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article imageCooks Source magazine lambasted for stealing writer's article

By Stephanie Medeiros     Nov 7, 2010 in Internet
Cooks Source Magazine became an overnight phenomena on Thursday when they were found republishing a young writer's online article and their editor told the journalist, "You should compensate me."
In 2005, Monica Gaudio penned the article in question as part of an experience. The article goes into detail about the origins of apple pie, starting from the Medieval age. Gaudio is part of a Medieval appreciation society, hence the creation of the article. However, it wasn't until recently that the article garnered the attention of thousands of people when a publication called Cooks Source Magazine lifted the piece without first contacting her.
Monica was contacted by a friend who happened to come across the published piece. Gaudio sent an e-mail to Cooks Source, asking for both an online and physically published apology as well as a $130 donation to a journalism school. As Time has reported, Gaudio has no intention to make journalism her career choice but rather did an Internet search of schools and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was the first to come up, and thus, to receive the compensation.
Gaudio was then contacted by the editor of Cooks Source, Judith Griggs. However, instead of complying with Monica's requests, Griggs sent back a very bitter email. The biggest culprit, in Gaudio's eyes, is this line: "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...We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me!"
From there, people all over the Internet started to take notice. Even popular published authors, such as Neil Gaiman, started to watch the incident and begin crusading for justice on his Twitter feed. A Trending Topic on Twitter then started as well as an onslaught of threats and insults on the Cooks Source Facebook page. Craftier Internet denizens started to research more of Cooks Source's publications, discovering that other articles could be lifted from The Food Network, Martha Stewart, NPR and even Disney.
Griggs finally broke her silence and posted a public apology to Gaudio on the Facebook page, however, it did not silence the outcry but rather made it worse. As Time has reported, Griggs' apology was legitimate and read, verbatim: "I did apologise to Monica via email, but apparently 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!...Best to all, Judith."
Because of the allegations of stealing and the response from Griggs, most of the advertisers that supported Cooks Source are now immediately pulling out of the publication. The Food Network has also launched an investigation to see whether or not their own work was stolen.
Cooks Source Magazine is a publication in New England and has both an online version and physical version of its magazine that caters to the local market. Judith Griggs has been an editor for, "three decades," as she puts it in one of her emails to Gaudio. As for the Internet being public domain, there are already set regulations about such matters, since copyright law still exists online. Because the writer in question had a copyright on her website where the article can be found, the content of the website is under copyright law.
More about Cooks source, Journalism, Plagiarism
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