Infringement of Copyright
I was going to blog about my NaNoWriMo novel, but like many of you I was shocked and amazed at the reply by the editor at Cooks Source magazine and have to put my two cents in.
If you haven’t seen it already here is Monica’s Post “Copyright Infringement and Me“
I find it very hard to believe that someone could be an editor for 30 years and not understand copyright laws and how it applies to the internet, especially if a major portion of your business is based around it. It’s not like the internet just popped up yesterday.
Also, why the disrespectful tone in the response letter? Where have manners gone these days? I’m sure in hindsight she is wishing she had waited a couple of days before snail mailing that one. I’m no psychologist, but sometimes the comment about being defensive when someone confronts you with something, does mean you know you did something wrong.
I just went to the Cooks Source website. Not only is their website temporarily shut down, but their Facebook page is cancelled as well. They claim their Facebook account was hacked, but I’m sure they were really just sick of getting hate messages. What did they really expect? It’s a blog eat post world. To me the fact that they shut down their website confirms to me that Monica is most likely not the only person they stole work from. They do a lot of victimizing in their statement either in their favor or for those they represent. The people, which is us writers, who are upset by what happened are not the ones to blame for the magazine’s lack of integrity.
What does this whole thing reinforce for writers? Sign up for Google Alerts!
Social Media in a Global World
All I can say is thank goodness for Social Media. If you can’t afford a lawyer the average Joe can post their problem on the internet. What was at first perceived as an annoying, demanding person now has the ability to turn their unresolved problem into a PR nightmare. The fact that Cooks Source has shut down, even temporarily, is indicative of the power of one single post and the uproar of a community. We are not alone in our complaints. There is a country full of people who can attest to that.
Remember the “United Breaks Guitars” song by Dave Carroll? He could not get United to face, much less resolve the fact that his guitar was broken by their employees while flying on their airline. So what did he do? He made a video about it and posted it on the internet. Sure enough they got around to resolving his complaint. Sad thing is companies are not doing the right thing out of shameful behavior, but because negative PR will lose them money.
Imagine a World Where Social Media Fights Back
I’m an avid watcher of CBS Sunday Morning. Last weekend they talked about The Consumerist. This website gives the consumer a means to “bite back” at companies and corporations that will not amend, resolve issues or give bad customer service by posting their complaints.
Times are changing. I keep thinking of the song “Power to the People” by John Lennon. We have a different kind of power than we had back then. We no longer have to gather on the streets, hold up signs or write letters to get justice. All we have to do is make a Tweet, make a post or make a video.
Follow the link below to Deirdre’s insightful blog for copyright laws and blogger copyright basics.