The Source Sends Cease & Desist Letter To Hip Hop Weekly
The letter, which was sent to executives at Hip Hop Weekly and Mays' attorney David J. Finkler on behalf of The Source Enterprises, is dated Jan. 11.
The Source accuses the recently launched Hip-Hop tabloid of trademark infringement and unfair competition.
At issue is Hip Hop Weekly's header in bold above the magazine's title which exclaims "brought to you by the founders of The Source."
"The concern for The Source is that the masthead of Hip Hop Weekly is a problem because it creates some confusion as to whether or not the magazine has an affiliation with The Source," The Source's attorney Andy I. Corea said. "If you saw a restaurant and it had on the sign 'from the creators of the Big Mac, you would have every reason to think the company had an affiliation with McDonald's. That's how we feel about that language. You are entitled to make true statements and there is nothing that we are trying to do to interfere with the magazine, we just want some changes to that language in the masthead to prevent people from thinking that Hip Hop Weekly has an affiliation with The Source. We are open to other options, we just want people to know Hip Hop Weekly is not affiliated with The Source."
The letter also states that Hip Hop Weekly is benefiting from an association with The Source that could possibly dilute The Source brand name.
"We just received the cease and desist letter and we are evaluating it," Hip Hop Weekly's attorney David J. Finkler said. "I don't think there is any merit to the letter on first glance. I don't think that anyone can deny that Dave and Ray were the creators of The Source. We will respond accordingly."
Mays founded The Source in 1988 in his Harvard dorm room with former partner Jon Shecter.
In 2006, The Source defaulted on an $18 million dollar loan while Mays and Scott were running the company.
They were ousted from The Source in 2006 after a court battle and were replaced by a board of directors from investors with the Black Enterprise/Greenwich Street Partners.
The pair formed Global Hip Hop Media in 2006 and launched their biweekly tabloid publication, Hip Hop Weekly.
The publication recently announced nationwide distribution and can be found on news stands, in Wal-Marts and in various drug and book stores across the United States.
The Source's cease and desist letter calls for Hip Hop Weekly to immediately halt printing the phrase and The Source is also demanding a retraction from Hip Hop Weekly in the next issue.