Advertisers Use Zine Without Permission

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    (Brought over from old WMZ)
    (Nyx Note: I think this is important information to retain, so I transferred over the original post as well as the final post containing the outcome.)

    Sticky Institute on September 14, 2009

    Hello zine people,

    Luke from the zine YOU here. YOU is a free weekly paper zine that has appeared every week since November 2001. The zine is distributed in Australia by Sticky, Bird In The Hand Zine Distro and the Format Zine Shop, in the US by Microcosm Publishing and in the UK by Corn Dog Zine Distro (as well as many other friendly people across the zine world).

    There is a glossy fashion magazine published in Melbourne called ‘Fashion Journal’. In issue number 93 on page 52 an Australian fashion label called ‘Nana Judy’ has used images from my zine in a glossy full page advertisement for their label. They did not ask my permission to use the work and did not ask or get any consent to use the work. If they had asked me to use the work I would have said no. So my question to you is what should I do about this?


    Luke You.

    Reply by Sticky Institute on September 22, 2009

    Hello everyone,

    Thanks for all of your thoughts on what to do about this advertisement situation. I think everything is sorted out now and I just wanted to let you know what happened so if this happens to any of our zines in the future we have a reference point of how you might want/want not to proceed.

    So after seeing the advertisement in the magazine I talked to as many people as I could to try and figure out what I wanted to do about it. As you can imagine the responses were hugely varied from advising me to “go after the corporate scum” to just “wearing it”. Before I spoke to the company involved I decided to talk to a lawyer first, mainly because I was worried that the company would just laugh in my face if I called them up and I felt really powerless in the situation. I was lucky in that Sticky has a lawyer who does all their legal work for them for free (because Sticky is a not for profit project). This lawyer is familiar with zines and it was right in her area. Because she works for Sticky she was nice enough to do it for free too.

    The lawyer’s advice was that in creating the advertisement and using my work Nana Judy (the fashion label)had created an “implied endorsement” which constituted a “breach of the Trade Practise Act” here in Australia. The lawyers advice was to email the company and let them know how I felt and request that the campaign be brought down immediately. If the company did not respond as I hoped to my email the lawyer then advised that she would write a strong legal letter outlining what the company had done and what we wanted to see happen. She was confident that the initial email would be enough.

    So I sent off the email and got a response from the company. They apologised for using my work, admitted they were in the wrong and promised to end the campaign straight away. The advertisement had already appeared in Fashion Journal and they had put it in one other Melbourne fashion magazine, Lure, of which the deadlind had passed to withdraw the ad.

    So the outcome is that they promised to cease the campaign straight away, which was what I was looking for. It felt pretty un-DIY and non-punk rock to go to the lawyers but I felt in a much stronger position being able to name drop my lawyer in the initial contact with the company.

    Luke You.

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