Daily Archives: November 4, 2010

Publishing: How To End Your Career In Five Easy Steps

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Steal articles from other writers
  2. Publish those articles
  3. When the writer finds out and asks for an apology and compensation send an arrogant reply
  4. Have a Facebook page where people start posting, because that writer wrote about it on her blog
  5. Don’t say anything and watch your career go up in smoke in 24 hours

The internet has sped up the access to information but it has also sped up karma. On November 3rd, Monica Gaudio http://illadore.livejournal.com/30674.html posted on her Live Journal how she’d been ripped off. A magazine called Cooks Source took her article,which she posted on this website: http://www.godecookery.com/twotarts/twotarts.html and wholesale printed it in their magazine, without her permission and without compensation. When she found out she contacted the editor Judith Griggs and had a bit of to and fro in emails. Next, she says:

After the first couple of emails, the editor of Cooks Source asked me what I wanted — I responded that I wanted an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism.

What I got instead was this (I am just quoting a piece of it here:)

“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 somethings 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!”

Let’s break down this lovely and arrogant reply:

  1. She claims she knows copyright laws, however they are long and complicated and as she goes on, she doesn’t know the first thing about copyright, let alone its convolutions.
  2. She says the web is considered public domain. Again, that is absolutely wrong as there is original graphic art, books, songs, magazines, etc. posted on the web and many people’s personal blogs like this one, and none of it is public domain unless it says so.
  3. She claims “it” as in copyright infringement happens a lot especially in the workplace and on college campuses. Perhaps it does, but workplaces fire people and campuses boot students who are caught plagiarizing someone else’s works.
  4. She says Monica should be happy they didn’t lift the article and put someone else’s name on it. So I guess it’s okay to lift an article and keep Monica’s name on it.
  5. She tells Monica her article needed editing and now Monica can use it for her portfolio, forgetting that in most cases the author can still approve edits, should the author know the magazine is using the story.
  6. As well, she can’t understand why Monica would want money if they edited her article, forgetting that this is the job of an editor, when they have bought a piece and that the author is still paid. Though somehow, this editor thinks Monica should pay her because she stole the article, printed it, edited it without permission and then Monica should be grateful.
  7. She then goes on to say she never charges writers for advice. Thank god for that because her advice sucks.
  8. Oh and the writers always write for her for free. Wow, because writing is worth so little and no one should be paid and she is so mighty and her magazine so godlike they should just grovel in the mud and feel blessed to be noticed by such an entity.

Wow. The sheer arrogance in this and lack of any real apology or understanding of copyright or the editing process has buried this woman in hellfire. How do I know? As I post this, I think back to only 24 hours ago when I first read Monica’s piece, then checked out Cooks Source’s meager webpage and their Facebook page. I was the third person to post there in regards to their appalling behavior.

In the last day about 3,000 people have posted and Cooks Source is the laughing stock (just like soup but with less taste) in many writing circles, not to mention the newspapers. How to kill your mag. Of course, good ole Judith thinks it’s great. Here’s what she posted about 16 hours after the debacle ensued:

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!

Best to all, Judith

(Should we edit her supposed apology and point out she misspelled “apparently” and then get her to pay us for it?) I guess she doesn’t realize that most of us don’t give a damn about the magazine, that she owes Monica more than an apology, not to mention all the other authors that she’s stolen from, which has come to light because of this. These friends should be enemies and the magazine has sunk itself or at least Griggs’ career. Will she surface again? Oh sure, just like the scum in the proverbial barrel. But any smart writer will not come within 100 feet of anything she’s involved in. Interestingly, their meager webpage now has nothing listed under the “About” or “Contact Us” pages.

Karma is a bitch.

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Bigotry and the Dumbing Down of the US

The US continues to perpetuate the stereotype that Americans are stupid. There is always a truth in a stereotype. While I know many intelligent Americans I wonder at the great gobbets of them who have such a bigoted and kneejerk reaction as to stop using their faculties for reasoning, deduction and fairness. No political system is perfect and really, democracy only works with 100 people or less (in my opinion) before its edges get a little rough.

Nine years after 9/11 and the stupidity seems to be mounting, not lessening. Certain small-minded, fear-laden people are equating the building of a mosque near ground zero with terrorism and other silly notions. They’ve used such rabid comments even in their Republican and Tea Party campaigns. What comments? Oh, let’s see, equating a Muslim to a terrorist, showing a picture of a nearly stereotypical turban-wearing man as a terrorist, calling candidates of Lebanese descent (and Christian) as being Arab. The amount of ignorance, fear mongering and bigotry is astounding.

Now, not all republicans are bad, or so right wing that they can only see sideways, but this attitude that everyone of the Muslim faith is a jihadist terrorist is outright ridiculous and dangerous. Why dangerous? Well if someone kept calling me a terrorist or some other nasty phrase when I was not I would tend to be less forgiving of anything they did and maybe just maybe would decide that if I was already branded then I may as well play the part.  The best way to show the idiocy of such allegations and get sense into the thickening skulls of such people is to give a comparison. If all terrorists are Muslim and therefore all Muslims are terrorists, then all Klu Klux Klan members are Christian and all Christians are KKK. And what is KKK but a terrorist group too? Well, you say, that’s only KKK and they’re a freakish group but not the same as terrorists. Still, the overt labeling is dangerous and inaccurate.

If a man has an obsession with eating pickles and then kills someone, is it because of the pickles or the man? If someone reads a murder mystery and decides to commit a crime that might just resemble that story, is it the story’s fault or the person’s. Responsibility and choices lie with the individual and very few groups all think the same. I talk specifically of religious groups. There are orthodox and non-orthodox, liberal and conservative aspects to most religious paths, as well as branches and branches. Look at Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Muslim faiths. There are many varieties on the theme.

The mosque in New York would be like mosques everywhere else. They have not said that the mosque’s agenda is to teach terrorism and it’s retarded (how can you tell that this makes me angry) to believe that’s the mandate. I know several Muslims who are quiet about their faith, like many Christians or Jews. Here’s another question: should a religion move into another country and plant its religion doing missionary work and pushing its faith on the people who have other traditions. Think of all those early Christian missionaries and the ones today, going all over the world to do “good works” but in the process trying to convert people. In the past that conversion was often accompanied my abuse and murder.

I’m not that astounded that people are so biased as to not see clearly and whine about the mosque in New York. But I am astounded at some of the campaigns going around with outright racism and bigotry in their messages. Like you can run a country on denouncing terrorists and prejudicing people against those who are innocent. Can anyone say Hitler? I don’t expect any American to read this who thinks there should be no mosque at ground zero. What would be best of all would be a temple/church/altar of every faith in a circle at ground zero. Now that would show that perhaps the faiths can come together and let everyone be, in peace.

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