Friday, February 9, 2007

Lawsuit Won't Stop Amazon.com from Fulfilling All Your Cockfighting-Related Needs

Following up on a threat made over the summer, on Thursday the Humane Society of the United States filed a civil lawsuit in District of Columbia Superior Court against online retailer juggernaut Amazon.com, accusing the website of illegally promoting animal fighting because it offers two cockfighting magazines for sale. The Humane Society is claiming that the magazines violate federal animal cruelty laws; Amazon.com's position is that refusing to sell books or magazines simply because their messages may offend is censorship...but one particularly astonishing fact has arisen from this dispute that, curiously, neither side is paying much heed to:

There are at least two magazines in existence in the United States that are dedicated to cockfighting.

One's called The Gamecock; the other, Feathered Warrior. What I've gleaned from the customer reviews (scroll down--they're worth a read) on Amazon.com is that The Gamecock is the New York Times of cockfighting magazines--the gold standard by which all others are measured (one reviewer actually states that the monthly contains "lots of sage advice from elders")--while Feathered Warrior, despite having been around since 1903 (according to its Amazon page) (and, for my money, boasting the superior name) appears to fulfill the market role of a distant second banana (while The Gamecock currently holds the 80th position in magazine sales on Amazon.com, Feathered Warrior is languishing at #928)...not so much the Pepsi to Gamecock's Coke as it is perhaps its Shasta.

The good news for both is that, as of this writing, the two magazines remain available for purchase on Amazon.com, who stands defiant in the face of the Humane Society's lawsuit. As Feathered Warrior owner-editor Verna Dowd, 77, told reporters: "The Humane Society are crazy people...I don't know what's wrong with them."

Amen, Verna. In a world where the practice of training birds to murder other birds for amusement and profit might possibly be seen as wrong...I don't want to be right.

2 comments:

Samantha said...

Amazon.com is wrong no matter how you look at it:

- Magazines do NOT have a first amendment right to advertise their mag on Amazon.com. Amazon is not a state actor!
- If the first amendment requires or allows Amazon.com to advertise illegal activities (which it certainly doesn't...advocacy of illegal action is not protected by the first amendment), then newspapers could be compelled to print classified ads for the sale of illegal drugs.
- Amazon claims that it doesn't choose what its customers should have access to, but they have removed products for violating the law or upsetting customers before. I'm sure there's a market for child porn and beastiality magazines, but Amazon doesn't seem to offer those mags.

Johnny said...

I'm sure there's a market for child porn and beastiality magazines, but Amazon doesn't seem to offer those mags.

They might, now that you gave them the idea...