My little nephew is in town for three days of fun so I must be brief tonight – I'll try to do a full post sometime on Friday.
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But this is rich.

Judith Griggs of Cooks Source Magazine decided that the best way to write a feature for her new issue was to troll the internet for a blog post about food and steal it. So she snatched a Livejournal post from 2005 called "A Tale of Two Tarts." When the LJ user noticed and requested compensation (which is, if I'm not mistaken, what authors get when their work is published in a for-profit magazine) this is how Ms. Griggs responded. This is a textbook example of how not to respond to anything, and most certainly how not to respond to a writer who points out that you are a magazine editor who basically plagiarized something like a dumbassed 18 year old sorority girl.

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!
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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!

Awesome! Judith Griggs, you sound not only very smart but also like a great person. Let's be friends.

Have some fun with the mag's Facebook page if you want.


  • 16shellsfroma30aught6 says:

    According to the author's livejournal, she was going to donate the money she earned on the article ($130) to the Columbia School of Journalism.

  • This rocks! I'm downloading the "public domain" works of Ian McEwan to use in my upcoming novel. I noticed that he missed a few commas, so I'll be expecting a cashier's check from the publishing company.

  • My car needs to be washed and waxed–I need to make sure that Judith Grigg doesn't take it to the car wash and then assume she owns it.

  • Griggs also stole from NPR,, Paula Deen, and Martha Stewart. All of whom have access to large, angry lawyers. Griggs' dismissive little note just bought her a one-way ticket to Shitsville, where she deserves to be.

  • "the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally"

    The story is that the original article was written in Olde English, and the editing was primarily modernizing the spelling. Awesome, Ms Griggs! You sound so very smart and are a great person! Let's be friends! (Last three sentences are in the public domain.)

  • Does that mean it's ok with Ms Griggs if I make a few edits to 'Cook Source Magazine', rename and repost it and then charge businesses for advertising on my new (and improved) magazine?

  • "How can it be stealing if you just left it out in the open and weren't using it, and besides, I had to make some changes to it to make it good enough for my purposes?"

    Somebody get me a slim-jim, the location of Ms. Grigg's car, and the name of a good body shop.

  • I will quote Tom Lehrer:

    Let no one else's work evade your eyes!
    Remember why the Good Lord made your eyes!
    So don't shade your eyes, but plagiarize!
    (Just remember to call it 'research')

  • displaced Capitalist says:

    …actually this totally reminds me of the "I shouldn't apologize to you; you should apologize to ME!" that seems to be popular these days.

    …Paging Ginny Thomas…

  • I love it when Lefties pimp for the good ol' American Way and the Profit Motive. What happened to "To each according to her needs…"?


  • bb, if it makes you feel any better, Boehner & Company would probably be saying that copyright enforcement is a wholly inappropriate use of government resources. Unless, of course, it is a major media conglomerate with a history of donating large amounts of money to re-election campaigns, whose copyright is at issue.

  • @Edward

    *Holds an envelope to his forehead* I'm getting… I'm getting… Joe Biden.

    I predict bb's hat will be hung on that hook.

  • oh, you silly bb. Where do you see anything in anything here about "the profit motive", let alone "the American Way"? I realize that to a good modern GOP guy, details like "laws" and "rules" should only apply to those who are neither wealthy enough nor right-thinking enough to legitimately ignore them (stop me if I'm being too high-brow and elitist for you, will you?), but still, both parties to this little catfight were women of small means (one financial, one both moral and intellectual). By GOP standards, that would make them both at fault. Unless you have a different dog in this fight – you're not socially associated with this Judith Griggs, are you?

  • Uh, bb, most American liberals aren't Marxists. In fact, with the exception of Dennis Kucinich, very few are even social democrats. Regulating commercial activity is not the same thing as the government owning and operating the means of production.

  • Their facebook page has become the most awesome facebook page of all time. You have to go watch the trainwreck.

  • This is the typical kick in the nuts we freelancers have become accustomed to. I mean, writing for free is not much different from the penny a word deal content sweat shops are offering us now. $5 for a 500 word article, gee thanks er actually what I meant to say was GO FUCK YOURSELF.

    Freelancing sucks if you're trying to make a living at it.

  • "Lefties"? I thought taking people's labor and giving them nothing in return was the conservatarian wet dream.

  • "..and have many who write for me… ALWAYS for free!"

    Love it – turns out that this statement is absolutely accurate! It appears that she's been stealing the bulk of what was printed in her magazine for quite some time, apparently without the knowledge or consent (or remuneration) of any of her 'stable of writers'. bb, if you're not yet enmeshed with this woman, you might consider it. She has obviously grasped the essence of the modern Republican philosophy: "From each according to my needs, to each according to my whims."

  • Once again, someone has learned that nothing on the internet stays where you expect it to. Actually, TWO people have learned that, but one will eventually regret the experience more.

    Reminds me of this 'Art wants to be free – but artists want to get paid'.

  • 1. Cooks [sic] Source Magazine's editor credited the writer whose work she used. The editor did not claim to write the piece. The editor did not plagiarize the writer's work.
    2. Cooks Source Magazine's editor stole her magazine's particular use of the writer's work. In the USA, attorneys call this "copyright infringement". (IANAL, I only look like one.)
    3. In the USA, legal remedies for recovering damages from infringements perpetrated prior to *registering* a copyright are trivial.
    4. Most writers/photographers/illustrators/designers don't register their copyrights. Savvy publishers know and exploit this. Their business model existed long before teh interwebs.
    5. Cooks Source Magazine appears to have knowingly, wittingly infringed the works of others, including some publishers who *do* register their copyrights, thanks to a big-mouthed editor.
    6. The writer Monica Gaudio won't make a dollar. The publicity won't put dinner on her table. Dollars to donuts Monica will continue the same behavior, posting her copyrighted and un-registered works on the web.
    7. A different Martha named Stewart has a slam-dunk, thanks to that big-mouthed editor. The IP lawyers at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia *know* they can clean Cooks Source's clock. Their only interest is discovering if there's enough money in the infringer's bank account to make it worth their while.

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