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 5th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)|| |
Make that witch eat her words
From two writing professors who also taught journalism and briefly worked for a major periodical publisher: We're horrified by Judith Griggs' unprofessional behavior in violating your copyright. She's a fine one to point fingers about writing/editing or anything else, let alone to speak to you in such a condescending tone. We wouldn't line a birdcage with anything she edited. If funds are problematic, you could always approach a law school with your case. I'm sure they'd love a juicy copyright case associated with the internet. You definitely should make Griggs and her staff's lives a living hell until you get satisfaction.
|Date:||November 5th, 2010 09:01 pm (UTC)|| |
Monica, under the federal copyright laws, the victim of infringement is entitled to ATTORNEYS FEES, no matter how small the infringement is.
|Date:||November 5th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)|| |
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?
|Date:||November 5th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)|| |
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.
|Date:||November 5th, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)|| |
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.
|Date:||November 5th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Sorry but...
Thank you for the comment. ;) and the style is staying. I like it. ;)
|Date:||November 5th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)|| |
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.
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
|Date:||November 5th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)|| |
Keep your fight on and don't let them get by with this-you got a lot of folks behind you.
|Date:||November 5th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)|| |
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!
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)|| |
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.
|Date:||November 5th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)|| |
register your copyright
It only costs a little to register your copyright, but you cannot bring any legal action before you do so.
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.
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. :)
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)|| |
Maybe you should edit the poorly written letter and demand payment.
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 03:34 am (UTC)|| |
Thank you for the receipe and an odd connection to Paula Dean...
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
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)|| |
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!
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)|| |
Karmageddon will get her in the end.
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.