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 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. 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!
This was not only arrogant, but knowingly false. The Web is not "public domain" but subject to the exact same copyright conditions as printed media. And the "badly needed editing"? It consisted of changing deliberate anachronisms (it was on a medieval subject) to modern form and spelling. Apparently this Judith Griggs is about as smart as a box of rocks.
Of course the word got out, and the Wrath of the Internet soon descended upon Cooks Source, propelled by articles like this one in Live Journal. Word spreads very fast on the Web, and content publishers there have a very lively interest in copyright matters.
From there it made it into the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and other print media. From all that hoopla people took a closer look at Cooks Source and found it had stolen lots of stuff, from up to and including Disney. I think somebody's going to end up in court - Disney and some of the other victims have money, and a very bad attitude towards content thieves.
If you would like a little more on how copyright works, in print and on the Web, see the Copyright page right here on this site. Copyright is always automatic, and automatically goes to the author or creator, with all rights reserved. The creator may then, or may not, choose to waive some of those rights in writing.
For those interested, here's the original article in it's original environment. A Tale of Two Tarts - "Redactions of two English apple pie recipes and a discussion of how they changed over time."
©Andrew Grygus - firstname.lastname@example.org - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page permitted. Photo top left © i0061.