What could have been a simple copyright infringement has become a full-blown circus after the internet got a hold of the tale of Monica ‘illadore‘ Gaudio, who had an article published in Cooks Source magazine – without her knowledge any such magazine even existed. Upon contacting the publication, she was told she should be considered ‘lucky’, and that she should pay the magazine for running her story.
Dear Cooks Source: What kind of learning disability do you have? This is the internet. We’re gonna find out.
“I first phoned the magazine then sent a quick note to the ‘Contact Us’ information page, asking them what happened and how they got my article,” says Monica. “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.”
That pretty much solves it right there. But some thieves are idiots. Or have balls. Or both. Enter Judith Griggs.
Says Monica of her correspondence with Cook’s Source: “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.” Not a steep price for journalism.
But Ms. Griggs, having apparently never operated an internet before, had no plans to be decent. Check out this honest-to-Odin transcript of her email.
“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!”
If you are a writer, artist, designer, or creative professional of any kind, you are now red-faced and seething with rage untold at yet another client who is, for all intents and purposes, an intellectual wasteland. But there’s a happy(ish?) ending! The internet itself, fortunately, got a hold of this story and, well… I don’t think Cook’s Source is gonna have many readers in the coming months.
Check out their Facebook page.
Let this be a lesson to you, Ms. Griggs, and all your ilk – those who would seek a logo design for twenty dollars, who would pilfer a DeviantArtist unawares, who would Ctrl+C a writer’s thoughtful prose – that again, we are the internet. We are going to find out, and we will destroy you. Every time.
My personal condolences to Monica Gaurido (my god I hope I’m spelling that right). I trust you feel vindicated by the beatdown these scumbags have received.
Update: It has been revealed on the Cooks Source Facebook page that more mainstream publications such as WebMD.com and Sunset magazine have also been plagiarized by Cooks Source.