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NEO-COLONIALISM: Internet war brewing over Lego's use of te Reo



BZPower, an enthusiast's website for Lego toys called 'Bionicles', has had its forum pages shut down by what they exaggeratingly call attacks by a "Maori cyberterrorist".

The Danish toy company received a letter in May 2001 from lawyer Maui Solomon, representing three Maori groups - Ngati Kuri, Te Rarawa and Ngati Wai. They objected to the appropriation and commodification of the Reo - the Bionicle universe is filled with terms lifted from polynesian and Maori history and language. [ Guardian | BBC ]

Lego first rejected the claims of "cultural piracy", although later agreed to stop using the language to market new products . They have refused to withdraw the toy from the market.

The website has received a threat from the "Army of Free Speech" and have posted their reply here.

Update: Click here to read a new response to BZPowers claims of 'cyber-terrorism', the use of intellectual property by other states to profit from other cultures, and the appropriation and reselling of identity by C Karena.

[ The Mataatua Declaration | Maui Solomen on intellectual property rights | | Scoop commentary ]