Cooks Source apologized on its Web site this week for lifting an article by blogger Monica Gaudio, saying that her piece was placed in the magazine "in error."
"We sincerely wish to apologize to her for this error, it was an oversight of a small, overworked staff," the magazine stated. Cooks Source also said it had honored Gaudio's request for a $130 donation to the Columbia Journalism School and additionally promised to make a donation to the Western New England Food Bank in her name.
Cooks Source, which is distributed for free in New England, found itself at the center of an Internet firestorm last week after an editor allegedly said that all Web content is in the "public domain" -- meaning it's free for the taking. The uproar began after Gaudio revealed on her blog that the magazine not only lifted her online article "A Tale of Two Tarts," about apple pie recipes in the Middle Ages, but also responded to her complaints by telling her she should be thankful for the edit.
"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!" managing editor Judith Griggs allegedly wrote. "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."
Web users flooded the magazine's Facebook page, where they took the editor to task for her alleged response to Gaudio. In addition, Facebook users began investigating whether the magazine allegedly infringed copyright in other instances. Last Thursday, the magazine was among the top trending terms on Twitter.
Cooks Source said on its Web site that it took down its Facebook page, which previously listed the magazine's advertisers. "With the harassment that has taken place on Facebook, we felt was unsafe for them," the magazine said.