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Cooks Source Magazine Publishes Apology to Writer

Cooks Source magazine apologized to writer Monica Gaudio for printing her recipe without permission. The magazine also made donations to the Columbia School of Journalism and the Western New England Food Bank at Gaudio’s request.

Here’s an excerpt: “Last month an article, ‘American as Apple Pie — Isn’t,’ was placed in error in Cooks Source, without the approval of the writer, Monica Gaudio. We sincerely wish to apologize to her for this error, it was an oversight of a small, overworked staff.”

From now on, the magazine will secure the written consent of writers prior to publication. The magazine also removed its Facebook page following a flood of protests. Gawker and John Scalzi both reviewed the apology.

Cooks Source Magazine Flooded with Protests

Cooks Source magazine received a flood of protest when they published “A Tale of Two Tarts” by Monica Gaudio–without the author’s knowledge or permission.

Gaudio contacted the editor looking for a written apology and a $130 (10 cents per word for her 1,300-word article) donation to the Columbia School of Journalism. The editor responded that Gaudio’s writing was featured in a “public domain” forum which means they are not compelled to ask for permission or pay monetary compensation.

Literary blogger Edward Champion investigated, uncovering many more articles lifted from other sources without attribution. Gaudio received waves of support at her site and at  Cooks Source‘s old Facebook page. The flood of protest caused them to move to this new page.

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John Scalzi Defends Ethicist Randy Cohen’s Piracy Stance

underthedome.jpgIn one of the most controversial links ever placed on this site, author Randy Cohen drew the ire of publishers with his weekly NY Times column on ethics. Cohen told a reader it was permissible to illegally download a copy of Under the Dome by Stephen King once they had purchased the hardcover edition of the book.

Earlier this week, novelist John Scalzi defended the column in a long post that has already generated more than one hundred comments. Here’s an excerpt: “Personally I think Cohen is pretty much correct. Speaking for myself (and only for myself), when I put out a book and you buy it for yourself in whatever format you choose to buy it in, the transactional aspect of our relationship is, to my mind, fulfilled. You bought the book once and I got paid once; after that if you get the book in some other format for your own personal use, and I don’t get paid a second time, eh, that’s life.”

The entire essay is worth reading. Add your thoughts in the comments section.

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Ethicist Randy Cohen Angers Readers with Piracy Stance

underthedome.jpgThis weekend, author Randy Cohen drew the ire of publishers with his weekly NY Times column on ethics. Cohen told a reader it was permissible to illegally download a copy of Under the Dome by Stephen King once they had purchased the hardcover edition of the book.

Here is the ethicist’s controversial defense: “Your subsequent downloading is akin to buying a CD, then copying it to your iPod. Buying a book or a piece of music should be regarded as a license to enjoy it on any platform. Sadly, the anachronistic conventions of bookselling and copyright law lag the technology.”

Our readers responded unanimously with their disagreement. One reader wrote: “So, if you own the hardcover you should get the paperback for free? Different platform, right? Maybe you can use the hardcover to get into the movie version as well. That’s a different platform. Maybe the audiobook as well? It’s really a deeply irresponsible post. Some ethics!”

Another reader quipped: “By extension, I now feel free to lift printed copies of the New York Times from newsstands, since I already paid for the home delivery.”

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Inside the Mind of a Book Pirate

millionslogo.pngAlthough we called last week “Book Piracy Week,” the impressive reader response reminded us that the issue will not go away. Like a cheesy holiday special urging you to keep Christmas in your heart all year round, we’ll help you keep piracy in mind during 2010.

Today The Millions published “Confessions of a Book Pirate“– an interview with a reader who had uploaded 50 books on the file-sharing site BitTorrent last month. In a long, probing interview, the file-sharing user nicknamed The Real Caterpillar defended his activity and gave publishers candid reasons why some readers are pirating books.

Here’s an excerpt: “My electronic library has about a 50 percent crossover with my physical library, so that I can read the book on my electronic reader, ‘loan’ the book without endangering my physical copy, or eventually rid myself of the paper copy if it is a book I do not have strong feelings about. I do not buy DRM’d ebooks that are priced at more than a few dollars, but would pay up to $10 for a clean file if it was a new release. I do not pretend that uploading or downloading unpurchased electronic books is morally correct, but I do think it is more of a grey area than some of your readers may.”