November 5th, 2010

Friday You’ve Got To Be Fooling Me #109: Cooks Source

A Twitter uproar was caused yesterday when the Monica Gaudio sought an apology and compensation in the form of a donation to the Columbia School of Journalism from a cooking magazine that used her copyrighted work on a medieval cooking blog without her permission and received a response that is so uppity and condescending for a professional editor with three decades of experience that I’m still baffled.

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!

Excellent and prompt investigative work was done that identified quite a few additional copyright violations at The Cooks Source Scandal: How a Magazine Profits on Theft.

The train wreck of one identified copyright infringement cascading into others being found and leading to a ruckus is somewhat familiar to me. Clinical Reader remains out of order to date.

ALWAYS speak your truth plainly when something isn’t right, even if it seems small or like no one else is listening, and especially if others attempt to demean or threaten you for saying it. The fact that Cooks Source was trending on Twitter for a while today speaks volumes.

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