January 5, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---The company chosen to design the James Brown funeral programs is now selling reprints on eBay.
Today C.A. Reid Funeral Home told News 12 they did not authorize the sale.
Turner's Studio was hired by C.A. Reid to print these programs, and now they stand to profit from selling more copies long after their order was completed.
There were three separate emotional farewells to the Godfather of Soul, and at each service, there were programs in his honor. Now, almost a week after his homegoing, the programs are being reprinted and sold to the highest bidder.
"I was unaware of it till yesterday evening when I received a phone call stating the programs were on eBay," said Charlie Reid of C.A. Reid.
There are more than thirty opportunities to buy: some from private sellers, others from Turner's Studio. Surprised, Reid immediately called the company's owner, Joseph Turner.
"I explained to him that should not be. I had never authorized it and was just unaware of it," Reid said.
News 12 met up with Turner at Viszions Printing in Augusta. The two companies are listed together on eBay as the seller.
Turner refused to go on camera but did release this statement:
No one expected this chaos over a funeral program... the response and demand was mindblowing.
Because he is such a part of music history he has so many fans. If the last thing they are going to get from him is a program I thought they should get an authentic program and not a copy. Ebay is such an accessible medium that allows people all over the world to access the program if they want a copy.
The company is marketing the program as a collector's item and piece of history, drawing bids as high as $80. The programs cost under $5 apiece to print.
"Death is very personal, and it's personal to a family. It's something you have to be real careful with. You can't exploit death at all," Reid said.
Reid says he is waiting to hear from the Brown family as to what legal action, if any, they want taken. He added he provided the concept and information for the design and feels he owns part of the design, making his permission necessary to sell copies.
Turner's Studio had no comment on who owned the design. The company also had no comment when asked about potential profits from the sale.