Flattery gets you…sued: David Carr of the NYT is reporting (registration required, etc.) that Rodale Inc., the owner of Men’s Health, has filed a notice of intent to sue American Media, owner of Men’s Fitness because its new design looks, surprise, exactly like Men’s Health.
While the use of pictures of chiseled men with perfect abs is not exactly original, the architecture and the cadence of the cover and the front of the magazines are virtually identical, Inside, Men’s Health has a two-page table of contents, the first anchored by three horizontal photos and the second featuring one large horizontal photo.
If Rodale starts suing everyone who has ripped-off Men’s Health “architecture and cadence,” then, well, who won’t they sue? Also, will this set a precedent for Time and Newsweek to start suing one another?
As for American Media’s defense, I suggest they argue that as it is the April issue, readers should recognize it is an April Fools parody of Men’s Health and therefore should be protected.
Media Life: Rodale: Men’s Fitness redo apes Men’s Health