Fascinating watching viral firestorm explode around editor of Cooks Source Magazine today for telling an author who had complained about Cook's Source plagiarizing her article and for saying that everything on the web was public domain and the author should be paying her for editing and reprinting it. Within hours of the author's original posting of excerpts from the editor's email, thousands of writers were decrying the plagiarism on Facebook and Twitter and various author listserves, with the result that Cooks Source Magazine came under intense scrutiny, which in turn result in many more allegations of plagiarism (including that the site had taken material from a Disney site -- certain suicide if they didn't have paid permission!), which exploded into even more media attention, leading to an email campaign to the Cook's Source's advertizers, which naturally lead to said advertizers withdrawing their ads from the website etc etc etc. Not sure where Cook's Source will be tomorrow, but definitely on a downward spiral, so general prognosis is crash and burn for editor and publication....
But I not sure this is the end of her.... this sort of fraudster tends to crop
up again with another project/website a few months later. They are too
stupid*, too arrogant*, too self-absorbed to really get why other people are
complaining. I'm sure she sees herself as the hapless victim of a mean
spirited, unprofessional writer who stirred up an angry mob against her for
no reason; that all these emails (I doubt she is looking at the Facebook commentary and comments, Twitter etc) are just from people who "don't get it", outsiders
who don't understand the publishing business. It will be business as usual
at her next stop, because the business to her is selling advertizing and
finding suitable content on the web -- I'm sure she saw herself as providing
a valuable service for her readers by gathering content from all over and
presenting it conveniently in one spot. Writers should be flattered that she
chose to reprint their stuff. The idea that a writer should be paid for
content is self-evidently stupid to her. If you didn't want her to print
your stuff, why post it on the web where she could get it so easily?
Most of my students/colleagues get that stealing writing from the web is
wrong, because that represents someone else's work. But almost all of them
routinely download art without a second thought. Because, well, how else
would they illustrate their powerpoints or whatever? Because they themselves
can write, they recognize that writing is work and valuable. But when it
comes to art, since they can't do it, they think it is okay to take if off
Google images, because, you know, it's on the web. So while many of us are
incredulous over the attitudes of this editor, I don't have to look very far
to find other examples of such ignorance, arrogance, and thievery....
See some of the coverage at: http://howpublishingreallyworks.com/?p=3450
Original post that started it all.
(*I don't use the words 'stupid' and 'arrogant' here without some basis: see the editor's original email comments to the initial complainant. Outstanding example of ignorance and arrogance....)