There never was a Maori Lawsuit?

So a while back in this BIonicle Autopsy: Var said that despite what's commonly said, there never was really a Maori lawsuit. This is such a common rumor I'm really have a hard time believing it's not true. Both Biosector01 and the BIonicle wiki say that the reason for so many name changes were from a lawsuit. If this lawsuit didn't really happen, how did these rumors become so strong?

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I guess when several of the characters, Rahi, locations, and other objects who bore Maori names were renamed back in 2003.

yup, that's about right

probably because the rumor is so believable

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There is a difference between a threat of a lawsuit versus a lawsuit actually happening.

LEGO was forced to change the names to avoid the lawsuit entirely, rather then doing it as a result of losing. So technically speaking, the names were indeed changed because of a lawsuit, but only the possibility of one- not an actual one smile

You'll notice that BS01 also worded it in a way to imply that the issue was avoided:

they were requested to change the names of several characters to avoid a lawsuit by representatives of the Maori people


Wait, you can sue for using a language?

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So tohunga form can be canon? It sounds a lot better than "weakened" form

Tohunga- matoran- toa-turaga

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I do believe Tohunga was one of the terms that had to be eliminated, hence the introduction of "Matoran" as a replacement. You could always substitute "degenerated" or "devolved" for weakened, as they mean similar things.

If the language is still spoken relatively prominently, and the culture takes offense at its terms being used, then yes. For example, Latin would not be eligible for a lawsuit, as it is a dead language, but using words in other languages as names (aside from actual names in that language--i.e. Chiara, an Italian name that was used for a Toa) risks a lawsuit. That's why LEGO had such a strict legal system for character names, to avoid future legal action.

I mean, when you consider that a parent once sued LEGO because her child was scared by a Toa Inika ad, a lawsuit over language isn't that far-fetched...


Seriously, why would you sue for a kid being scared? I was afraid of horror movie ads, and my parents didn't sue for that! I mean, why would they anyway?

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You can be sued for anything in this day and age, its ridiculous.