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 6th, 2010 06:13 am (UTC)|| |
I'll donate the $130 you requested to show Griggs how easy she could have cleared this all up. What a maroon indeed
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)|| |
Baked, Broiled and Fried
Cooked Sources is gonna be toast, hee hee.
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 08:36 am (UTC)|| |
This sodden world
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.
Jeremy ffrench Birmingham
|Date:||November 8th, 2010 10:24 am (UTC)|| |
Re: This sodden world
oops, lots of errata on my comment. Sorry, fast and furious writing. Copy-write??? I need to caffeine up I think.
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 08:39 am (UTC)|| |
A Freudian slip?
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.)
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.
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 10:05 am (UTC)|| |
Possible lawyer on the way
Outrageous! My sister just graduated law school in May. I forwarded this to her and hopefully she'll send it on to her class.
referenced to your post from The weekend coffee
saying: [...] onal publishers understand the Internet and copyright law — here’s a recent example [...]
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 10:26 am (UTC)|| |
See http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=450863846748&id=196994196748 for more details
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 10:39 am (UTC)|| |
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!
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)|| |
Give 'em hell
Go get 'em! That woman should never work in publishing again!
Back to the 14th and 16th centuries
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.
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Back to the 14th and 16th centuries
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. :)
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)|| |
oh boy, you can be sure I will be posting about this on my blog under the title copyright hall of shame, it is a disgrace.
corrine at jafabrit's art
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC)|| |
Really? Improved it?
Aside from the "correction" of medieval spellings, I noticed that Griggs totally butchered the nice organization of your original article. She uses your paragraph that a discussion of each method and the differences will follow each redaction, yet places the actual discussions immediately after that paragraph before the recipes are even provided. Apparently, she is even confused by what the term "follows" means. Tired eyes and minds are never an excuse when it comes to any final product, certainly not for an editor!
Cook Source ... see that pie on your neighbor's window? They made it just for you!!! Reach in there and grab it...if they complain -suggest they pay you (after all the pie tasted so much better with the scoop of ice-cream you added yourself) Wait...I can't believe this guy behind the counter actually wants me to pay fo...r that ice cream?? I thought ice cream was public domain!!!!
So sorry you are going through this - glad you are bringing it out for everyone to see!
|Date:||November 6th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)|| |
Judith Griggs - Where'd she go to school?
Is it too late for Judith Griggs, editor for thirty years, to request a refund from all the schools who "educated" her?