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Copyright Infringement and Me - Illadore's House o Crack Page 30

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 03:10 pm (UTC)
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    Do you have a local news affiliate that does any "on your side" reporting? One in our area would investigate something like this & broadcast reports on the air. It's cheaper than a lawsuit & often leaves one feeling vindicated.
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    From:ala05
    Date:November 5th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
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    This whole thing boggles the mind. The Internet is public domain? Seriously? The article was in bad need of editing? How about her response to you.

    I'm doing a blog post about plagiarism and I'd love to use this story as an example and quote some of Cooks Source's response, if that's okay (with proper credit and links back here, of course). I can let you see a copy of the post before it goes up if you'd like.
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)

    Radio Canada Interview

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    Hi Monica,
    My name is Natasha, I'm a journalist with one Radio Canada's national current affairs shows. We'd like to speak to you about your article being reprinted without your knowledge by Cooks Source.
    Can you please call me at 416.205.2649 to arrange a phone interview?
    Thanks very much,
    Natasha
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    From:dnivie
    Date:November 5th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)

    Congratulations

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    Congratulations. You have awoken the Internet. It's a fearsome beast, and will now proceed to devour that asshat editor, skin and bone (no backbone offcourse!) included.

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    From:helbling
    Date:November 5th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
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    It looks like they've had the gall to actually create a new facebook page:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cooks-Source-Mag/159072764128073#!/pages/Cooks-Source-Mag/159072764128073?v=wall

    Not yet had any confirmation on whether this is genuine or another troll though.
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    From:sogentlybefore
    Date:November 5th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
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    spammed their FB!
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    From:nauraki
    Date:November 5th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
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    Wow, that's the most unprofessional thing I've ever seen from someone. I am agast at that editor's disgusting attitude.
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)

    Don't buy anything from Judith again

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    Regardless if/has she apologies for her snarky email, she only doing to save her puckery ass. You get one life, try not being such a jerk because there are consequences/
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    From:lazigyrl
    Date:November 5th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
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    I don't usually dip my oar in but as I have an FB account I have expressed my outrage. Honestly, she caught caught so now she should own up and do the right thing. I just rolled my eyes over the whole "public domain" claim.
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)

    The nerve!!!

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    I say definitely keep fighting.

    I almost laughed at the editor's reply -- not just the gall of WHAT she said, but how she said it. It's hard to believe she has all this editorial experience, considering how poor her own writing is.

    If you're a member, I'd say sic the Writers Union on this pub, or an actual lawyer.
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    From:ext_310746
    Date:November 5th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC)

    Copyright Infringement and Me

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    The audacity of this editor. You OWE them money for editing! She STOLE your work! God, people like this just piss me off.
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)

    DMCA

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    did you file a DMCA takedown? She must know what those are -- if she's been doing this as much or as long as it would seem, she must have gotten dozens by now.

    I think protocol also includes sending a DMCA to the hosting provider (intuit, in this case).
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    From:cityslipper
    Date:November 5th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)

    Thanks for breaking the story.

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    The viral reaction to your report can only help to reduce the amount of intellectual property abuse that takes place because of the Internet. I fear this is a drop in the bucket when you consider the millions of web pages managed in countries that have no concern about enforcing copyright laws. Still, for whatever it's worth, your story compelled me to encourage my readers over at Writing Problems Explained (http://www.writingproblems.net/writing-problems/cooks-source-magazine-and-the-most-unforgiveable-of-writing-problems) not to steal material.

    Good luck with your situation.
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    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 5th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)

    unbelievable

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    It's not just unbelievably brazen - her email is incredibly ignorant and poorly written. Run-ons, misspellings. (Come on; she can't spell "offense"?) You have my sympathies. I suggest making an example of this person so she won't continue to do it to other people.
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    From:xallanthia
    Date:November 5th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
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    wow... what an interesting and terrible occurance. I hope they throw the book at them.

    OTOH, your article was really interesting!
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