Wow, What a Jerk!

I have nothing to add to this takedown, but in case you have not seen it you should really this.  A printed magazine called Cooks Source took an online article written by an author (Monica Gaudio) without the author's permission or any payment.  When the author complained and asked for a small bit of compensation (in the form of a donation to the Columbia Journalism School, lol), the magazine editor fired off this amazing email to the author whose work she stole:

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!"

For Monica Gaudio, this must have been a bit like the person who stole your car calling you to complain that the car needed to be washed.  Incredibly, the editor then proceeded to dig the hole even deeper.


  1. morganovich:

    "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".

    count the spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors in this sentence about the need for editing.

    it borders on farce.

  2. John O.: makes college plagiarism VERY easy to detect. To the point that only the stupid plagiarize. Plagiarism may happen on campus and at the workplace, but its no where near as prevalent as she may think.

    -- John O.

  3. Evil Red Scandi:

    I was watching their Facebook page right after this happened... derogatory comments were being posted at a rate of about 20 per minute. Pretty funny.

  4. Jim Collins:

    I wonder if the Obama Administration has offered the editor a job yet?

  5. ParatrooperJJ:

    John Q - Instead of plagarising one can just hire a professional to write papers as needed.

  6. Don:

    This almost seems like a plot for a bad soap opera. Freakin' hilarious.

  7. Methinks:

    Morganovich, my thoughts exactly.

    It's unfortunate that this person is giving free advice to young writers, but it does explain why so many articles I read seem like they've been written by fifth grade students in a remedial English class.

  8. epobirs:

    This person claims to know copyright law and then claims material on the web is inherently public domain!

    I suggest somebody create a duplicate of their site but with ads from other sources. After all, it's public domain.

  9. DensityDuck:

    Every freetard who thinks that copyright is "an outdated and useless government-granted monopoly on nonexistent property" should be required to explain why what Cooks Source did was bad.

  10. Jimbabwe:

    This episode struck me in four distinct ways:

    1) If the market price for content of a certain quality is very low or zero, external enforcement of or thoughtful editorial compliance with copyright would have prevented this work from being chosen by the editor in question.

    Both author and editor (and the consumers of both digital and print media) would have lost.

    2) Independent observers with a subjective sense of "fair" chose to employ their voluntary efforts in shaming and mildly punishing the "offending" publisher. What an excellent display of effective non coercive action! I wonder when and how the copyright police would have gotten around to addressing this offense.

    3) Would Coyote have responded to this incident in a similar manner were he not in the business of online publication? I doubt he would have reacted in this way had a cook book publisher appealed to the government for taxpayer subsidized support in attacking a housewife for distributing hand edited card copies of published copyrighted works. Many authors of course (even libertarian ones) perceive a vested interest in government protection from the market via copyright.

    4) Publishing requires the use of private property in production. This is the paper, ink, machines and labor. Editing, citing, and printing an online source does NOT prevent the original author from the use of her intellectual property. Preventing the copy of protected works does violate the property rights of the publisher and copyright enforcement can only be categorized as sustained violation. Unfortunately, arguing for the defense of some property rights at the expense of others' distinct property rights is a common pro IP libertarian practice.

    In conclusion, I call this episode a WIN for the market and a LOSE for Coyote.