If you've been checking Michael Yon's site for updates on the stealing of his copyrighted photograph, then you know how angry he is about this issue:
...That’s why when I learned of this blatant infringement of my copyright on that photograph, I issued an immediate statement clarifying that I had not given anyone authorization for this use, and never would have allowed an image which I’ve called ‘sacred to me’ to be used in a flagrant attempt to profit from discrediting and demonizing American soldiers. What outraged me the most is how the timing of this launch coincided with the Memorial Day weekend, putting 300,000 copies of a slick attack on the very same soldiers Americans were honoring across the country. I am so disgusted with what they did with that image, which to me symbolizes the true nature of our military, that I demanded the publisher take it off the shelves.
HFM not only refused, they 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...
Unfortunately, some of this may be in part because of my efforts to get the attention HFM - one of the largest companies on the planet ("Can you hear me now?"). As I said before in the comments of the original post, Michael did not ask me to act on his behalf.
But, you know, it would take a lot to make a former SF Soldier reconsider. In fact, how stupid (or French) do you have to be to bully a guy that doesn't blink?:
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...
That's right. It's getting ugly.
...My attorney is contacting all of the companies listed as distributors for SCHOCK informing them of our intent to pursue anyone who has a part in this sleazy backhanded exploitation of a true American hero...
Be sure to read the whole post and let retailers know that you won't buy a magazine that steals photos and slanders troops on Memorial Day.
Update 06-02-06: Just talked to Mike. He'll have more information on Monday.