Thursday, November 4, 2010

Writers Call Shenanigans on Editor Judith Griggs for Theft

If any of you have seen my FaceBook page, The Smart Bitches Blog, or any of a growing number of writer  / blogs / today, then you know that Judith Griggs, editor of the grammatically-challenged Cooks Source Magazine, is getting a serious public drubbing as a thief.

Yes, I know, innocent until proven guilty, but this one sure walks and quacks like a duck, whether roasted or trolling the pond for snacks--or copyrighted articles to reprint, minus permission and payment.

Author Monica Gaudio was tipped off that her 2005 piece on apple tarts was in the latest issue of Cooks Source.  

Ms. Gaudio contacted the editor. How could her article be available when the magazine had not gotten permission to reprint and perhaps pay for the privilege? 

(I tried to put a link to the original page with the recipe, but it has been disabled on the site, which is too bad.)

An e-mail exchange followed, with the author making wholly reasonable demands to compensate for the theft of her copyrighted material:

"I wanted an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism." -- Monica Gaudio [Quoted from Ms. Gaudio's LiveJournal blog as are the excerpts below. -- P.N.E.]

Instead of a groveling apology, Griggs shot back a patronizing mail:
"Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. [Evidently NOT!] 

It was "my bad" indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.  [Like proofread and use the spell check?]

But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" [W-T-F???]  

and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it!   [ I'm sure she's thrilled to bits that this is theft, not plagiarism. Yes. I imagine her lawyer will be thrilled, too.]

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.  [Apparently Griggs-the-Bleeding-Oblivious was unable to grasp that the original site's Medieval spellings were intentional. Now that this has broken and gone viral, she's likely experiencing the joys of countless writers, editors, and readers going Medieval on her arse. In public.]

We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me!  [All together now: W-T-F????]

I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me... ALWAYS for free!

Which seems to be how she prefers to acquire her articles. A number of energetic google-fu surfers have found LOTS MORE apparently stolen articles.

Chances are good that Cook's Source will remove their FB page, what with all the ultra-negative wankage that's up, so here's a few links to give you all a taste: and and and
The article on "Food Frauds" is lifted wholesale from

The "Healthy Eating Part 2" article is lifted from a Martha Stewart site.

The Great Plastic Bag Plague was lifted from Alternet.
And another swiped from Paula Deen:

Spicy Pumpkin Bars here!/photo.php?fbid=439516966748&set=a.439514776748.238553.196994196748 are these Pumpkin Bars here:
I'll stop now. You get the idea.
Too bad for her that Griggs didn't.
Shame-shame. What were you thinking, Ms. I-Have-30-Years-of-Experience-and-Apparently-Didn't-Learn-a-Damned-Thing?
Griggs--most of us learn in *kindergarten* that one may experience instant social ostracizing by one's peers for being a "copy cat."  Crayon thieves may be sent to the principal's office.
After this debacle, one might hope you'll be heading for the unemployment line.  While you're qualified for work in the food services industry, I would suggest the only keyboard they let you near is on a cash register where you may ask customers whether they want fries with that burger.
It's gonna be a bit before I pay off my karmic debt for this intense bout of Schadenfreude, but really, I can't help myself. 
Griggs, you brought it all on yourself, so don't blame me for joining the crowd that's pointing you out as a bad apple.
 Late entry, excellent reading:
The stolen article:
Late in--apparently Griggs has a travel magazine, either out or pending, I'm not sure. Round two may be on the way.
For those who have been contacting the magazine advertisers, be assured they are as horrified as the rest of us and have lost income by trusting Griggs.
Please show your support of those merchants by purchasing their products if that is possible.  Many of them paid in advance and won't be getting any refunds.

1 comment:

  1. What is it about the ease of the internet tha people think that it's all public material that can be used, that kind of thinking is why in most colleges today all papers turned in are run by professors through software that makes sure that the paper hasn't been lifted en mass from a website somewhere. This individual with her years of experience should know better and as such I hope she will lose her job. I'm sure Martha Stewart and Paula Deen would be interested in getting their money, their lawyers I'm sure will have much more clout in these matters.