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November 04, 2010

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Stephanie

If it had just been this one article, perhaps. I just went through the rest of the magazine, and could not find a single page that wasn't local advertiser stroke that I couldn't source outside of the magazine. Disney, Chow.com, WebMD, Food Network, Sunset Magazine were all stolen from. I found pictures from Real Simple, Pumpkingutter.com and Hallmark Magazine.

Polyxena

This wasn't isolated incident. I had heard of other case from someone I follow on Twitter who is cook and writer. It's appalling behaviour and their arrogant response even worse.

Robert C Roman

Stephanie has a point. Between the rampant plagarism and the lack of any apology, I think they may have justified the actions of the crowd.

Niamh

This is really shocking - but maybe this is also just publicity for the magazine? I certainly never heard of it before, had anyone else? Michael O'Leary logic - no publicity is bad publicity and the more provocative you are the more you'll be talked about.

johann

This was just posted by Griggs on the Cooks Source facebook wall and no edits were made:

"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"!

Helen

Hm, they still don't seem to concerned about it then do they. Wonder why no one has sued them yet?

But then how could an individual amateur take the the sheer cost, time and risk involved in filing a copyright/IP case. I think this is what leads people to choose the social media approach to justice, because they feel they have no other option http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/. Then it all gets out of proportion because people love the David v Goliath aspect and want to help out the little guy.

Perhaps the vigilantism would be reduced if there was a more streamlined approach to challenging copyright infringement in the first place?

Anonymous

Just curious what your opinion is now that it's been discovered (allegedly) practically *ALL* of Cooks Source material has been lifted off the internet. This includes sites such as Paula Deen's, Food Network, NPR, WebMD, Hallmark, just to name a few.
This Magazine has been profiting on the backs of other's work..is this fair? Is this just? Curious as to your opinions as this story continues to unfold.

Murielle

"I think we all need to consider at what point do we stop acting as individuals showing justified outrage and become part of a bullying crowd which is entirely out of perspective with the original offence."

This is exactly what I think. I believe there's always a moment when the rightly so outraged posters turn into a lynch mob. I start feeling sorry for the editor now as the outpour of hostility is overwhelming.

Phil Bradley

Thanks to the question from 'Anonymous'. As is becoming clear, this doesn't appear to be an unfortunate one off, as the magazine has been taking copyright material from a variety of other places. I find it interesting that no other authors have discovered this before though - I regularly check the web to see if any of my material has been used without permission, and I always contact any website that does - it's not frequent, perhaps once every six months, but it does happen. Now, if I was to play Devil's advocate I could view this in the same way as someone leaving their phone on a table and walking away, then complaining that it's been stolen. Yes, we blame the thief, but don't we also think the person who left their good behind, or who leaves their front door unlocked, or the keys in their car as also being culpable for the theft? We have to take responsibility for our own materials, be they physical or intellectual.

However, that's not really a route that I wish to go down here in detail. It's clear that this editor has been ripping people off wholesale and I think she should be sacked because it's completely unacceptable. Absolutely no question in my mind about that at all. Moreover, anyone else further up the chain who could be expected to exert authority over this issue should also be sacked or resign. No question of that either. What's unfortunate however is that if there are other people who work for that magazine (and I have no direct knowledge of this) end up out of a job because everyone is screaming out for a resolution, and threatening to boycott the magazine, is this fair on them? While we want justice for the owners of the material that's been stolen, shouldn't we equally want justice for people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own?

This may not occur of course, in which case *in this instance* I'm not really that bothered what happens to the magazine, editor or owner. However, looking at the wider picture, at what point does the power of the group to judge a perpetrator outweigh the original fault? For example, the woman who put the cat in the bin lost her job and got death threats. Is this an acceptable level of retaliation? THIS is the point that really interests me.

Muzzlehatch

As far as I know, this publication exists as a locally distributed print vehicle for advertising. It's left in small piles in local restaurants and shops for customers to take.

The pages of the magazine also appear as graphics on Facebook, not as text.

Therefore, there would have been no easy way in the past for copyright holders to discover the infringements, because the text of the magazine is not searchable or "Googleable" if you will.

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