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Copyright Infringement and Me - Illadore's House o Crack Page 7

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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    [User Picture Icon]
    From:sintari
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
    (Link)
    Look on the bright side! Once a good IP lawyer is finished with this case, you're going to own a magazine!
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    From:ext_309442
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)

    That woman is a moron for stealing your work!

    (Link)
    I'm sorry, but I live in Connecticut; she misspelled "Housatonic"!
    And that's just evil; she obviously is either entirely oblivious to copyright law, or is a thief and a liar through and through!
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    (Deleted comment)
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    From:magnifique_f8h
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
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    Got here via @neilhimself.

    This is just appalling. I've RT, posted on my blogs and Facebook. If there is something good to fight for, this is one of them. Good luck!
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    From:gramina
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
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    Their facebook page now has many, *many* more comments in the last ten hours than in the preceding at-least-three months; I suspect someone there has figured out they made some kind of mistake, at this point.

    I would try to sound sympathetic (with them), but I'm not.
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)

    What can I do?

    (Link)
    Sorry that I haven't read the cagillion responses, but please tell me what I can do to make that editor's life miserable.
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)

    that is SOOO annoying

    (Link)
    What's their twitter page!! I am @JayStrut on twitter and will tweet-defend you!!
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
    (Link)
    Please, PLEASE fight this. You gave her a chance to make it right, and she threw it back in your face. I would love to see this editor and her publication pay for their arrogance. If the RIAA can get tens-of-thousands of dollars per copyright infringement, then there has to be some kind of compensation available to you that would harm them financially.
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    [User Picture Icon]
    From:bev_vincent
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
    (Link)
    Neil Gaiman just tweeted this to his 1.5 million followers! Expect traffic.
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    [User Picture Icon]
    From:DebraWeiss
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)

    Suggestion About What To Do...

    (Link)
    Someone posted to this link on Twitter and followed it over here. First of all, that's awful that it happened to you. It sucks. Here's what you can do: My mom is a freelance writer (Sonya Weiss - you can Google her name). One of her articles was lifted for a blog post (almost word for word!). The woman refused to take it down when my mom contacted her.

    My mom contacted Angela Hoy of Writer's Weekly. She helped my mom out and was successful in convincing the blogger it'd be far better to take it down. So definitely contact Angela Hoy. She's awesome. :)

    Debra Weiss
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    [User Picture Icon]
    From:pingback_bot
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)

    two things of rage and a palate-cleansing vid with hedges

    (Link)
    User tsuki_no_bara referenced to your post from two things of rage and a palate-cleansing vid with hedges saying: [...] professionalism and also clearly has no idea what "copyright" and "theft" and "public domain" mean [...]
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    [User Picture Icon]
    From:sailor_titan
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
    (Link)
    Have you posted a http://rising.blackstar.com/how-to-send-a-dmca-takedown-notice.html DMCA Takedown yet?
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    From:(Anonymous)
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)

    Hello

    (Link)
    I run a website in the UK that gets around 250,000 views a month, and even I know not to lift content off the web unless permission has been obtained. Occasionally there may have been an oversight in which case, it's removed immediately and an unreserved apology made, or some sort of agreement is arrived at.

    You'll be pleased to know that this has made Reddit, frontpage. Their facebook is being hammered at the moment.
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    From:tomwat
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
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    RAEG!
    Sue the bastards from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    From:ext_309480
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)

    Looking at back issues?

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    Someone should look at back issues and see whether there are other plagiarized articles.
    (Replies frozen) (Thread)
    [User Picture Icon]
    From:illadore
    Date:November 4th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)

    Re: Looking at back issues?

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    Y'all are free to do that if you wish. :)
    (Replies frozen) (Parent) (Thread)
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