What do you do when you find out your work has been stolen? Go to the mattresses. Or at least use the power of the internet to share your story.
When Monica Gaudio found out that a blog post of hers was published without her permission in Cooks Source Magazine, she contacted editor Judith Griggs to request apologies on Facebook and in the magazine, along with reasonable compensation in the form of a $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism. Not only did Griggs defend her use of Gaudio’s work, but she also suggested Gaudio pay for the editing done on the now portfolio-ready piece.
[…] 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 [sic] 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! Source
This has, as expected, enraged writers, editors, and readers across the internet who have been tweeting and posting to Cooks Source‘s Facebook page. Unfortunately, Gaudio’s story is not unique. The scandal has caused closer scrutiny of other content in the magazine, and has already found several more instances of plagiarism. In this digital age, copy+paste makes it easier than ever to plagiarize content, strip bylines or sources, and label it ethical publishing. But it also means that tracking down offenders and increasing awareness can be done through a series of clicks. Educate yourself about copyright and the internet and protect your content.