For the Veteran

Various information for Veterans different government programs available to assist Veterans in starting a business. Veterans benefits programs. This is not a political blog but we will speak our minds about current treatment of Veterans returning from the Gulf.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Michael Yon War correspondent battle continues

News Release/ For Immediate Release
Contact: Irene Pinsonneault (508)636-9149 (508) 642-7165

Yon to Bookseller: “Borders Shouldn’t Act as Fences.”

{Massachusetts} Michael Yon has two words for retailers who continue to stock or sell the magazine Shock: “Willful Infringement.” The copyright laws are clear and so are the implications for those stores that sell Shock after receiving notice about the violation publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media committed when it illegally printed hundreds of thousands of magazines with Yon’s photograph on the cover.

Likening the magazine to “stolen goods” and comparing those who knowingly sell it to “fences,” Yon says that retailers who follow the advice given to them by Hachette Filipacchi Media President and CEO Jack Kliger are making a mistake. “When I asserted my constitutional right to control my work, all of which is copyrighted, Mr. Kliger sent a letter to retailers accusing me of censorship. That’s like a burglar calling a criminal investigation an invasion of privacy. Mr. Kliger’s letter actually encourages stores to continue to illegally sell his magazine, even after Kliger himself acknowledges that his company never got permission from me to use my work.”

Yon makes these assertions and more in a dispatch published on his website, called “Bordering on Criminally Inane,” where he dissects and rebuts a letter which the CEO of Hachette Filipacchi Media sent to journalists, retailer and distributors.

While about 10,000 stores have responded to outcries and protests from customers by pulling the magazine from their shelves, others, like Borders Books and Indigo/Charters Books (a Canadian retailer) have refused, citing First Amendment concerns. Yon insists that he will pursue “any business, at any point in the chain of custody of my purloined property, who tried to profit from this violation” including those retailers who refuse pull the magazine from circulation. “Rite Aid agreed to do the right thing from the start, including the permanent removal of the magazine, and so I personally told Rite Aid that I would not demand a dime from them, even though under the law I can demand a healthy sum from them. Instead, I will go out of my way to patronize their stores. Companies like Rite Aid should be rewarded for good corporate citizenship.”

Reacting to statements made by Borders customer service representatives in emails now posted on his website, Yon rejected any attempt to hide behind the First Amendment. “This isn’t about free speech, it’s about copyright infringement, it’s about right and wrong,” Yon insisted. “All of these retailers are vigorous in pursuit of shoplifters so they understand the impact of having property taken from them. A store owner can be an innocent infringer up until we inform the violator that the merchandize on his shelves is, essentially, stolen goods.”

Yon said distributors were sent demand notices and copies of the Library of Congress copyright registration form for his photograph. He says companies that follow Jack Kliger’s bad advice do so at their peril: “Jack is audacious, Jack is rich, Jack is powerful. But Jack, who has enjoyed a long career of getting away with everything, has finally slipped through the wrong window.”

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