Lesson Learned: Print magazine implodes after editor plagiarizes, then flames, blogger

Print magazine Cooks Source succumbed to a firestorm of criticism ignited by plagiarism.

The for-profit publication stole a blog post about the history of Apple Pies from an old hobby blog called Gode Cookery and re-published it in the magazine without informing the author.

When a friend of the blogger congratulated her on the publish, she remarked that she hadn’t even heard of Cooks Source before. So she contacted Cooks Source, whose editor asked what the blogger expected from the magazine. When the blogger, Monica Gaudio, asked for an apology and compensation (a meagre 10 cents per word that she requested be directed to a journalism school), the editor lashed out, suggesting that everything on the web is public domain, that Monica should be grateful her name was even used, and that so much editing needed to be done to the article that Monica should actually compensate Cooks Source.

Monica exposed the email to the web, and outrage surged immediately.

After the magazine’s Facebook Page became a lair for public contempt, and after various online publications thrashed Cooks Source’s ethics – especially after it was discovered this was not the first incident of plagiarism – the New England magazine shut its doors, closing the website and ceasing print. See the editor’s email below:

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!

This editor clearly does not know intellectual property rights, nor does she place any value on writers’ hard work.

In summary, don’t plagiarize. Don’t say ridiculously stupid things via email. And don’t mess with the history of Apple Pies.