Je Suis Charlie Goes Haute Couture
Enterprising individuals did not wait long to cash in on the tragedy. The day after the shooting, scores of T-shirts, bags and other Je suis Charlie memorabilia has already popped up online.
T-shirts bearing the slogan are being sold on amazon.fr for 10 to 27 euros ($12 to $32), while on eBay, Je suis Charlie hats go for about $3, car flags for $17 and baby bibs for $22. There are also mobile phone covers, scarves and pillowcases emblazoned with the logo for sale on the website.
Register Je Suis Charlie
There is no trademark on the phrase. On Tuesday, the French National Industrial Property Institute (INPI), which has received over 50 requests for its registration, refused to register a Je suis Charlie trademark because of the growing use of the slogan.
Meanwhile, some people are raking in profits from the phrase even though it is impossible to trademark it. User "ultra-fashion66" has put up three Je suis Charlie domain names for auction on eBay – i-am-charlie.co, i-am-charlie.net and i-am-charlie.mobi – with an opening bid of $45,000.
The Charlie Hebdo memorial issue published after the terrorist attack has caused a public frenzy. Dubbed "The Survivors" Issue," it came out on Wednesday with a record print run of 3 million copies, compared to a regular circulation of 60,000 copies. But even this was not enough – the issue was sold out at 27,000 newsstands across France within hours of its release. People in some cities lined up at newsstands from 5 in the morning to buy their copy.
Profiteers rose to the occasion, and online auctions are peddling new or slightly frayed copies of the magazine for up to $3,000. Sale prices usually fall between $100 to $300, which is at least 30 times higher than its retail price of 3 euros.
In view of the demand, the magazine's editorial board decided to print another 2 million copies to put an end to the profiteering. The new edition should be in shops by the weekend.
Charlie Hebdo Laughing at Threats
No subject is off limits for the nonconformist and anti-religious satirical magazine. It has published cartoons, some of them highly offensive and derisive, of Catholic cardinals, the pope, leaders of various countries, including a French president and even Jesus. But it touched a nerve with the Prophet Muhammad cartoons.
It was first threatened in 2006, when it reprinted 12 controversial Muhammad cartoons first published in Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten, adding some of its own. The magazine was firebombed after printing a highly controversial issue renamed "Charia Hebdo" (a reference to sharia law) and "guest-edited" by Muhammad in November 2011. Its editor-in-chief was placed under police protection because of an increasing number of threats against him.
The recent attack on Charlie Hebdo happened on January 7, when two gunmen forced their way into the magazine's editorial office and opened fire, killing 12 people. The perpetrators – Said and Cherif Kouachi, French Muslim brothers of Algerian descent – were killed on January 9 in a police raid in Dammartin-en-Goele, 40 kilometers from Paris.
In all, 17 people, including three policemen, were killed during terrorist attacks in the Paris region last week.