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[GreenYes] Single Use Camera Recycling
>From the 12/4/02 Wall Street Journal ("Two Big Film Makers Strive To Crush
Renegade Recycler: Jazz Refills One-Use Cameras, Underselling Fuji and
Kodak, by James Randler)--

"To understand why the world's two largest film companies want so badly to
crush a tiny New Jersey discount-camera entrepreneur, take a trip to your
local Wal-Mart.

"At one of the giant retailer's outlets outside of Boston, three young
shoppers scan the single-use camera rack, eyeing the $4.94 Kodaks and $4.88
Fujis. Then, crouching in front of the bottom rack, they snap up a brand
with a white box emblazoned with the name "Jazz." The price: just $3.67.

"What they don't know is that the model underselling Kodak by 26% is, in
fact, a Kodak -- or was. It's an old throwaway that has been cracked open,
shipped to China, loaded with cheap film and patched together with
electrical tape, a controversial part of a vast world-wide recycling

"The reloaded cameras are the creation of Jack C. Benun, a chain-smoking
discount-camera king who boasts he can squeeze as many as eight lives from
his competitors' so-called single-use cameras.

"Forced from his chief executive job at discounter Concord Camera Corp. in
the mid-1990s in a financial scandal, Mr. Benun has pulled his own career
from the trash numerous times. Today he's a well-paid consultant for Jazz
Photo Corp., a concern owned by his family that sells 20 million cameras a
year via big retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Staples Inc.
Fuji Photo Film Co., the world's second-largest film maker and holder of key
patents for single-use cameras, has waged a relentless five-year legal
campaign against reloaders such as Jazz, or "pirate camera" makers, as some
Fuji executives call them.

"In the latest round of the saga, in what Fuji hopes will be a death blow, a
federal jury in Newark this week ordered Jazz and Mr. Benun to pay around
$25 million in damages, an amount that includes lost profits and royalties.
"'They will have a hard time paying it,' predicts Jonathan File, general
counsel for Fuji.

'Kick in the Head'

"Mr. Benun allows that the decision was "a good kick in the head," but
promises to appeal. "Fuji is going to have to put up a much bigger fight
than this," he says. Jazz is still waiting for the judge to rule on several
key issues that the company says could lessen the impact of the verdict.
Meanwhile, it says business continues as usual.


"In August 2001, the appeals court issued its ruling. The good news for Jazz
was that the judges agreed that the film-reloading process might constitute
repair and didn't necessarily infringe on Fuji's patents. The bad news: Jazz
was permitted to use only camera shells that were first sold in the U.S. on
the grounds that patent rights for them had been exhausted. Camera shells
from countries where the patents still hadn't expired were off limits. For
Jazz, which was buying many of its shells in Asia, this was a problem. Fuji,
meanwhile, was buying up shells in the U.S. for plastic recycling, driving
up the price and making them uneconomical for Jazz to buy. An ITC
enforcement proceeding is now under way to determine, among other things,
whether Jazz and Mr. Benun have been improperly importing shells that were
first sold abroad."

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell    (608) 438-9062

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