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 07:05 pm (UTC)|| |
More nerdrage: Consumerist
Just thought you'd like to know this has made the Consumerist this afternoon. Also, had some fun leaving a nastygram on their Facebook page.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)|| |
Copy all their material
I would start a new Facebook page, copy as many articles of theirs you can find and edit and rewrite them to your liking. All of their stuff that is on the web is now public domain.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Copy all their material
Except that it's looking like all their other articles are also stolen.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)|| |
Yoga Journal Did It Too
I submitted an article in response to a letter from Yoga Journal responding to my query about 16 years ago, and never heard from the magazine, which I assumed meant rejection. While doing a Google search recently, I found the article had been published without compensation or notification that the article was being published. The complete article popped up in Google Books. I've also been at a loss as to how to handle this situation, too. So the Internet both facilitates and reveals copyright infringement.
The snide response is almost worse than them using your article!
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)|| |
Now you're in the Guardian
Given the way interest in this has spread, I wonder if Judith Griggs will soon be Stephen Colbert's Alpha Dog of the Week.
Just a fellow Livejournal well-wisher here. You've ruined them and I can only hope that you are compensated well for such appalling treatment.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)|| |
I know you've been wronged by a stooge of a person, but I want you to know also that this whole response has been a hilarious good time. Mock them! Mock the wicked!
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)|| |
This woman can't even write proper English and she represents a magazine?!
It suck so much that Griggs also turns it around on the victim to say that the victim should compensate the criminal for "rewriting" the stolen article.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)|| |
First, I'd like to say that I am in editorial at a small magazine. And this is ridiculous.
I'm almost certain that once you publish something online, copyright is automatically yours, unless you specify that it is public domain.
This guy is clearly not up-to-date on the newer copyright laws as they apply to online material. Not only is he rude, his holier-than-thou, head-stuck-up-my-butt attitude is incredibly unprofessional.
It's crackpots like this that make the rest of the industry look terrible.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)|| |
so how many AP articles have they lifted from the web?
I'm a huge proponent of fair use but wow, this kind of ignorance and arrogance is pretty staggering.
Wow...the editor has a lot of nerve.
I hope you keep us posted, and continue to fight this. I'm honestly surprised that copyright attorneys haven't contacted you thusfar, and offered to work on contingency or pro bono. This will obviously get some press!
First they violate your copyright, then they insult you? Shame, shame, shame!
I work in an academic library & not a week passes without a conversation with students re: proper citations, copyright, etc. I can understand an 18 year old not completely understanding copyright, but these are grown folks -- unethical and arrogant grown folks at that. Very bad for the image of the business.
I do hope that you are able to take the appropriate legal action, and that the results are in your favor.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)|| |
Just so you know, this page is going to be in my magazine's next issue. Please be sure to edit it, otherwise you'll be receiving a bill for wasting my time.
|Date:||November 4th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)|| |
She should pay someone to edit her writing
She misspelled the name of one of the publications she says she worked for, it's "Housatonic Home" - not "Housitonic Home."