Internet Shaming: Too many cooks

Crowds have wisdom. But they turn ugly, too. Even when the cause seems just, mass action can suppress free expression or bypass due process. And on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog, but there’s little to save you from being hunted down by the whole pack, either. The current case in point involves Cooks Source [sic], a small-circulation publication delivered to homes in Massachusetts. It runs short recipes and articles alongside local advertisements. It is being hunted.In brief, Monica Gaudio, a freelance writer, blogged on Nov. 3rd that a 2005 article she wrote for the Gode Cookery site had been reproduced in Cooks Source. Ms Gaudio had not given permission, and the article looking at the evolution of English apple pie recipes had all its rights reserved. She wrote to the editor to get an explanation, and was initially unsatisfied with the response; she assumed it was printed in error. Ultimately, Ms Gaudio wrote, editor Judith Griggs responded, in part, …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!…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….We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me!

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