Magazine ‘claims everything online is in public domain’

A massive storm has blown up on the internet over a stolen recipe for apple pie.

Five years ago, blogger Monica Gaudio wrote a post – with a clear copyright notice – for her own Gode Cookery website about medieval recipes for apple pie.

When she was told by a friend last week that her article had recently appeared in Cooks Source magazine, she assumed it must be a mistake and contacted the publication – only to receive the most astonishing letter in reply, she says.

Gaudio has posted the text on her blog. It reads:

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 [sometimes] 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!

Cooks Source‘s Facebook page is now getting more traffic than ever before. Unfortunately, most of it is from people linking to ‘Cook Source Magazine is run by worthless plagiarists‘.