I first read about them on The Consumerist yesterday (check out the story from BlogHer as well, and frankly you can find this everywhere on the internet from The Guardian to MSNBC). A blogger was alerted to the fact that one of her blog postings had been stolen and used in the latest issues of Cooks Source. Thinking it was a mistake, she contacted the magazine. The magazine admitted to stealing her work. She asked for an apology on their Facebook page and website, and a $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism. Cooks Source refused, saying that the blogger should have paid THEM for editing her article and including it in their magazine.
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.... and then the internets found out.
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!
ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!
The Cooks Source Facebook Page went from less than 100 fans to over 3,000. As I was watching it yesterday, angry posters were adding to the Facebook page every second. I couldn't even keep up. The Cooks Source website crashed. It was discovered that Cooks Source had stolen content from Disney, NPR, and The Food Network. Angry bloggers called each of the magazine's advertisers.
The response came on the Facebook page (from Gawker):
Hi Folks!Then, they moved to a NEW Facebook page, but the angry mob seems to have followed them there.
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
I'm just in awe of the blatant ignorance from anyone in the print industry, and I am happy to see them getting what they deserve. So entertaining...