Cook\’s Source has taken down their entire website and replaced it with an interesting bit of fiction. You can read all about it here.
So, the short form? The writer starts in by lambasting the \”disreputable people\” who posted their discontent on Facebook. From there?
Last month an article, “American as Apple Pie — Isn’t,” was placed in error in Cooks Source, without the approval of the writer, Monica Gaudio.
Earth to Cook\’s Source. Ms. Gaudio did not submit her piece to you. You STOLE it off the internet and pasted it into your for-profit print magazine. This is not an error. This is a criminal activity. It sounds like it is criminal activity you\’ve engaged in repeatedly for quite some time now.
They have made a donation in her name as Ms. Gaudio requested.
It should be noted that Monica was given a clear credit for using her article within the publication, and has been paid in the way that she has requested to be paid.
Giving someone credit is what you do when you are quoting them (such as I did in this article, citing the source of the quotes), not leaving their name on the article after you steal it. And she only got paid because the entire internet dropped on Cook Source\’s head because of the way Griggs acted in her email.
Cook\’s Source went on to announce that they\’ve made changes. They will now require a written consent form from the author or rights holder before publishing anything. This is good; that\’s what they should have been doing from day one. What\’s bad is that by the way they phrased this, they implied that the entire \”error\” was that they hadn\’t gotten a consent from Ms. Gaudio, and so she used that against them. The implication of this entire apology is that they had permission to print her article, but can\’t prove it. This is a rewriting of history.
They finish by talking about the victims: the people who rely on their nice magazine in their local area. I actually feel more sorry for the local advertisers who were sucked in by this magazine and then slammed when Cook\’s Source\’s illegal activities finally caught up with it. Them, and the writers whose work has been stolen by these people – allegedly dozens of articles over years of print from a large number of internet sources.
John Scalzi gave this apology a D+ for paying out the money as Ms. Gaudio asked. I give this a flat F, sorry. It\’s an F because Ms. Gaudio already has a lawyer looking into this for her who will undoubtedly get her quite a bit more in statutory damages, so the payment is more an attempt to appease her before they loose their shirts than it is a real apology. And second, because of the implication that the real thing they did wrong was not having Ms. Gaudio sign a release for her work – phrased to make people think Cook\’s Source thought it had permission when it posted her article, when it\’s pretty clear from their words and actions elsewhere that they knew they did not.
It\’s obvious to me that these people (this person? heard it might be a one person show) have still not learned. Cook\’s Source is trying to spin things even now. I\’m really not sure what will be required to drive the lesson home, at this point. Maybe if all of the other people whose works were swiped start their own lawsuits, Cook\’s Source will get the idea. I don\’t think they get it yet.