Cooks Source editor Judith Griggs just published a second rambling apology for plagiarizing an author's work and claiming that the internet is "public domain." Here's the first apology, and here's the first account of the whole saga. And here is part of the long letter, in which Griggs explained how it happened:
When putting together a magazine, a publishing firm usually has a staff of many, a stable of writers and proofreaders. Cooks Source doesnt, it is just us two...and believe me we would if we could use more help. Consequently I do much, have a few stalwart writers who love to write (for free) and a number of publishers and book agents who send me A LOT of books, recipes, press releases, etc — I recieved one even today. In the past I have also assisted budding writers with their writing skills and given them a portfolio piece they can get jobs with, from magazines and newspapers that will pay them. In short, we do a lot of good, sell a lot of books for authors, and help a lot of people.
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.
That picking up a book and "typing it" part is especially problematic, of course. Does Griggs believe that when a publisher sends her books, those are "public domain?" Ultimately, none of this probably matters; in this letter, Griggs acknowledges that this scandal is "probably the final straw for Cooks Source," and that this " black mark will become our shroud. Winters are bleak in Western New England, and as such they are bleak for Cooks Source as well. This will end us." Could this possibly be the end of the Great Cooks Source Adventure? Stay tuned to the internets!
(Via Edward Champion on Twitter.)