Commentary

Magazine That Lifted Blogger's Post Now Considering Shutdown

Judith Griggs, the editor and publisher of Cooks Source magazine, now says she might shutter the 13-year-old publication in wake of the commotion that erupted after it came to light that the magazine had lifted a blogger's article.

"I'm trying to figure out what to do next," she told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. "I don't know if I can last through this."

Griggs told the Gazette that she doesn't fully understand copyright issues -- which was obvious from her initial response to blogger Monica Gaudio, whose blog post about apple pie recipes from the Middle Ages was lifted by the magazine for its October issue.

When Gaudio learned that her piece had been reprinted she demanded an apology in print and a $130 donation to Columbia Journalism School. Instead, Griggs sent a condescending response stating that not only was Gaudio's material (and that of every other online writer) in the public domain, but that she should thank Griggs for having edited the piece.

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Gaudio blogged Griggs' message, the post was picked up by the Twitterverse, and within 24 hours indignant Web users vented their outrage on the magazine's Facebook page. Web users also launched their own investigation of the magazine, finding dozens of other instances of alleged copyright infringement.

Last week Cooks Source apologized to Gaudio and said it had made the donation to Columbia Journalism School that she requested. But if the magazine has really lifted other pieces (other than lists of ingredients, which probably aren't copyrightable) it faces potential liability of up to $150,000 in damages per incident.

Given the potential exposure, keeping the magazine running might be the least of Griggs' concerns right now.

2 comments about "Magazine That Lifted Blogger's Post Now Considering Shutdown ".
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  1. Marilyn Casey from MC Public Relations, November 15, 2010 at 10:18 p.m.

    It's been said that George W. lifted many comments from previous authors on the subject of George W. for his new book. If GW can live with it, so, too, can you, Ms. Griggs.

  2. Tim Rosini from Duncan Mcintosh, November 17, 2010 at 1:28 p.m.

    We learn from our mistakes, use this situation as an oppurtunity to better the magazine for the future. Invite the blogger to post a small column every now and then, spin the situation in your favor with humor, there are many options. in writing often and promoting poking fun at one self is a great way to ease any kind of tension. but most of all, we take our mistakes analyze what went wrong and use that to make ourselves, our jobs, our lives, better...good luck to both the blogger and the magazine Co.

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