Illadore's House o Crack - Copyright Infringement and Me

About Copyright Infringement and Me

Previous Entry Copyright Infringement and Me Nov. 3rd, 2010 @ 11:14 pm Next Entry
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.

The story:
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!
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
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    The editor of "Cook's" Source and "Housatonic" Home wants to charge you for editorial services? Was the title of Housitonic Home actually officially mispelled (like Cooks Source), or did she not know how to spell the name of her former employer?
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
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    It is time to contact the advertisers and the webs hosting service. They need to take this magazine down. What she is doing is illegal.
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)

    Sorry but...

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    This is atrocious behavior on the part of that publication and its editor. But, I must say, your blog is really ugly, could use a lot of GD assist. Just saying.
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    From:illadore
    Date:November 5th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)

    Re: Sorry but...

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    Hahahahaha!!!

    Thank you for the comment. ;) and the style is staying. I like it. ;)
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
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    Post or link this on CNN's forum or anyother major news source, maybe they'll see it and make a comment on air. Just a thought.
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    From:urban_terrorist
    Date:November 5th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)

    Major News Source

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    Let's see. It made The Guardian, National Public Radio, Washington Post, LA Times, etc.

    I have a large number of links, which I put into my article Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0007.
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)

    Fight on

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    Keep your fight on and don't let them get by with this-you got a lot of folks behind you.
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    From:aumonae
    Date:November 5th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)

    Astonished

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    I found this on Facebook and was astonished at your story. The level of contempt and audacity of the editor is something I have never seen before. It is so sad that people can be that ignorant and foolish. Best of luck to you and I hope that you get the justice that you deserve!
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)

    Re: Astonished

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    Is that a drawing of Marvin the Martian that you're using as your user image? It sure looks like it. Who drew it? Do you have permission from the artist to use it? Does Warner Brothers endorse this use of their trademarked character? I'm not going to report you, I'm just wondering.
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)

    register your copyright

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    It only costs a little to register your copyright, but you cannot bring any legal action before you do so.
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    From:pink_dog
    Date:November 6th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
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    Monica, if any lawyers have offered pro-bono work, take them up on it. Get your public apology and $130 donation. GET IT. Lots of us are watching this story. GET IT, GIRL.
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    From:rhapsody_98
    Date:November 6th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
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    Most definitely off topic, (although I did find my way here via zoethe due to the recent ass-hattery) but I really love the GodeCookery Website! I found it while researching for my Medieval Lit class. Do you contribute, or maintain the site? And can I friend you? You clearly are an interesting person that I would like to keep up with. :)
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
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    Maybe you should edit the poorly written letter and demand payment.
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    From:ambelies
    Date:November 6th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
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    Just to let you know, you were on CNN.com today, at least this story was...
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 03:34 am (UTC)

    Thank you for the receipe and an odd connection to Paula Dean...

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    Wow, I was just looking for something on NPR when I saw a picture of a pie and this link:(http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/11/05/131091599/the-day-the-internet-threw-a-righteous-hissyfit-about-copyright-and-pie) That title was a seriously good hook! I thought I would just take a minute to review it but that was 3-4 hours ago - so many links, so much to read...
    The reason I'm posting here is to say I am going to try and make the pie in your story "A Tale of Two Tarts". I don't bake all that much, but it just sounded so good (I like the idea of adding pears and figs).
    Also, here's an odd leap - I saw some posts on FB about other receipes that may have been improperly reprinted. One was for a pumpkin rum pie by Paula Dean that looks pretty tasty! I am going to try that too, but wanted to thank you because in a huge round about way, I wouldn't have discovered it without all this brouhaha.
    Anyhow, good luck with the future legal case that seems planned for you and meanwhile, I hope you get some peace and quiet! Just think, if only she had written back with an apology and a check to Colombia...
    =^..^=
    somewhere in the desert in Arizona
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)
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    An eye for an eye. Lets all go to crooks source webpage and copy ALL of their stuff, remove their names and copyright and pass it out all over the internet for FREE!
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    From:the_godiva
    Date:November 6th, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)

    Karmageddon will get her in the end.

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    You really don't have to do anything. You've done enough.

    She's stolen from much bigger fish with much deeper pockets and more lawyers on retainer.

    Let Disney, NPR, Martha Stewart, Paula Deen etc. take her down for you.

    Just sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Guilt free.

    Maybe....have a slice of apple pie.
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 06:13 am (UTC)

    Donataions....

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    I'll donate the $130 you requested to show Griggs how easy she could have cleared this all up. What a maroon indeed
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)

    Baked, Broiled and Fried

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    Cooked Sources is gonna be toast, hee hee.
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    From:ext_311390
    Date:November 6th, 2010 08:36 am (UTC)

    This sodden world

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    Fight. These arrogant leaches who live off the sweat of more talented brows and shield themselves in arrogance and hypocrisy must be brought down. My wring on scribd.com is posted with traditional copy-write and while anyone may read it (just as anyone may read an article in a newspaper, even without buying the journal in question) it is my property, my child, the unique work of my unique heart and mind. Anyone who takes it without so much as a by-your-leave is guilty of sequester, is a thief, a common criminal. They will try to delay you, side-track you, confuse and bamboozle you, but persist.
    As a writer, and as a reader, I am with you 150 per cent. If you decide to set up a petition of support feel free to get in touch with me (you can find me under the user name globalvillian on scribd.com. I know the username has an errata, I sometimes mix spanish spelling with english, been away too long). I advise you not to ask us to complain to cooks source directly given that they will enjoy the increase in visits this gives them, but if possible give us an email address for them where we can state our feelings about this kind of cold hearted piracy without boosting their 'circulation'.
    This is not just about you, or your writing. It is about all of us. Nobody should be expected to thank a rapist for a good time. Nobody would dream of thanking a drunk driver who left us paralyzed because "now we can enjoy the money we get from workers comp", nobody thanks an abusive father (or mother) for "the gift of life". Sue the ass off the bastards, and make as big a noise about it as possible, Get yourself some publicity on the side. Get everything you can. Retract your previous offer if possible. No point in behaving like gentlemen when dealing with scum.
    He dicho.

    Jeremy ffrench Birmingham
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    From:ext_311390
    Date:November 8th, 2010 10:24 am (UTC)

    Re: This sodden world

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    oops, lots of errata on my comment. Sorry, fast and furious writing. Copy-write??? I need to caffeine up I think.
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 08:39 am (UTC)

    A Freudian slip?

    (Link)
    Funny (ironic?) how she talks about "rewriting poorly written pieces" after hoping that you didn't take "offence" regarding her actions.

    Maybe this was a Freudian slip: She hoped you didn't take "offense" at her "offence" (not to mention ignorance) of the copyright laws.

    (Okay, it's a violation of civil law, not penal law. Still, it's an curious mistake.)
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    From:ext_311419
    Date:November 6th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC)
    (Link)
    I did a massive quote of this in a blog post in order to spread the word. You were treated outrageously and I say hang 'em high.
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 10:05 am (UTC)

    Possible lawyer on the way

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    Outrageous! My sister just graduated law school in May. I forwarded this to her and hopefully she'll send it on to her class.
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    From:pingback_bot
    Date:November 6th, 2010 10:12 am (UTC)

    The weekend coffee

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    User kalivor referenced to your post from The weekend coffee saying: [...] onal publishers understand the Internet and copyright law — here’s a recent example [...]
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 10:26 am (UTC)

    DDoS cookssource.com!

    (Link)
    See http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=450863846748&id=196994196748 for more details
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 10:39 am (UTC)

    Writer's copyright

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    You are right! SEE www.artdesigncafe.com - M Contraband Esq., Punk Lawyer - "The Copyright Pie" - you should go to a lawyer and get them to write a letter to the publisher - try Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts or a similar organization if there is one near you. Best of luck!
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 6th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)

    Give 'em hell

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    Go get 'em! That woman should never work in publishing again!
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    From:John E. Bredehoft
    Date:November 6th, 2010 12:38 pm (UTC)

    Back to the 14th and 16th centuries

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    I missed the whole story initially, but after reading some of the brouhaha that surrounded it (including the story of the 2nd Street Baking Company, which pulled their ads, began receiving compensation from Facebook users for the lost ad fees, and redirected the monies to a food bank), I took the time to find your original article. I cannot conceive of an apple pie without sugar! The concept of your original article is fascinating, and the realization that even kings had trouble obtaining certain ingredients shows just how much our world has changed over the centuries.
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    From:illadore
    Date:November 6th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)

    Re: Back to the 14th and 16th centuries

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    It REALLY has -- and the apple pie w/o sugar is quite tasty. It's a bit more of a savory taste than the 16th century apple pie. I like them both. :)
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