First Target Of New Parody Protection Law: Fortnum & Mason
For Immediate Release:
1 October 2014
Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]
“Force-fed & Murdered” Website Launches In Foie Gras Sales Protest As Law Change Goes Into Effect Today
London – Today, PETA launched a brand-new website featuring the words “Force-Fed & Murdered” presented in a way that evokes the style used by Fortnum & Mason for its company branding and logo. PETA’s website also evokes the overall look and feel of Fortnum & Mason’s site. Its launch makes PETA the first campaigning organisation to take advantage of a change in copyright law that went into effect today at midnight. The website, ForcefedAndMurdered.com, reflects the store’s shameful support of foie gras, a vile food product made by force-feeding terrified ducks and geese until their livers become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their natural size.
The government has amended the number and scope of permitted acts in relation to works protected by copyright to include limited copying on a fair-dealing basis for the purposes of parody, caricature and pastiche. The changes to the parody law bring the UK more in line with similar laws in the United States, where PETA US has successfully created a number of parody websites, such as KentuckyFriedCruelty.com and BloodyBurberry.com. Until now, PETA UK has been unable to include the creation of parody websites in its campaigns.
“Fortnum & Mason’s image has already been tarnished by its sale of unethical foie gras, which is so cruel that its production is banned in Britain, and now we are bringing further attention to this by using another British value: ridicule”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “It’s a scandal that Fortnum & Mason, a store that trades on its British heritage, continues to sell foie gras, when the majority of Brits support a ban on the sale of this vile victual.”
A PETA undercover investigation into the farms in France from which Fortnum’s distributor obtains foie gras revealed that force-fed geese have knives plunged into their throats during slaughter without prior stunning. During foie gras production, huge amounts of grain and fat are pumped into the stomachs of geese through pipes that are rammed down their throats several times a day. Their distended livers press against their lungs, making breathing difficult and causing them to pant constantly. Veterinarians and avian experts agree – there is no humane way to produce foie gras.
Almost every major store in the UK, including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser, has dropped foie gras, as have all major supermarkets. Other British institutions that have disassociated themselves from this inhumane product include the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Ground and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Prince Charles himself refuses to allow it on Royal menus.