Magazine Copies Entire Story From Web, Tells Writer She Should Pay Them For Publishing It

A writer was recently surprised to find that a piece she’d written about apple pies for a website in 2005 had been picked up wholesale by a small cooking magazine without anyone telling her. She was even more surprised by the reaction she received from one of the mag’s editors.

The woman says she contacted the magazine, where an editor asked her what she wanted from them. She asked for an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism.

Instead, the writer says she got this e-mail in response:

Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was “my bad” indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.

But honestly Monica, the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me… ALWAYS for free!

Here is a link to the original story and here is a scan of the story as it appeared in the magazine so you can judge as to who — if anyone — should be paying whom.

Copyright Infringement and Me [Livejournal]

Thanks to Eric for the tip!

Comments

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  1. MMD says:

    The web is most assuredly *not* public domain.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      It is if you’re from the eBaum’s World school of Journalism.

    • FatLynn says:

      Not really worth it…what would be the damages? In fact, the website that originally commissioned the article may hold the rights anyway.

    • rijrunner says:

      I think the magazine is trying to apply the following:

      http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html

      102. Subject matter of copyright: In general28

      (a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories:

      (1) literary works;

      (2) musical works, including any accompanying words;

      (3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;

      (4) pantomimes and choreographic works;

      (5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;

      (6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

      (7) sound recordings; and

      (8) architectural works.

      (b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

      It might be the editor is referring to the (b) paragraph above. While badly stated in her reply (ie, works of authorship on the internet are not public domain), she might actually be referring to the paragraph described in (b). Recipes are not copyrightable. The real question is to what degree the articles they grab are only recipes. Given some of the other examples being found, the magazine is not sticking with the legally defensible, but ethically questionable action of stealing this girl’s article, but they have also grabbed full articles which clearly represent the legal definition of works of authorship. (Legally defensible is just that they would need a legal ruling as to how to classify this specific article. The article about fats they also snagged is clearly a work of authorship. Given a pattern of abuse, they really should lose a lawsuit).

      • MMD says:

        Yes, you’re right – recipes can’t be copywritten. But there’s more to the stolen piece than a recipe, and as I read other stories about this (and as you mention) the magazine has ripped off a number of other non-recipe items.

        If this editor really is thinking about the recipe angle and in so doing has let that concept morph into “everything that has to do with food”, she’s a) wrong, b) a terrible editor and c) not very smart at all.

        • rijrunner says:

          Well, the fact of the matter is that she stated that web published articles are public domain and has published articles that are strictly informational with no recipes… She clearly believes what she stated.

          (I also agree this girl’s article is covered by copyright, but I will also concede that that is a judgement call and someone else might make a different call. If it were just this single article, I would think it was a basic misunderstanding or not a pattern.)

      • Zyada says:

        While an actual recipe (i.e. the ingredients, proportions, and technique) is not copyright-able, the specific verbiage is. In this case, not only was the recipe lifted from the original author, but her entire article including the text before the recipes. This editor is toast…

      • Billy says:

        “The real question is to what degree the articles they grab are only recipes.”

        The links above sporadically go in and out, but Cooks Source took the blog post almost word-for-word. Not just the recipe, but 3 paragraphs of exposition about the history of pie.

  2. El_Fez says:

    The web is public domain? SWEET!

    *scurries off to download music*

  3. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    CooksSource is a bad apple.

  4. georgi55 says:

    “the web is considered “public domain”?

    Free movies, music, books, articles, etc for everyone! I love the web!

  5. jason in boston says:

    It made front page of reddit a few hours ago. Check out their facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Cooks-Source-Magazine/196994196748

  6. mister_roboto says:

    30 years experience doesn’t fix dumb

  7. georgi55 says:

    Oh my god, check this out

    “Addy Partment

    Thanks to all you haters out there! Your visits to this page and the Web site the have allowed advertising rates to triple!
    Hahahaha. Also, don’t forget to order your Cooks Source 2011 Wall Calendar before it’s too late.”

    Someone needs to go to hell

  8. J-Sap says:

    Wow, just wow.

  9. MDSasquatch says:

    I guess I can cancel my $2500-a-year subscription to Thinkstock and just start downloading imagery I need from google. What a deal.

  10. MikeF74 says:

    Sue. That email will make a fine exhibit.

    • mythago says:

      I know. If I were the OP’s lawyer I would be doing an embarassing happy dance in full view of the entire office.

    • wildhalcyon says:

      Well, that sounds like it could be construed as willful infringement of copyright. Here’s hoping to up to $150,000 per infringement. Heck, if its good enough for the RIAA, it should be good enough for joe shmoe!

    • magus_melchior says:

      Agreed. A good copyright lawyer would be absolutely ECSTATIC to see that sort of hubris from the offender.

  11. StuffThingsObjects says:

    The guy sounds like a phallus. I feel she is asking for very little in compensation and being very fair about the ordeal. I would take legal action if I were her.

  12. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    It’s times like these that make me wish I was a lawyer so I can bring about some pro-bono justice for the little guy [gal].

    • mythago says:

      It turns out that Cooks Source may have lifted from lots of other people, many of whom who breed their own attack lawyers,), so justice is imminent.

  13. tofupuppy says:

    Wowz. Yes, she should be happy to be edited by a publication that not only leaves out the apostrophe in their title, misspells “offence” in their “apology” letter and also misspells “they’re” in the advertisement in the scanned page. Good Job Cooks [sic] Source!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      British people (and Canadians, I believe) spell it “offence” (likewise with “defence”) so it isn’t incorrect if that person is from a country that spells things in that manner.

      • Spaceman Bill Leah says:

        Based on the phone number posted on the fb page, they are located in Western Mass. Last time I checked, they used American English there. And! don’t have funny accents.

        • Kishi says:

          Depends on your standard for funny accents, I’d imagine… =)

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          You are aware that people can immigrate, right? I was pointing out that the person could be from a different country. It doesn’t mean you can’t live in Massachusetts.

          • peebozi says:

            defend, defend, defend…you must be a lawyer, i can smell it. Especially, because you have no logic. There are spelling and grammatical errors throughout the editor’s reply and you think this misspelling (offence) is due to the writer’s country of origin? you’re an argumentative trolling lawyer..

            I apologize for the “lawyer” insult…that was a little over the top.

            oh yea, also ignore “as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.” Or would you like to argue that only occurs when the “magazine is put together in long hours” and can be totally disregarded when applied to email responces?? (misspelling intentional).

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              I’m not defending the egregious errors, but was simply pointing out that “offence” can’t be considered an error if that person is from a country in which that spelling is commonplace and correct. It was an attempt at saying “not everyone living in the United States has to be from the United States.”

          • Spaceman Bill Leah says:

            I was trying to be (very poorly, I see) silly. Actually, I met the Canadian SpaceHusband there.

      • stormbird says:

        Jerk ain’t no country I ever heard of! Do they speak English in Jerk?
        /Sam Jackson voice

        You’re right, stupid and belligerent is no way to go through life.

      • tofupuppy says:

        Yes true, but this is an EDITOR working for an American publication. You’d think she’d be aware of the difference.

    • EarthAngel says:

      Don’t forget this gem of a sentence:

      “as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.”

      The editor needs more sleep.

    • EarthAngel says:

      Don’t forget this gem of a sentence:

      “as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.”

      The editor needs more sleep.

  14. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    1) The web is not “public domain”
    2) If the magazine had lifted the whole article and put someone else’s name on it, that would be called plagiarism and there is not one legitimate news outlet in the entire universe that would condone that kind of action

    • spazztastic says:

      Have you seen Fox News?

    • Baccus83 says:

      Well we’re not technically talking about plagairism here, since the original author was attributed. We’re talking about copyright violation. The magazine lifted the woman’s article word-for-word, without asking and with no compensation offered.

  15. goodfellow_puck says:

    This “editor” makes me weep for all editors. What an idiot.

  16. Murbob says:

    Lawsuit time! I STRONGLY suggest calling an attorney.

  17. bluline says:

    That editor is a total idiot and clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s lucky the original author just asked for an apology and a small donation. She could (and probably should, now) be suing the pants off of him.

  18. kerry says:

    “Your article was so terrible you should thank us for publishing it.” What? Is she really justifying stealing by saying that it was garbage to begin with? Why did she steal it in the first place, then?

  19. FrugalFreak says:

    LAWSUIT!

  20. Geekybiker says:

    Wow. That takes some balls. The web isn’t public domain, even if abusing copyright is prolithic.

  21. HoJu says:

    Lawyer up, Monica, if only because this dude is a grade A douchebag. Whatever you win can be donated to Columbia, even though they don’t really need it.

  22. lymer says:

    I hope the original author sues.

  23. semanticantics says:

    Check out my new website, http://www.Schmonsumerist.com. It will feature all of the same content and stories as here except blaming the submitter will be mandatory.

    • comatose says:

      It isn’t mandatory?? I thought it was judging by all the pieces on here.

      • PLATTWORX says:

        When 50% of the submitters cause their own problem or could have resolve the problem much faster by a common sense method… one much speak up.

    • cynical_reincarnation says:

      I thought it was a privilege of membership!

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      yeah I sold you that blog when it was part of my site Schmawker.com, & it couldn’t turn a profit

  24. jimmyhl says:

    If it’s worth publishing it’s worth paying for. The ‘editor’ sounds like a tool.

  25. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    Sue em. Then say, “How do you like them apples.” What an asshat.

  26. dgm says:

    Well that letter pretty much makes it willful infringement, and is an obvious admission of guilt.

    This would be an easy case to make in court, which is where she should take it.

  27. IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

    I am having a blast reading their Facebook page. Justice (almost) served?

  28. Opdelt says:

    Popcorn and DDoS time! Ok internet, we have work to do!

  29. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Was that Mark Zuckerberg being quoted there? Sounds like him…

  30. clint07 says:

    Apparently their other articles have plagiarized NPR, Disney, Paula Deen and quite a few others.

    Paula Deen’s people are already looking into it.

  31. georgi55 says:

    This just gets better, they have lifted stuff from NPR, foodnetwork, etc too!

    http://community.livejournal.com/sf_drama/3096780.html?nc=101&page=2#comments

  32. Sammich says:

    At this point, lawyer up and go for the jugular.

  33. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Facebook quotes below are from this video:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/16/fired-up-dad-threatens-to_n_649469.html

    You have been backtraced. We are the cyberpolice.
    15 minutes ago · Comment · Like
    consequences will never be the same

  34. georgi55 says:

    WOOT, on Washington post!
    “Cooks Source magazine masters new recipe: How to annoy the Internet”

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward/2010/11/cooks_source_masters_new_recip.html

  35. junip says:

    Um…that magazine editor’s email is in desperate need of editing. I wonder if all this attention will get her fired.. but probably not. Their facebook page is pretty entertaining right now though.

    • SabreDC says:

      Agreed. I stopped reading after this monstrosity of a sentence:

      “It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace.”

      Who is the editor? William Shatner?

  36. seamer says:

    For an editor, his skills are certainly lax.

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Why do you think they steal articles from more competent sources? ;P

  37. esarge says:

    Send them a letter threatening to sue in your local small claims court (make sure the court has jurisdiction first). Repeat exactly the demand you just made and give them a deadline.

    If they don’t come through then just sue them. Copyright exists on the web and people who breach it get sued.

    You could also consider making a DMCA request to have the offending article taken down from their website.

  38. Clyde Barrow says:

    lol,,,the magazine’s editor is delusional and quite ignorant for her to expect compensation for something that she never asked the orginal writer to do in the first place. I believe in my Contracts I law class it is called “Past Consideration”. You cannot get paid for something that you never agreed upon in the first place for work that you volunteered to do in the first place (something like that – I don’t practice law, I just study it). In other words, you’re SOL unless both parties agreed to a contractual agreement in the first place.

    Lastly, this mag editor is a bitch for even thinking that 1. they could lift an article without permission and 2. asking for compensation in such a rude manner. lol.

    I love this site and the fun never ends.

  39. MerlynNY says:

    This dolt has been doing this for 30 years and he thinks the web is public domain? How are so many educated people unemployed at this time, yet this moron has a job? I hope the writer lawyers up and that guy finds himself on the unemployment line.

  40. NickelMD says:

    Don’t they have classes in J-School about terms like ‘copyright’ and ‘public domain’?

  41. B says:

    Somehow I doubt the “editor” who doesn’t know how “quotes” work should be “compensated” for their “editing” work.

  42. Geosama says:

    It’s funny how the “editor” tries to justify his/her blatant plagerism. I feel like flaming “The Voice” on the original author’s behalf.

  43. squirrel says:

    This happened to me about 12 years back. I had a site up on retrogaming and Fox News lifted images and descriptions were lifted from there and placed on their relatively new website in an article.

    I wrote to complain and they (The editor) wrote back, telling me that I instead stole the images from them (having the images on line a full year before the article was published was meaningless to them) and the fact I had the original images was also irrelevant.

    They then went through and deleted any comments I had ever made on the website and black holed or ignored any other emails from my domain.

    • VashTS says:

      I did a piece on Carlos Delgado(Former MLB player) for a smaller local NYC paper, the NY TIMES!!!! lifted pieces of my work. Did not complain. I was actually proud. But then I found Consumerist and started to hate corporate agenda and how the big guys profit off the little guys. Well with the Newspaper industry on deaths door and me jobless I guess….I have no idea where I am going with this.

  44. brianw76 says:

    This was a recent post on their facebook wall:

    Laura Puchalski As
    an advertiser, we are disappointed in Cook’s Source and we are pulling
    our ads from this publication. Many of us (as is the case with our
    business) paid several months in advance for advertising and are
    unlikely to get any compensation back.We ask that you please stop emailing our business, we agree that the publication made a grave… error, but the blame should be placed with them. Please do not make small businesses like mine pay for their error in judgment.
    -Laura Puchalski(2nd Street Baking Co.)

  45. Tim says:

    Aaaaand their web site is down. Success.

  46. FrugalFreak says:

    Quoted from FB, not sure if true or not.
    Mmmm, thank you so much for that wonderful article of yours on Food Frauds, written by a “Sarah Reinhardt” http://on.fb.me/cCTr5g

    How bizarre that it is word-for-word identical to this other article written by Louise Chang, MD, on WebMD. http://bit.ly/9sQ0yn

    Wow, I guess WebMD is Public Domain, and Louise Chang probably …doesn’t mind having her work taken and attributed to someone else!

    Oh my, and that DELICIOUS recipe for Oatmeal cookies! http://bit.ly/cQByvr I’m sure the original blogger you stole it from (http://bit.ly/5572Q7) is SO HAPPY you published it without asking, without credit, and without payment, because now she can put it in her portfolio! Weee!!!

    • Alexk says:

      I looked it over. Yep, it’s a word-for-word lift from WebMD. Amazing. I’ve been writing for a living for 40 years, and run into some scumbag editors and publishers –any professional writer does– but rarely one with this much chutzpah. Usually, they just drag their feet and you never get paid.

  47. PeteWa says:

    The offending site has reported Triple advertising revenue from people checking out the stolen work. This sounds like a great place to start estimating damages ;)

  48. kingofmars says:

    Remember back in the beginning of 2007 when consumerist did the exact same thing with images from flickr? Hopefully cookssource will do the same thing consumerist did, which was to apologize and correct their behavior.

    http://digg.com/news/technology/Consumerist_com_Gawker_Media_using_Flickr_photos_without_attribution

  49. Bix says:

    Anyone else having flashbacks to the Lara Jade Coton case? Speaking of which, she was awarded damages a few weeks ago: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1321076/Lara-Jade-Coton-sues-porn-firm-uses-picture-aged-14-explicit-DVD.html

    • kingofmars says:

      I always wondered what happened with that case. If I remember correctly she was 14 in the picture, and the porn company lifted it off her website when she was 17, I think. Thank you for posting the article. The girl is now 21, and has been awarded 82k pounds. I hope that bankrupts that company.

  50. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Wow. This lady’s business & ad revenue is destroyed.

    I expect we’ll see a TV or print interview in a few days with a too-late mea culpa.

  51. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I feel a song coming on:

    We’re having a hatewave
    An Internet hatewave….

  52. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    She catches them redhanded and offers to let them off the hook for $130 and they decline? Smart …

    I’m really not seeing any substantial editing improvements. Certainly nothing I would pay for.

    I once caught one of my (former) writers lifting content from other sites. I assure you that I did not consider the material to be “public domain”.

  53. PLATTWORX says:

    Respond by telling her you are saddened by their response and have forwarded it to counsil. Ask who would be representing them so your lawyers will know who to get in touch with. That should get a different response.

    Heck, even send her a link to this web site. ;)

  54. captadam says:

    People seem to confuse domains that happen to be accessible to the public with, you know, “public domain.” I suggest this editor retain the services of competent legal counsel to learn the difference.

    • outoftheblew says:

      Perhaps that’s where she’s been today while the internets have been exploding all over her Facebook page.

  55. UnicornMaster says:

    Speaking of poorly edited, have you SEEN the “design” of this magazine. I don’t know why they hate my eyes so much but they’re making them bleed. It’s put together by amateurs possibly using microsoft publisher, a mish-mash of ugly fonts and colors not seen since the 80’s.

    “put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things”
    They forgot to request permission? Or they forgot to create an article and instead went to the web and stole one. I wonder how many other “articles” in this magazine come from sources on the web.

  56. Class Act says:

    That is an incredibly obnoxious response.

    I have written a letter for a client similar to Monica’s tone. The response that I received was cordial and apologetic. The situation was resolved amicably and almost immediately.

    Apparently, the plagierist is not familiar with the copyright law, at least not this part:

    “In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that infringement was committed willfully, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000.”

  57. guroth says:

    Sounds like they are accustomed to stealing other people’s works, and they are dismissing this person for discovering it. I wonder how many others sat by quietly, without a public voice, as their works were profited on by this magazine.

  58. Red Cat Linux says:

    Holy… shit. This editor and her magazine are in severe need of an Internet wedgie.

  59. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Well, that was fun at first but now, esp. on Facebook, is bordering on cyber-bullying. I hope it doesn’t push Judith over the edge.

    • danmac says:

      I agree…looks like someone posted the editor’s home address on the magazine’s Facebook discussion page. It’s been removed, but still, that’s never appropriate.

  60. Stickdude says:

    IANAL, but I’m pretty sure that if she didn’t register the article with the copyright office within three months of writing it, she’d only be able to sue for actual (as opposed to statutory) damages.

  61. Stickdude says:

    IANAL, but I’m pretty sure that if she didn’t register the article with the copyright office within three months of writing it, she’d only be able to sue for actual (as opposed to statutory) damages.

  62. Bella_dilo17 says:

    Her newest update:
    Hi Folks!
    Well, here I am with egg on my face! I did apologise to Monica via email, but aparently it wasnt enough for her, so she can go to hell. To all of you, thank you for your interest in Cooks Source and Again, to Monica, you’re a poor writer and I did you a favor! You did find a way to get your “pound of flesh…” we used to have 3 “friends,” we now have 50… wow!
    Best to all, Judith

  63. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    It would be interesting to go through all their recipes to see if you can find prior versions of them on the web. Cluster a bunch of annoyed writers together for more financial impact. Go for class action status. Hopefully, a few homes, cars, etc. will end up on the auction block to pay for damages.

    /end dream

  64. sweetgreenthing says:

    Oh, Judith, you really need more than an “egg on your face”, how about a fist or two? I hope Monica sues Judith’s mom- jean pants off and her writing is picked up and compensated by a more reputable source. The attitude of this editor is appalling- I have this vision of her being a washed up, ex- cheerleading overprotective mom. God, I hope I’m right.

  65. Pax says:

    It’s a copyright issue.

    She should sue the bastards, and then donate the proceeds to said school.

  66. Levk says:

    hmmm… I would sue now, they admitted using her story and even admitted its a mess up they did not get permission, what she asking for is very small compare to what she would win in court.

  67. Difdi says:

    Does Cooks Source have a website? I’d say it’s time for a DMCA takedown notice…

  68. LHH says:

    The internet is certainly not public domain. But I think the editor Judith there is getting a fast lesson on what the internet is certainly capable of.

  69. gman863 says:

    Damn…I just blasted the RIAA for excessive damages in another story; now I read this.

    Even if the author is able to prove it was plagerized and posted by this douchebag (unlike the RIAA Nazis), the laws of reality state:

    * It’s doubtful any attorney will take this on a contingency fee. The author will likely have to cough up at least a few thousand bucks for the initial legal fees alone.

    * The plagerist is a hack – not a major corporation. Even if a lawsuit verdict generates a million dollar judgement, it is unlikely she’ll actually collect any – whatever she does collect will be held by her attorney until the legal fees are paid off.

    When I was in high school around 1980, I wrote a humor piece in the school newspaper. Mommie Dearest, without my knowledge or permission, sent a copy to a columnist at the newspaper. He reprinted it (I got credit for writing his colum that day but not a dime in payment). To top it all off, three months later TV Guide did a thinly-veiled rewrite with the same title. I know how it feels to take it up the ass on a copyright issue.

    • Alexk says:

      Alas, you’re correct. No attorney is going to bother with this unless it can be established that Ms. Griggs is “collectable” (i.e., that she has assets to seize) and that the copyright was registered. While the infringement is dispicable, it’s going to be hard to show actual damages. However, I’d be surprised if Griggs didn’t get quite a few cease and desist orders from various sites she’s stolen from.

      • gman863 says:

        If she wants revenge, her best bet (hypothetically, of course ;-) ) would be to find a neighborhood teen hacker. In exchange for a copy of the latest, hottest kill-em-off online PC game, the kid could “accidentally” enter (hack) the plagerist’s site using a disguied IP address.

        Like they say in the Mafia, things happen: DDNS attacks can occur that shut the site down. Viruses and malware get into servers every day. X-Rated and racist comments sometimes seem to appear from nowhere.

        You get the idea. (g)

  70. LHH says:
  71. JustLurking says:

    For that kind of attitude, that editor deserves a court date opposite the RIAA’s lawyers, aka Defenders of Copyright.

  72. Tommunist says:

    The trolling of the Facebook page is hilarious! And juvenile! And hilarious!

  73. LHH says:

    It’s official. She’s lost her mind. From her personal facebook page:

    “Why are all these people so mad at me? I was just helping that silly girl, and I get treated like this?!?”

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001776440141&v=wall

    Wow. Talk about being without a clue…

    • LHH says:

      Actually that looks to be a rtoll page. If so kudos, getting a lot of bites.

    • MsAnthropy says:

      Note how that Facebook profile only came into existence today… it’s a fake one that someone set up to troll the Cooks Source FB page.

  74. tooluser says:

    But is the apple pie recipe any good?

  75. calchip says:

    Maybe if somebody takes the time to identify all of the plagiarized content (easy to do by Googling a small phrase of each article) and sends the info to all the people stolen from, along with a pre-filled-in DMCA notice that all they have to do is send to the site’s ISP, they can get the entire site taken down.

    Oh, and maybe someone should also contact all of the advertisers and tell them that they are supporting a site with stolen content that is under legal review and it’s probably best not to be associated with such scum :)

  76. Jane_Gage says:

    Judith reminds me of a certian family member who was a whole lot easier to take once medicated…

  77. spindle789 says:

    There is now a news article in the local paper of the woman who stole that (and apparently many other) articles.

    http://www.gazettenet.com/2010/11/05/food-mag-use-has-blogger-boiling-mad

  78. brianisthegreatest says:

    I posted in rage about this yesterday, but as the situation continued to grow poor for Cooks Source, I began to ponder some things.

    There are lots of people ready and willing to explain the workings of copyright to this magazine editor. Everyone’s so knowledgeable it seems. I think that’s all well and good, but it really made me wonder, how many of these same people will talk about abolishing copyright and how it’s terrible in general.

    When we see court cases where copyright holders are suing the living piss out consumers, we are on a very different side of this argument. With all of these posts and comments directed at Cooks Source, I think we’re doing an excellent job of filling those shoes, and acting as the RIAA in this scenario. The internet has the tendency to amass into this large snowball effect of posters harassing people and making a big fucking deal out of something that would never see that much publicity on it’s own. If we’re tarnishing this person’s name and making new routes in publications difficult for this person, then we aren’t doing anything different than suing them for some ungodly amount of money. That’s my two cents

    Who has posted against this person but also went home and downloaded a CD or a movie last night? I sure didn’t, but I know that I have before, with the thought that copyright was about greed and not about the consumer. That would make it wrong for me to say anything to this lady about her understanding of copyright.

    Was it wrong? YES. Have we shown the level of respect to copyright which you are asking of this woman? I don’t think so–not most of us at least.

    • James says:

      There are a few things consider.

      The magazine did do this for financial gain. The downloading of a song, while still copyright infringement, normally isn’t for financial gain.

      Copyright isn’t inherently bad. Stupid application of copyright is bad. The fines are out of proportion of the crimes committed. (Insert obligatory reference to Libertarian thoughts on the drug war).

      Copyright beyond for years and years (and years and years and years) and given to corporations or estates is a different beast to a 3 or 7 year copyright held by the creator of a work. Individuals should be able to profit from their works, but perpetual copyright (and I’m sorry, 90-120 years working towards that quickly) is insane. A running joke I’ve heard is copyright will be extended when Mikey could be lost to public domain.

      There is a reason that patents run out, copyright should be no different.

    • Putaro says:

      I think there’s a lot of room for discussion on copyright. Some people may be calling for its complete abolishment but that’s a pretty small minority. There’s a large difference between downloading a CD and running a business that appears to make its living off plagiarizing other people’s work.

      Ms. Griggs has hit a nerve with her unrepentant and condescending reply combined with her own cynical overreach on copyright (her outgoing email apparently gets one of those “you can’t copy me” notes attached to it). It’s the same kind of attitude that the RIAA shows with their abuse of artists on the one hand and their overreach on copyright protections on the other. Unfortunately for her she is small enough to actually get hurt by the backlash.

  79. SamuraiMarine says:

    I just visited their FB site and I am amazed… the public outpouring against Judith for her fax pas on this.

    I am not sure whether to feel bad for her or to say she is getting what she deserves.

  80. prismatist says:

    Copyright’s right there at the bottom of the page. Take ‘em to court.

  81. PLATTWORX says:

    I see they have been stealing copy and photos for a long time, even from Food Network!

    http://www.edrants.com/the-cooks-source-scandal-how-a-magazine-profits-on-theft/

  82. PLATTWORX says:

    Would you believe this editor actually posted this on Cooks Source Facebook page yesterday…

    “Hi Folks!

    Well, here I am with egg on my face! I did apologise to Monica via email, but aparently it wasnt enough for her. To all of you, thank you for your interest in Cooks Source and Again, to Monica, I am sorry — my bad!
    You did find a way to get your “pound of flesh…” we used to have 110 “friends,” we now have 1,870… wow!

    Best to all, Judith”

    She seems to think “my bad” will stop the 50 copyright lawsuits from being filed.

  83. gman863 says:

    I’m glad to see this story is going virual across the Internet. This may actually end up turning the Cook’s Source into the latest victim of an RIAA-size judgement.

    The simmer of one plagerized article has boiled over into several. Hopefully the stench of this will draw one or more attorneys into the kitchen who are willing to file a class-action suit on behalf of all the victims, either on contingency or pro bono (no charge).

    Even if douchebag Griggs lives in a mobile home that’s in foreclosure, it can be worth it for an up-and-coming attorney or law firm to take a high-profile case strictly for the publicity. If they win against Griggs (which looks like a slam-dunk at this point), their odds of picking up one or more clients with intellectual property issues and deep pockets increase greatly. The ultimate example of this is the late Johnnie Cochran. After the successful “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must aquit” defense of OJ Simpson, he spun his fame into The Cochran Law Firm, a nationwide franchise that has become the legal big-box equal of McDonald’s or Target.

    Oh, and if I were the company hosting Ms. Griggs’ web site, I would be looking for a way to drop her like a hot rock as we speak. Even if I wasn’t liable for her actions, the cost of responding to subpoenas, depositions and other legal shit due to her behavior could easily cost thousands of dollars.

  84. ICarney says:

    The arrogance shown by Ms. Griggs is amazing! However, given the fact that so much of the magazine appears stolen from other media, perhaps none of us should be surprised that she has finally been outed.

    By spending less than 20 minutes doing some online research, I was able to identify at least five different instances in which Cooks Source lifted material from other sources. The magazine stole from both single contributers and other magazines such as Cooking Light and even the Food Network. They lifted images and narrative directly from both online and print media. BTW: this Judith Griggs is the magazine. She writes (or steals) narrative and then posts this under her own byline. She appears to be, not only the editor, but possibly the entire staff behind the throw-away Cooks Source.

  85. ICarney says:

    The arrogance shown by Ms. Griggs is amazing! However, given the fact that so much of the magazine appears stolen from other media, perhaps none of us should be surprised that she has finally been outed.

    By spending less than 20 minutes doing some online research, I was able to identify at least five different instances in which Cooks Source lifted material from other sources. The magazine stole from both single contributers and other magazines such as Cooking Light and even the Food Network. They lifted images and narrative directly from both online and print media. BTW: this Judith Griggs is the magazine. She writes (or steals) narrative and then posts this under her own byline. She appears to be, not only the editor, but possibly the entire staff behind the throw-away Cooks Source.

  86. elliemae says:

    I’d get myself a lawyer, if I were her.

    btw: “you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally,” is poorly constructed, poorly written and that editor needs to get a job at the quickie mart where someone might possibly understand whatever it is they’re attempting to say.

  87. addiction.orange says:

    So now the web is public domain? Then that means the RIAA and MPAA should be paying ME for torrenting? There should be limits to human stupidity.