Feeds

Amazon.com: Now with 50% less cockfighting

The Gamecock pulled from the shelves

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is claiming partial victory in its legal battle to have cockfighting magazines The Gamecock and The Feathered Warrior removed from Amazon after the publisher of the former agreed to "ask Amazon.com to stop selling its publication online".

The HSUS filed suit against Amazon back in February 2007 citing the online sale of the two publications and DVDs Unleashed: The Realest Pitbull Action Caught on Tape and Hood Fights Vol. 2, The Art of the Pit, which "depict and promote cruel dogfighting and cockfighting events in violation of federal law" - specifically the Animal Welfare Act.

A HSUS statement elaborated: "Amazon.com is the sole retailer of subscriptions to the animal fighting magazines and the only outlet for animal fighters to obtain subscriptions over the internet. Similarly, Amazon.com is one of only three sellers of the dogfighting DVD and the easiest seller to locate on the web."

Amazon countered that it had a constitutional right under the First Amendment to sell the titles, and that their removal from the internet would constitute a form of censorship.

In June last year, the HSUS renewed its attack with an amendment to its original suit claiming that Amazon had also breached the Animal Fighting Prohibition Act, signed into law by President Bush on 3 May, and which imposed "felony-level penalties for activities promoting or encouraging animal fighting" and "made it a felony to knowingly sponsor or exhibit an animal fight, or to buy, sell or transport knives, gaffs and other weapons used in cockfighting", as AP puts it.

The additional pressure appears to have paid off, and on Monday The Gamecock publisher Marburger Publishing Co. agreed to withdraw from Amazon in a settlement filed in US District Court in Washington, DC.

According to a HSUS press release, the settlement "calls for major format changes to the magazine, including the elimination of all advertisements for fighting animals, knives, and other illegal paraphernalia". It adds: "The magazine will also be pulled from Amazon.com, and cannot return until The Gamecock demonstrates compliance with federal law for at least one year."

Attorney Ali Beydoun, representing Marburger, said his client had "agreed to settle with the Humane Society because it was a way to remove itself from the case", but insisted The Gamecock "does not promote cockfighting or violate a federal ban on the bloody sport".

He further described the publication as appealing to "chicken aficionados" and "focusing on animal care and stories about people who raise chickens and game birds".

Jonathan Lovvorn, the HSUS's vice president of animal protection litigation, said: “Amazon cannot seem to grasp that the First Amendment does not offer any defense for people who want to peddle contraband. Neither child pornographers nor dogfighters or cockfighters may use the First Amendment to protect their schemes to advertise and sell product that further these criminal and demonstrably harmful practices.”

Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith said yesterday the company was "reviewing the agreement and had no immediate comment". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI
Read the paperwork very carefully - or fall victim to marketing shysters
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.