Plagiarist’s Goose is Cooked

I just stumbled, very late to the party, on this great story at The Consumerist about a cooking magazine that's facing demise after publishing a story that it stole from a writer.

After the writer, Monica Gaudio, discovered that her article had been lifted, without permission or pay, by Cook Source Magazine, she demanded a printed apology and a $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism. But the editor, Judith Griggs, was unapologetic, and fired back that Gaudio should be grateful for the editing that was done on the article…and consider herself fortunate that she wasn't being sent a bill. 

 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!

But the real, amazing twist to this story is that Griggs is now blaming the writer for the likely demise of Cook Source Magazine.

"The bad news is that this is probably the final straw for Cooks Source," says the unsigned note posted on Cooks Source website. "We have never been a great money-maker even with all the good we do for businesses. Having a black mark wont help … and now, our black mark will become our shroud. … This will end us."

The note goes on to criticize writer Monica Gaudio for not giving Cooks Source more time to explain its mistake. "I really wish she had given me a chance to respond to her before blasting me. She really never gave me a chance."

Amazing stuff!

15 thoughts on “Plagiarist’s Goose is Cooked”

  1. wow… just wow. The guts on that magazine… and she didn’t give her a chance to explain? Really? so what was all that “You should compensate ME” crap? Wow, Griggs and her magazine should be up for the Darwin award.

  2. Ohhhh, I remember reading about the backlash against the magazine, but forgot to follow up any further. Thanks for the update!

  3. I fell out of my chair laughing at how ridiculous this Griggs lady is. She may have done better had she not responded at all and just made the modest donation requested. what a doof.

  4. Wow! It is scary how many many many people just don’t want to own their mistakes and stupidity. The editor can’t just admit she did something WRONG! She can’t just take responsibility for her actions. That editor takes the cake. The part that really irritates me is that she will go on blaming the writer for her consequences. Ugh!Amazing.

  5. As stupid as the initial note had been, I had been unwilling to believe that the final goodbye note was not a hoax posted by some hacker, until it was confirmed. It is just so egregious – the very first word of the note by this “editor” was in error (“Its sad really”, it begins), the writer continues trying to victimize the plagiarized author (“her email to me was antagonistic and just plain rude” – one should always be polite to those who are ripping you off), fails to understand what words mean (“when she wanted money for Columbia University, it seemed ironic because there were all these people in this small town going into the holidays with no jobs, and no, well, nothing.” And that’s ironic how?), lies (“I really wish she had given me a chance to respond to her before blasting me. She really never gave me a chance.” – it was the response that triggered this whole public dance), compliments herself in ugly ways (“I never ment to hurt anyone, and I think I did a nice job for you”, presumably talking about her editing work on the material she plagiarized, which is akin to a rapist saying “but I think I had some pretty good moves there, don’t you?”), and after all she has been through still shows a very basic lack of understanding of what copyright is and how it works (“Bleary-eyed I didnt notice it was copy written”). She signs off with more blaming her victim (“To one writer in particular, Monica Gaudio, I wish you had given me a chance.”).
    This is the letter of someone who had been through much and learned absolutely nothing from it.

  6. Not just cooked, but carbonized as well would be my guess. This quote was telling, if it is accurate. having been down long enough to have vanished from the Google cache, I’ll have to take the quote on faith:
    “But one night when working yet another 12 hour day late into the night, I was short one article… Instead of picking up one of the multitude of books sent to me and typing it, I got lazy and went to the www and “found” something. Bleary-eyed I didnt notice it was copy written and reordered some of it. I did keep the author’s name on it rather than outright “stealing” it, and it was my intention to contact the author, but I simply forgot, between proofreading, deliveries, exhaustion.”
    Cough. Cough. I guess somebody hadn’t heard of the Berne Convention? Work should be presumed to be copywrited – public domaining material is opt-in, not opt out, even when the material is posted online. Given the understanding or the attitude such a quote suggests that Ms. Gaudio (Monica) would have merely been the latest in a long line of people whose intellectual property rights were ignored or overlooked by the editor (one Judith Griggs, according to
    Closing down in a hurry was probably the wisest choice that Griggs had left herself with, at that point.


Leave a Comment