Monday, March 1, 2010

Hustler Magazine Can Be Sued Over Wrestler's Pics

Well I bet you guys have been waiting to read my take on this one since it hit the wire. First of all, I only write about reports and topics that I find interesting, that being said, some people when their name pops up in the headlines, are a must read because they're so interesting and in this case, controversial.

Larry Flynt is a magazine publisher who has turned his "Hustler" magazine into an empire. I'm not about to give you his complete biography but he has made many millions of dollars in the adult industry. This time he's in the news because of 20-year-old photos that were published of Nancy Benoit.

She was the wife of professional wrestler Chris Benoit. Benoit killed his wife Nancy and their son before committing suicide in 2007. Nancy Benoit's family filed a federal lawsuit against the Larry Flynt Publishing Group, Hustler's publisher, claiming that the woman, a model and former professional wrestler herself, had asked the photographer to destroy the images immediately after they were shot.

A federal judge ruled in the magazine's favor in October 2008, dismissing the lawsuit and concluding that the magazine had the right to publish the photos in part because her death was a "legitimate matter of public interest and concern."

Last year, the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the judge's ruling, saying the magazine had no right to publish the photos. An interesting note on this story is that the magazine is being backed by journalist' groups siting a First Amendment right to publish the pictures.

Okay look, the woman was young when she took the pictures and immediately regretted taking them that's why she asked for the pictures to be destroyed. There is no way a publishing company is going to get rid of pictures that can make them money in the future which is what happened after the murder-suicide in 2007.

It may not be ethical but this is the time we live in where information is available almost anywhere. It's a fine line and if you target Hustler Magazine then you have to target TMZ and National Enquirer. It all comes down to censorship and it's becoming increasingly difficult to censor anything in the information age.

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