Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cooks Source Scandal Blowing Up The Internet

Let's start this post with a tweet from BonnieCelt.
"Oh, Cooks Source. Now we see that you've also stolen from Martha Stewart. Martha will cut you up and tastefully decoupage your dead body."

The tweetosphere, facebook, and blogs are in the midst of a full-blown frenzy. The Washington Post picked up the story as well as The Guardian in the UK. First, thank you to Chris for filling me in on this juicy, yet extremely distasteful story.

Long story short. It appears and it's alleged from many sources that Judith Griggs, Editor of Cooks Source Magazine doesn't believe that copyright applies to online content. She thinks it's all free and up for grabs. It also looks like their website is down due to all the traffic. And she just may be the most hated Editor on the planet.

Well needless to say, copyright does indeed apply to the Internet and online content and maybe Ms. Griggs should contact the U.S. Copyright Office for more information.

*Updated 11/5/10* Wow. Just wow. Cook Source Editor, Judith Griggs  hackers (see update below) finally responded to the copyright infringement allegations (not plagiarism) with a snarky statement on her facebook page.
"Hi Folks!

Well, here I am with egg on my face! I did apologise to Monica via email, but aparently it wasnt enough for her. To all of you, thank you for your interest in Cooks Source and Again, to Monica, I am sorry -- my bad!
You did find a way to get your "pound of flesh..." we used to have 110 "friends," we now have 1,870... wow!

...Best to all, Judith"
(Via TechDirt)

*Updated 11/15/10* - Well, it looks like the snarky remark above was not the actual Judith Griggs. I just saw the updated Cooks Source website and it has an apology, which reads in part:

"We have cancelled our Facebook page on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at 6:00PM. It has since been since been hacked by unknown parties and now someone else unknown to us has control of it. ...

We also cancelled our website on the above date, as our advertisers were listed therein, and with the harassment that has taken place on Facebook, we felt was unsafe for them. ...

Last month an article, “American as Apple Pie -- Isn’t,” was placed in error in Cooks Source, without the approval of the writer, Monica Gaudio. We sincerely wish to apologize to her for this error, it was an oversight of a small, overworked staff. We have made a donation at her request, to her chosen institution, the Columbia School of Journalism. In addition, a donation to the Western New England Food Bank, is being made in her name. It should be noted that Monica was given a clear credit for using her article within the publication, and has been paid in the way that she has requested to be paid.

This issue has made certain changes here at Cooks Source. Starting with this month, we will now list all sources. Also we now request that all the articles and informational pieces will have been made with written consent of the writers, the book publishers and/or their agents or distributors, chefs and business owners."

*Updated 11/17/10* According to this article, it looks like Cooks Source is going out of business. There's a very long letter on the website now. Sadly, Griggs still does not seem to understand copyright infringement and seems to blame a lot on Monica and her exhaustion.

Below is a portion of the letter.

"But one night when working yet another 12 hour day late into the night, I was short one article... Instead of picking up one of the multitude of books sent to me and typing it, I got lazy and went to the www and "found" something. Bleary-eyed I didnt notice it was copy written and reordered some of it. I did keep the author's name on it rather than outright "stealing" it, and it was my intention to contact the author, but I simply forgot, between proofreading, deliveries, exhaustion."

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Chris said...

And it looks like the whole magazine is just lifted from the web!/topic.php?uid=196994196748&topic=23238&start=120&hash=c96fc3d7152490137d1fb9603b07c1d8

Sharlene T. said...

The 'apology'? shows what's really in her heart... Obviously, doesn't care where her "friends" come from, as long as they sign up... However (and I'm just sayin', here), it would seem to me that an Editor would pay more attention to her writing -- especially, when apologizing for copyright infringement, lest we think her incapable of anything original... And, please, don't give me the Twitter excuse. There are times when sloppiness is unforgivable... [stepping down from stool)... Come visit when you can...

Lisa said...

chris - What a firestorm she unleashed on herself! If she had only been reasonable in her reply, nobody would ever have heard of them. Although, I guess with all the content that she stole, she had some bad karma ready to kick her butt.

sharlene - From what I see, she was pretty deliberate in her theft. And she appears to have stolen from SO many people. It's really mind boggling.

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