Copyright Infringement and Me
Nov. 3rd, 2010 @ 11:14 pm
The tl;dr version of this post: My 2005 Ice Dragon entry, called "A Tale of Two Tarts" was apparently printed without my knowledge or permission in a magazine and I am apparently the victim of copyright infringement.|
I was contacted early last week by a friend of mine who lives in the Northeast about my "As American as Apple Pie - Isn't!" article that was published in Cooks Source magazine, mostly to inquire how I had gotten published. This was news to me, as I hadn't ever heard of this magazine before.
However, some basic Google-fu lead me to find them online and on Facebook. In fact, after looking at the Cooks Source Facebook page, I found the article with my name on it on on "Page 10" of the Cooks Source Pumpkin fest issue. (No worries, I have screencaps.) The magazine is published on paper (the website says they have between 17,000 and 28,000 readers) as well as being published on Facebook as well.
So. I first phone the magazine then send a quick note to the "Contact Us" information page, asking them what happened and how they got my article. (I thought it could have been some sort of mix-up or that someone posted it to some sort of free article database.) Apparently, it was just copied straight off the Godecookery webpage. As you can see from the page, it is copyrighted and it is also on a Domain name that I own.
After the first couple of emails, the editor of Cooks Source asked me what I wanted -- I responded that I wanted an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism.
What I got instead was this (I am just quoting a piece of it here:)
"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!"
I got nothing.
Scratch that. I sure as heck do. Let's go over the major points:
At this point, I am mad as hell. It is now the principle of the thing -- and I also can not quite believe that my copyright was violated -- and then I was informed that I should *pay them* for editing it for me!
The web is NOT public domain! Don't believe me? Try the University of Maryland University College -- or just Google it.
I should be thankful because I wasn't flat out plagiarized? Don't college students get, oh, I dunno, tossed out for being caught for plagiarism? How is this a valid argument?
I have some ideas of where to go from here but I am more than willing to listen to other suggestions.
EDIT: Nick does a better job of telling the story than I do: http://nihilistic-kid.livejournal.com/1553538.html -- Thanks, Nick!
Admitting that she stole your article should at least get that bitch fired.
Get a lawyer.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)|| |
Cooks is Grigg'd
Wow, I'm not even a writer, but I'm all on your side...By the way, have you seen that the "Internet Detectives" have gone to work..and found Cooks has also ripped off Paula Dean (she's been notified, said thanks and has turned over to her Legal).
You know what..I say you call a Hot Shot Colombia Lawyer, get some representation and tomorrow you'll own Cooks Source...Judith should not only be ashamed of herself, she's due to be put out to pasture and early retirement.
Small-time magazines like this are cheap as shit (it's my job to deal with licensing and syndication, so I get pretty heated when I hear stories like this), so they pretty much expect everything published by artists and writers to be free as "free PR". It's fucking bullshit and the hard-working freelancers get fucked over because of it.
Honestly, her three decade long résumé isn't very impressive to begin with. I'm also pretty sure this old hag didn't deal with blogs back when she first started out and clearly doesn't understand how the internet and digital intellectual property work.
If all of you really want to kick out the crutch from underneath this shoddy Cooks Source Magazine, I strongly suggest you contact their advertisers and ask them to pull sponsorship from a publication that doesn't take plagiarism into consideration.
People have been calling the advertisers all day.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)|| |
I'm a trademark/copyright attorney. My friend came across your story and forwarded it to me. If you want to talk about this matter, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)|| |
Morris...looks like you'll have a LOT OF WORK with this publication..the Internet Detectives have gone to work and MOST (if not all) of their publication is ripped off (some of it word for word)---from the likes of Paula Dean, The Food Network, and other small time publishers....check out the "Fan Page" for Cooks Magazine....and look at the Photos (screen shots of the publication)---others are commenting on and finding is DIRECT copyright infringement....
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)|| |
free /= free
Free to read does not equal free to take. I hope the unapologetic editor learns their lesson the hard way.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)|| |
I followed a link to your LJ about this. How scary! I'm wondering how many other people have been burned and not have found out, or if she even bothers "crediting" people now.
There is a way you can fight back. Angela Hoy at WritersWeekly.com is a bulldog when it comes to getting writers paid for their work. She operates a whispers and warnings forum: http://www.writersweekly.com/whispers_and_warnings.php
There's a contact area on her website. Best of luck to you, from one writer to another!
I notice that the paragraph you quote is itself in need of some good editing!
And 'as a professional' one would think she might be aware of copyright law and also of the practice of paying writers for articles published, which apparently she does not do.
It is astonishing that she BOASTS of exploiting writers and that you are supposed to be grateful that she was a little less criminal than she might have been.
Besides, surely it would have been easy to just ask you in the first place about publishing your article?
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)|| |
Write a guest column for iPinion
Please consider writing a guest column for iPinion. We are a community of columnists and bloggers with a readership of about 10,000/week.
We are undergoing a site re-design at the moment and will have greater functionality but you can check us out here. Most of our writers are either journalists with daily newspapers or writing instructors at colleges throughout the country (I teach at UC Irvine in Orange County, CA). Some of our writers also have published books.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)|| |
Copyright Infringement Penalties
Copyright infringement is the act of violating any of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights granted by the federal Copyright Act. There are three elements that must be in place in order for the infringement to occur.
1. The copyright holder must have a valid copyright.
2. The person who is allegedly infringing must have access to the copyrighted work.
3. The duplication of the copyrighted work must be outside the exceptions.
The legal penalties for copyright infringement are:
1. Infringer pays the actual dollar amount of damages and profits.
2. The law provides a range from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed.
3. Infringer pays for all attorneys fees and court costs.
4. The Court can issue an injunction to stop the infringing acts.
5. The Court can impound the illegal works.
6. The infringer can go to jail.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)|| |
Send a lawyer's letter, this is totally out of line in any jurisdiction. LIke music is online so it's free for the taking? same with movies? That's guy's an idiot, empty his pockets for him.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)|| |
I've worked in publishing for 20 years, this is bull. Get a lawyer or get paid. Nothing on the internet is public domain including photos. They had no legal right to steal your words. Don't let the intimidation fool you. They are in the wrong.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)|| |
Judith Griggs makes Stephen Glass look like an Amateur!
WOW, Judith Grigg is gonna make Stephen Glass---a.k.a. "Shattered Glass" the (in)famous Plagarist of "The New Republic" look like a freaking AMATEUR...it looks like the entire Cooks Source publication is lifted from someone else...WOW!
Paula Dean, Food Network (without even bothering to edit that one)...check out what people are finding....me thinks Judith and her "thirty years of expertise" is PHUCKED!
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Judith Griggs makes Stephen Glass look like an Amateur!
At least Stephen Glass wrote his own stuff. Fictitious, granted, but an excellent read! ;-)
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)|| |
Judith responds. Smugly.
"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"
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Judith responds. Smugly.
Careful, it could be a hacked facebook account.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)|| |
My intellectual property.
Just go to the facebook page with the photo of the page and report the photo. Then click the link saying This is my intellectual property. Pros: It gets taken down. Cons: Even google takes weeks to take down a video or page
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:44 pm (UTC)|| |
cook's source, "free" speech
um, "free speech" doesn't mean you can use the work someone does to support himself as, like, free...
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)|| |
As a professional journalist:
Contact the PUBLISHER. That is her boss. The magazine will have the publisher's name on it's mast, google to find out who the PRESIDENT or CO is, and e-mail their office. Be sure to include the letter from the minion editor. Also be sure to include this page, which is now up to 13 pages and several hundred responses. Send them the front page of Boing Boing, and PopURLs (where I saw it) too.
I think you will be amazed at the immediate action you get. This is the kind of thing where the power of the internet excels.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC)|| |
Please, please sue them
I find Judith's arrogance extremely disturbing! Oh, please, please sue the crap out of them!! I live in NY State and I personally know of a copyright attorney who handles this sort of stuff. I don't live in a very large area, so I'm sure you must have one near you!
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)|| |
its up on techdirt.com too!!!!
btw, techdirt.com just put your story up!!!
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)|| |
Contact their webhost
I suggest contacting whoever is hosting their website. Copyright violations are against most all terms of service and will probably get their site taken down.
Thank you for the recipe, Illadore!
I'm about to go grocery shopping, and I think I'll pick up some apples and give this recipe a try. I've enjoyed watching the internet come together to pile onto Cooks Source, but I imagine that I will enjoy it even more with a good, fresh apple pie in front of me!
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Thank you for the recipe, Illadore!
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)|| |
My suggestion, contact Media Bistro, see if you can get someone there to champion your cause - the web is not public domain.
Also, I would contact the other authors in the publication and see if there work has been used without their permission.
Here via sf_drama
. I'm deeply sorry that this happened to you and her asshat response. Even if you don't sue (and you should!), at least you helped uncover her duplicitous stealing from other sources (Disney, the people that write the copyright laws on their whims in order to keep the Mouse in their house? Really? Talk about professional suicide.) and that the magazine will probably never see another issue.
You sparked Internet outrage and the Internet did good today.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)|| |
Here through zoethe
, and here's the comment I left on the Wall of their Facebook page:
As a professional columnist, editor and broadcaster, published in major media in three countries, I'm swinging by to tell you you have a nerve stealing copy and refusing to pay your (unwilling!) contributors - and then piling insult on injury by pretending when you were caught the copy you went out of your way to take ...wasn't good. You are dishonest, pathetic and shameless. I hope the current pile-on kills your sorry magazine, and you end up in supermarkets again - but as baggers this time.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)|| |
What a COMPLETE moron. This uneducated, disrespectful twit fully deserves to lose her job.