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Massage Today
June, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 06

AMTA Sues to Prevent Members from Receiving Free Benefits

Lawsuit Seeks Injunction Against Members Receiving Massage Today and Free Referrals

By Editorial Staff

In May 2001, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) filed a lawsuit against MPAmedia, the publisher of Massage Today.

The lawsuit seeks to prevent AMTA members from:

  1. receiving Massage Today;
  2. receiving free referrals via the MassageLocator referral directory at MassageToday.com.

Prior to AMTA's filing of the lawsuit, numerous phone calls were made by Massage Today to the AMTA to seek an amicable solution. The AMTA completely refused to discuss the matter with MT Editor Cliff Korn,NCTMB, president of the New Hampshire chapter of the AMTA, "on advice of counsel."

Since AMTA was only willing to discuss this matter through its attorneys, Massage Today instructed its attorney, Rick Cigel, Esq., to call AMTA's attorney on May 7, 2001 and try to reach a solution. Unfortunately, the AMTA attorneys also refused to accept or return this phone call. Instead, three days later, AMTA served a lawsuit on Massage Today.

According to Rick Cigel, Esq., Massage Today attorney:

"It is very disappointing that AMTA's lawyer did not return the telephone call, and even now, 10 days later, has still not returned the call. It is also disappointing that AMTA's attorney falsely claimed in writing that the names of the AMTA members were copyrighted by AMTA. The AMTA's lawsuit discloses that this claim is false. The AMTA attorneys did not even apply for a copyright on the names of AMTA members until April 30, 2001, just two days before the lawsuit was filed."

Massage Today does not believe that a suit like this will in any way benefit the approximately 40,000 AMTA members, or the estimated 100,000+ other members of the profession. The potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars that the AMTA will be spending over the next few months will have to be taken from member benefits, lobbying, or some other area.

Massage Today Editor Cliff Korn lamented the lawsuit and its potential consequences:

"I am downhearted and shocked to learn that the American Massage Therapy Association has seen fit to bring suit against the publishers of Massage Today. I am especially disappointed since I worked to initiate a dialogue to see if this matter could be settled amicably. All I see is an unfortunate situation in which only lawyers come out ahead. I can't imagine a scenario where massage therapy and bodywork will benefit from putting courts and lawyers between two major influencers of the profession."

For additional comments about this lawsuit, please see "Who Owns Your Name?" by Donald M. Petersen, publisher of Massage Today, in the June issue of Massage Today.

 

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