is no censorship or deletion of posts even if they are not supportive of his stance.

    Hasbro however, have made a mess out of their response, taking far too long to post their statement but in the mean time deleting posts they did not like. They have stumbled around like a drunkard with no direction or clear path to actually resolve this.

    What we have here is a classic tale of David and Goliath, only David had a lot more going for him than just a sling shot and some stones. He brought a fucking armed to the teeth army while Goliath was too busy kissing his own biceps. Lets face it, Hasbro got totally pwned on all levels by a kid Down Under with a far greater grasp of marketing and promotion. The only out on this one is to end this now, probably apologize and make amends with Urban Taggers. It might be too late to salvage this relationship, but Hasbro have to at least be seen to try.

    I watch on with great interest.

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    1. Totally agree with you.

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  12. Er.. why don't you drop to one knee and propose to Pocket then? I love the guy too but CREEPY

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  13. Awwwww, I love pocket, too but I don't think it's creepy :)

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  14. Fuck you Hasbro. At least we now know whose products not to buy.

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  15. Anonymous #1 is spot on - this is just another example of someone using social media properly in the face of a big company that doesn't get it AT ALL. Major FAIL, Hasbro!

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  16. Hi Urban Taggers!

    Just read your saga on Mashable, that's wild! I wanted to get in touch with you from WowWee as we have some new toys that I think you would be interested in. www.appgear.com has a new game title coming out shortly called 'App CommandAR'. We are also the company behind www.lightstrike.com ! Feel free to contact me directly at helpdesk @ wowwee.com - would love to talk!

    Best!

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  17. Keep after them for those Nerf Pinpoint Sights.

    They offered, you accepted. If they were on the level, they probably just got slowed down by the lawyerly crap blowing up. And if they were not on the level, they're going to want to cover that up really soon by fulfilling the promise anyway. For you it's win/win/win.


    Bob O`Bob
    --

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  18. Would have never heard of this site had it not been for the sheer insanity levied by hasbro. You can feel free to keep up the good work. The internet has the rest covered.



    Anonymous Apr 26, 2012 05:50 AM

    /thread... AC nailed it.


    J.

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  19. Although I didn't get any lightstrikers, wowwee did what a good business should do! I will certainly check their products out in the future!

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  20. Hey man

    Read about you on a legal site(rollonfriday.com)

    If you want ti complaint about a lawyer best way to go is before the law society of nsw.they have an ethics board and they are the ones that can disbar or impose sanctions and penalties to lawyers for dodgy practises like the ones b&m used with yoU.

    Every lawyer is scared as hell of being the subject of an ethics inquiry because that stays in their record or have to always say thy have been investigated.that is even if the allegations goes nowhere.


    So if you want to really mess with bm lawyers thats they way id go about it.takr it from me,im a lawyer myself.

    Any questions let me know: carl.lee.haylee@gmail.com

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  21. Hope it works out for the better for you.
    They pulled a crappy stunt...

    Dont know that I want to get any new blasters, unless they make some apology or something.

    440

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  22. Wasn't Carl Lee Haylee one of the characters in A Time to Kill.... ?

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  23. You are unfortunately the victim of an overzealous corporate lawyer trying to justify his $5000/hour retainer. Most of these heavy handed "plug the leak!" operations generate from someone trying to figure out who screwed up and handed away a tradeshow prototype (usually a sales guy trying to close a deal) and reprimand them. Then someone along the line kicks it into a high gear thinking this is way more serious than it is (our trade secrets have been exposed!/really? any shmuck with $50 is gonna be able to buy this in 6 weeks when we release it!/But our patents and copyrights will be violated!/No, we already filed that stuff last month.). Enter the lawyers: "Woohoo! Hasbro has another BS molehunt for us! Let's rack up them billable hours! Yeehaw!"

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  24. I didn't know someone could be that retarted to make you look like a fat person who lives in thier parents basement and eats twinkies all day. Are some people really that slow? Apperently they don't have good web page translators in China. *rolls eyes*.

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  25. I had never heard of Urban Taggers before this saga spread to Techdirt. You guys have a great blog! Keep fighting against legal intimidation -- and hey, at least you gained some new readers from this whole story.

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  26. Have they even just said, "Sorry" because that might've made a big difference.

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  27. YOUR BLOG SHOULD BE TAKEN DOWN AND YOU SHOULD GET ARRESTED FOR SPOILING THE UPCOMING NERF GUNS AND SPOILING ALOT OF OTHER COMPANIES TOYS AND YOU SHOULD GET JAIL FOREVER!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha, as a local from the ACT and only just hearing of the heinous act of re-posting photo's of Nerf Guns found on Google Images, I stand right behind you CAPSLOCK MAN and decree Yang a felon in the first degree deserved of the just punishment, JAIL FOREVER...

      I will also not buy any more Nerf guns... no, I will steal them instead. Which I hope is not punishable with JAIL FOREVER, rather acknowledged with a nod and a wink from knowing sales staff who know Hasbro's Douchebaggery all too well. :)

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  28. You rally Nerf fans, you generate buzz, they should be paying you not punishing you. If they had a clue on how to cultivate the community they should sponsoring you to run this website. Providing you with exclusives and perhaps even giveaways. I am sure they said the material you posted violated copyright and could give there competition a head start on copying Hasbros designs. Thats BS though, the Air zone factory is probably on the same street Nerf guns are made. This is not a insult to you but in this capacity your irrelevant. Between, marketing materials, manufacturers and tradeshows like E3 nothing is secret for long, welcome to the internet, welcome to 2000.

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  29. Soo... any updates may I ask?

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  30. huh wtf urban hasent posted in a long time and hasent anwserd to let any comments in a long time to appear huh this must mean time is staying in its place while moving slowly or backwards????????????????????????????????????????

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  31. Like some others, I had never heard of Urban Taggers before innocently doing a web search this morning to find a good place to buy Nerf guns (in particular the 'Maverick'). My intention had been to buy a couple of that model so that I could modify and paint them to look like 'steampunk' weapons for a costume party. However after hearing what Hasbro did to Pocket I really don't want to give them any money. I'll make my costume guns from some other company's products. Commiserations, Pocket. BOO, HASBRO!

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  32. crazy anonymous caps lock guy, I reckon YOU should be jailed or have your caps lock key confiscated. Jail? Extreme overkill, dude ...

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