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On November 3rd, 2010, LiveJournal blogger “illadore” (real name: Monica Gaudio) created a blog post regarding an original Apple Pie recipe that had been published without her author consent in a magazine called Cooks Source.
Monica, unaware of any submission to this magazine, noted that it was simply recopied from elsewhere on the internet. She attempted to contact the magazine to ask for an apology and $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism and received a not-so-kind reply from editor Judith Griggs:
“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!"
Facebook Page Spam
Internet vigilante mission would soon follow as Cooks Source Magazine’s Facebook page blew up on 11/4/2010 as users poured in to make comments, point out stolen articles or recipes, and even contact magazine advertisers in an attempt to dissuade them from working with the magazine.
Users posted a Facebook list of advertisers and contact numbers only to soon discover that these businesses had gotten the message. “Please stop calling” us. Most, when contacted, were congenial and understood the message that copyright was not to be taken lightly.
We know each and every one of our advertisers personally, and we stand behind their work one hundred percent. For this reason, we reserve the right to refuse advertising. If you know of a food business that you would like to recommend, let us know of them. If you have any problems with any of the businesses advertised herein, let us know and we will discretely check them out.
The Cooks Source mission is to educate our readers in sustainable sources of foods and products, farms, restaurants and businesses; and to assist in readers’ understanding in the joy of simple basic cooking, and healthy, delicious eating… with an occasional decadent delight.
Another Cooks Source Mag Facebook page was started, apparently with more quips from the magazine staff itself. Again, this page was hijacked. The veracity of the page’s owner is still unclear.
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
Not surprisingly, this response has garnered little public sympathy as the backlash continues on the Cooks Source Facebook page, Twitter, and responses directly to this message, posted 11/4 5:28 pm EST. Perhaps for the sake of her own privacy, Judith changed her profile picture to a bowl of strawberries on evening of 11/4/10:
News Media Coverage
- CrookSource.com, a website regarding the event.
Cooks Source magazine website was up and down multiple times, likely due to the overwhelming number of users attempting to visit the site.
Original Posts and Emails:
- Cooks Source Magazine
- List of directly copied recipes
- Cooks Source Mag
- Cooks Source Magazine Flamers
- Cooks (Open) Source Magazine
- Cooks Source
- Washington Post
- LA Times Food Blog
- Boing Boing
- The Guardian
- Publishers Weekly
- MSNBC blogs
- Tech Dirt
- Daring Fireball
- Huffington Post
It is being tracked on Twitter with the #crookssource hash tag. Someone suggested a new definition for griggs (1. To use content on the web without permission, then request payment from original author for rewrites and editing. 2. To remain ignorant of plagiarism, ethics, copyright, and asshat behavior.)
As of 11/2/10 @ 5:14 pm EST, “Cooks Source” is a trending topic on Twitter.