Feeds

Amazon.com: Now with 50% less cockfighting

The Gamecock pulled from the shelves

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.