What is Cooks Source?
Copyright Infringement Controversy
On November 3, 2010 Monica Gaudio blogged about an article about apple pie (called “A Tale of Two Tarts)” she wrote being published without her permission. She had originally written the article in 2005 and had posted it on a website that stated the article was copyright protected. 2 The article was reused in a small New England print magazine called Cooks Source. Gaudio contacted the magazine for compensation, but did not get the response she was expecting. Instead, Gaudio reported that she received the following statement from Judith Griggs, the editor of Cooks Source: 345
But 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 offense 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
After the story went viral the Cooks Source Facebook page was flooded with comments, many of them negative, hateful, or even threatening in nature. Cooks Source also claims that their Facebook page was hacked. Fake twitter and Facebook accounts pretending to be Cooks Source also popped up all over the Web. A twitter hash tag, #buthonestlymonica, was also created in response to controversy.6
Cooks Source eventually did compensate Monica Gaudio by donating $130 to the Colombia School of Journalism.7
Cooks Source Statement
Cooks Source released a statement saying they had canceled their Facebook page on November 4th, 2010. The company stated that they did not have plans to return to Facebook since it is too easy to get hacked.
The statement also said that the company had canceled their website. They do not and have never had a twitter page. The statement also asserts that many statements attributed to Judith Griggs and Cooks Source were not actually associated with them.
According to the magazine, an article was accidentally posted without the approval of the writer, but that the company has apologized and compensated the writer for her work. 8