February 03, 2006

Oh the Irony

Journalist and Blogger Michael Yon has consistently been one of the most strident voices in support of our Troops and the marvelous things they do in Iraq that don't get reported elsewhere.

You know the old saying don't sh*t where you eat?  Well, it looks like the Army is doing just that.

You may remember that Michael took this picture of a US soldier cradling a young Iraqi girl in his arms.  This picture was even nominated as one of Time Magazine's Best Pictures of 2005.  However, the Army released the photo on its own initially, without Michael's permission and under the false attribution "AP/US Army".

Since last fall, Michael has been trying to claim the rights to his own photograph, including any compensation the Army recieved for its publication, and has been denied.

According to the Boston Herald, the Army is denying his claim based on their assertion that the

""hold harmless" waiver that [he signed at the ouset of his trip] absolved the government of responsibility for any "injury" Yon might suffer as an embedded blogger.
    The army also said that Yon uploaded his photo onto government computer servers, creating an "implied license" agreement for the Army to distribute the photo.
     Yon, who’s become something of an online celebrity because of his vivid battle dispatches from Iraq, said the Army's arguments are "preposterous". The injury waiver applies to physical wounds, not copyright infringements, he said.
    He added he gave the Army permission to use the photo for purely internal purposes."
Michael Yon has consistently supported our troops and brought their stories to light out of his own pocket, having recieved no compensation for his time in Iraq, funding his trips to the Middle East on his own.  By denying Michael his due compensation for this photograph, the Army is, ironically enough, shooting themselves in the foot by preventing one of their best weapons in the battle of public opinion from reloading.

If you support Michael and his mission, link this post or these posts, and tell his story.  Write your congresspeople and senators, too.  Especially if you are a Massachussetts resident, like Michael.

Posted by caltechgirl at February 3, 2006 01:55 PM | TrackBack


In a stunning reversal, the Army has decided to settle with Michael Yon. Click this link for details.


Posted by: Kevin at February 4, 2006 07:20 AM