A news report yesterday revealed that Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Magic: The Gathering, had dispatched Pinkerton detectives to recover an upcoming booster box from a YouTuber. Dan Cannon, the streamer, had mistakenly purchased unreleased March of the Machine: Aftermath booster boxes thinking they were part of the recently released March of the Machine set. It appears that someone in the game’s distribution network sent out the wrong boxes, resulting in Cannon acquiring MtG cards that were not yet meant to be sold. Pinkerton agents showed up to intimidate him into returning the cards to Wizards of the Coast after he posted about them online.
Pinkerton agents, according to Cannon, cited several statutes related to copyright infringement and threatened him with jail time and large fines if he did not cooperate. They also threatened to call the county sheriff and have Cannon detained until they arrived to arrest him and search his home. They also demanded receipts for every Magic card in the house, which is estimated to number in the millions.
The Pinkerton detective agency, once known for its anti-labor activities, now bills itself as a risk management and security firm. Companies like Facebook and Google have also hired the agency to spy on their employees. Wizards of the Coast confirmed to Kotaku that Pinkerton detectives were used as part of the investigation. However, neither Pinkerton nor Wizards of the Coast have commented on Pinkerton’s approach to the situation. Cannon was eventually able to recoup some of his losses from Wizards of the Coast.
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