Updated: The plagiarism kerfuffle at now shuttered Cook's Source topped Regret The Error's annual list of publishing mistakes — right above a photo in which an actor playing a Nazi was identified AS the Nazi. Oops.
Writer Monica Gaudio's initial charge of plagiarism went viral and led to a host of other plagiarism accusations leveled at Cooks Source. Abused writers and outraged readers contacted advertisers who withdrew their ads and voila. The successful use of crowd sourcing to research and document the plagiarism is what made this kerfuffle #1 on Regret The Error's list.
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Cooks Source magazine is shuttering and it's all because one greedy, awful writer didn't like having her work plagiarized. The jerk!
The kerfuffle has been going on for two weeks, ever since writer Monica Gaudio noticed the mag had republished a story she wrote for Gode Cookery about apple pie — without paying her or asking her consent. Gaudio complained to Cooks Source. The situation could have been resolved with an apology and a check. Instead, editor Judith Griggs, who apparently graduated from the Peel School of Public Relations, shifted into “blame the victim” mode.
Griggs claimed whatever was on the internet was public domain and Gaudio should pay the magazine for editing her “poorly written” story.
The story gained traction after Gaudio wrote about it on her LiveJournal page, inspiring a storm of “nerd rage.” Cooks Source was deluged with hateful emails and voicemails, and some of its advertisers were threatened with boycotts.
Someone also set up a Facebook page listing other instances of supposed plagiarism by Cooks Source, reports Boston.com. These include “allegations that the magazine has lifted articles from Martha Stewart, NPR, Disney's Recipes Today site, and other outlets.”
Earlier today, a rambling, unsigned note rife with spelling and grammatical errors appeared on the Cooks Source website. Upshot: The magazine will likely shutter — and it's all because of Gaudio.
The Cook's Source website is no longer up, but Consumerist reprints the bulk of the note. It's a treat.
Its [sic] sad really. The problem is that I have been so overworked and stretched that when this woman… contacted me, I was on deadline and traveling at the rate of 200 mile [sic] a day for that week (over 900 in total for that week), which I actually told her, along with a few other “nice” things, which she hasnt written about.
I'm not sure what's worse. The lame self-justifications in the note or the fact that it was written by a supposedly professional editor who writes like a 6th-grader.