Copyright Infringement and Me
Nov. 3rd, 2010 @ 11:14 pm
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!
|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.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)|| |
Got here via @anamariecox via RT @lehmannchris: The publishing equivalent of stomping on someone's head then demanding victim apologize to you.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)|| |
Cooks Source didn't offer a donation....
Cooks Source didn't offer a donation as settlement, has anyone else stepped up and offered? Can I make a donation?
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)|| |
|(Link)|WaPo has picked up the story now
. I'm also impressed by the volume of OTHER plagiarized articles alert Facebook readers have located. And they are notifying the copyright holders.
Can you say, "You are SO OUT OF BUSINESS< BITCH?!!!" Thought ya could!
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)|| |
Don't know if anybody has told you, but this was posted on The Consumerist
(http://consumerist.com/2010/11/magazine-copies-entire-story-from-web-tells-writer-she-should-pay-them-for-publishing-it.html) this afternoon. I'm sorry this happened to you and I hope this gets sorted out the right way pretty soon!
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:30 pm (UTC)|| |
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)|| |
I would recommend you contact
the Authors' Guild, based in New York.