Outrage on top of outrage

Michael Yon has a full and disturbing account of how a French conglomerate called HFM put his photograph of a U.S. soldier cradling a mortally wounded Iraqi girl on the front page of a new trashy exploitation mag. Over the Memorial Day weekend they used his photo (of a soldier behaving in the most honorable way possible) in a manner which dishonors soldiers. And on top of that, they're now suing Michael Yon for defamation!

Words fail me.

Here's an excerpt from Michael Yon's post:

Like most illegal usages, this only came to my attention after readers found it. Once I began trying to clear my name, several bloggers wrote about it and published contact information to the publisher, who began getting a flood of complaints. That’s when the publisher turned around and threatened me, in writing, with a defamation lawsuit. That’s no misprint: they took my property, used it a vulgar way, further dishonored our military and our country by timing their inaugural launch to Memorial Day weekend, and then, when some patriotic bloggers dared to call them to complain about it, they threatened me. People who go into business deliberately seeking to offend and insult others should probably get used to complaints.

Granted, there is usually something shocking in most instances of bad taste, and in that sense the new magazine SHOCK is well titled. How else to describe a publication that promises its readers glimpses of rectal exams and decaying corpses? If SHOCK stuck to the gross-out material, it’s doubtful it would ever garner mention outside of a small circle of media watch groups and 12 year-old boys. But if the publication really is about pushing the visual image envelope, why then launch with a politically charged cover story that alleges “shocking proof” of similarities between the wars in Vietnam and Iraq but inside only pairs sets of photos from each war that are somewhat related in content or composition? The only thing shocking is its lameness, and the only thing it proves is how low a French mega-media publishing conglomerate, Hachette Filipacchi Media, will stoop in order to squeeze two bucks out of its sneering mockery of others.

The whole thing is unbelievable. I'm hardly what you'd call a copyright fanatic (I believe in fair use and I think the DMCA is a legal abomination), but the blatant way in which this was done for profit by a major magazine is flabbergasting in itself. But to then threaten to sue the copyright owner they wronged?

I hope Michael Yon ends up owning the company.

UPDATE (06/07/06): Michael Yon has settled the case. (Via Pajamas Media.)

posted by Eric on 06.02.06 at 03:44 PM


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Outrage on top of outrage:

» French Publisher Exploits American Hero from The Real Ugly American.com
The hero they are exploiting is Major Mark Bieger along with a dead Iraqi girl who Major Bieger is cradeling in his arms in the photo taken by Yon. What Shock Magazine has done is despicable. Classical Values feels the same way ... [Read More]
Tracked on June 2, 2006 9:51 PM


The case is not settled. HFM has been duplicious in their dealings, and reneged on the initial terms of their settlement.

Michael has written an updated post.

Please check out his website again, to read a dispatch he posted on Friday, and please stand beside Michael one more time!

Huntress   ·  June 11, 2006 8:52 PM

Support Michael Yon!

Jonathan   ·  June 13, 2006 3:55 PM

Hello all......

Anna   ·  June 14, 2006 3:40 PM

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