Monday, June 05, 2006

He's Still in Shock

The battle between photographer Michael Yon and giant French publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media heats up, with Yon publishing a long article on his blog denouncing the publisher's tactics regarding its new magazine Shock, which he alleges used a photo of his on its cover illegally. He also claims Hachette has threatened to counter sue him. We previously wrote about it here.

According to Yon's blog:

...[T]hey intimated in writing that they may have a claim against me for defamation based on the complaints they received from third parties about their unauthorized use of my photo.

Shock's future depends on counter sales. I hope the number of people who will pay about two bucks for the "opportunity" to look at a two-page close-up of a pile of bloody chicken heads is not enough to support a magazine with a print run of 300,000 copies.

There's no word from Hachette on this issue. They have, however, pulled the cover in question from the Shock web site and replaced it with another. The company said it was a "good faith effort" because of Yon's lawsuit.

Yon's lawsuit may not be the only problem for Shock, however. There is another magazine called Shock out there, and they have a trademark on the name. The other Shock is a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Hachette may have more than just a copyright infringement battle on its hands, it may also have a trademark fight coming.

UPDATE: Ad Age is reporting that Hachette and Yon have settled their dispute out of court and that Hachette will pay Yon a licensing fee for the use of his photo. There is no word on how much money is involved in the settlement.

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