So remember how Hachette Filipacchi published the first issue of Shock magazine with that cover photo of the U.S. soldier in Iraq holding a bloodied baby? And remember how the guy who shot the photo, Michael Yon, flipped out, arguing that he never sold the rights to the image? And remember how it turned out that Hachette thought it had done the right thing and purchased rights from a photo agency, but that the agency never really had the rights to sell in the first place? And remember how all parties tried to reach a settlement, and thought they did, but then Yon backed out at the last minute? And you know how that's where things have been stuck for a few weeks now? Yeah? Well, that's where it still stands. Hachette put out a press release last night just to make sure you know that.
The release is after the jump.
Contact: Anne Janas, SVP Corporate Communications
Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.
Tel. 212 767 XXXX, firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEMENT FROM HACHETTE FILIPACCHI MEDIA U.S.
New York, June 27, 2006 Shock Magazine and Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. stand behind all our actions including the initial securing of the cover photo from Polaris, a reputable photo agency. In its settlement with Michael Yon, Polaris has now acknowledged that it learned after licensing the photo to Shock that it did not have the right to do so.
The Yon photo was one of several images provided to Shock by Polaris in response to a request from the magazine for photographs from the Iraq and Vietnam wars. When Shock selected the Michael Yon photo from the Polaris submissions, Polaris confirmed that it had the right to license the photo.
We respect photographers' rights, and when we learned from Yon — as the issue was arriving at newsstands — that Polaris did not have the rights to his photo, we attempted immediately to find a reasonable solution, including offering to compensate Yon for the use of the photograph, as well as making a donation to Fisher House, a charity of Yon's choosing. Yon accepted the offer and then rejected it the following week.
Hachette continues to stand ready to find a reasonable solution with Michael Yon.