Alex Blaze

XY magazine defunct, but can't sell or use private info

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 13, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: LGBT, Magazine, media, teen, XY Magazine

I remember when XY magazine was the in thing. It and another site were lifelines for me when I was in high school. And now they're completely gone:

Xy-magazine.jpgTwo men seeking to establish ownership of the personal information from subscribers, apparently in an effort to restart the magazine or Web site, may run afoul of U.S. law prohibiting deceptive and unfair business practices, warned David Vladeck, director of the agency's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

"The XY privacy policy is simple, explicit, and clear," Vladeck wrote. "Subscribers and members were told that their personal information would not be sold, shared, or given away to 'anybody.' Therefore, any sale or transfer of the data to a new company, new owner, or other third party would directly contravene the privacy representations and could constitute a deceptive practice by the original company or its principals."

Peter Larson, listed as majority owner of magazine publisher XY Residuary Corp. in the bankruptcy filings, and Martin Shmagin, president of financial consulting firm Innovative Financial Solutions, have asserted ownership of the customer information, the FTC said in its letter.

Good thing the FCC is stepping in - who knows what sort of personal information was given up there by lonely teens who wanted to learn about their sexualities in a homophobic and sexphobic culture.

Back in the 90's, with a large generation of queer teens self-identifying as such for the first time being raised by a generation that was stuck in the past when it came to attitudes about sexuality, online culture was a bigger source of freedom than it is for many teens today. Ours was one of the first houses in the neighborhood to get internet, and the freedom it provided teens like me, from free and private email addresses and a history that could be erased. It was new and exciting; no longer did suburban teens have to wait for college or adulthood for some modicum of independence.

So it's sad to see XY go the way of the dinosaurs when I thought it was fresh and would last forever back in the day. Imagine that - and most of the sites we love today will eventually shut down only to have people fight over the parts that remain.

Who knows if the teens who gave their info to XY even turned out to be openly LGBT or if they eventually went back into the closet or if they were just questioning and turned out to be straight. But I'm sure more than a few of them would be surprised to get a letter from Atlantis cruises or an email from a new LGBT publication after all those years.

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it's bad news...but not all bad.

they retain the original trademarks and they are still carrying over goodwill from the old ownership--so why not leverage that to "recapture" the list?

take some money, promote a virtual "xy class reunion"--and to sell the thing, do a real one, make it an "experience", and fly a certain number of winners to the event, who are then featured in the "class reunion" issue of the magazine.

anyone over there need any actual consultancy?
just let me know...

Thanks for covering the issue of what happens to names when a publication or organization ends. I too am sorry XY is gone, and wonder if that is a sign it is no longer needed or just that advertisers were afraid of the connection to youths.

On a different issue, the misuse of material by exploiters of our community/movement, why is there a problem since there is much material sent out that the writers would be happy for others to use.