Amazon.com: Now with 50% less cockfighting
The Gamecock pulled from the shelves
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". ®
>Re: "Didn't TVGoHome do this in 1999? - http://www.tvgohome.com/300499.html)" - James Dore
That Late Review bit is a bit of a nasty coincidence, considering those poor sods in the news at the mo.
And isn't Mick Hucknall making a comeback, too?
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or something.
>Re: "...anyone who eats factory farmed chicken or eggs is being a fucking hypocrite to object to these barbaric activities or their description." - John Stirling
I see your point. But steady on old chap. I'd reckon there's a difference between revelling in, or glorifying the animal cruelty, as opposed to blithely accepting what's happening as part of a set of fcuked up farming practices. If battery (is that the tech angle?) farms were used as entertainment and there was a magazine promoting them, then your point would stand.
Personally, as a veggie, I prefer to mock the divs that sign up to the anti-animal testing stalls in the street, whilst wearing their leather shoes, belts, etc. Everyone has their own set of morals I guess.
And as ever, it's not a simple case of black and white. We have to draw a line somewhere in the grey area. Do these dead cocks get eaten? Do we have a link from a respected source backing up Solomon Grundy's 'swift death' claims? If so, would it change our minds in any way?
...as for Amazon
Some of Amazon's listings are absolutely mind-boggling & words really do fail me with respect to these two:
Don't know whether to laugh or cry at the utter, indefensible, wrongness of 'em.
What about car magazines?
They almost always complain about speeding laws, so quite clearly need to be banned for encouraging illegal activity.
Celebrity magazines often talk sympathetically about the poor celebs and their problematic drug/alcohol habits. More illegal activity, ban them.
Newspapers talk about illegal wars in middle eastern countries in a favourable light, ban 'em.
Oh, you say the Government tried that last one?
Let's get back to comparing to Hitler as requested from others in this column - these guys are like Hitler in that they want to silence any opposition.
Not that I think Cock Fighting is big or clever, but quite frankly anyone who eats factory farmed chicken or eggs is being a fucking hypocrite to object to these barbaric activities or their description.