Cooks Source Statement: Slightly Corrected
To Unknown Cooks Source Source,
After waiting days for you to emerge and say something, I read your statement. I am really disappointed in you. In addition to some glaring errors, it has quite a few problems with style and substance. I have taken it upon myself to make some edits, gratis. Corrections are inline below, deletions are strikethrough and additions are red. Notes to consider when rewriting are red and parenthetical. (In case you haven't read it, the black text is the actual original.)
STATEMENT HUMBLE APOLOGY
We are sorry. So sorry.
We do not know how the hell that happened. I mean, we thought we hired a professional editor and we got...well, you know what we got.
We have cancelled lost control of our Facebook page on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at 6:00PM. It has since been since been hacked by unknown parties and now someone else (I think this is a known unknown, not an unknown unknown.) unknown to us has control of it. Their inclusion of Cooks Source issues and photos is used without our knowledge or consent. (Really? You're going with they used your content without your consent? Really? Might I suggest you STFU instead.) Please know that none of the statements made by attributed to either Cooks Source or Judith Griggs were made by either our staff or her. On the other hand, that arrogant and ignorant email she sent to Monica Gaudio? All Griggs. Yeah, I know. We don't get it either. What do we get? That we are sorry. Very sorry.
We also cancelled our website on the above date, as our advertisers were listed therein, and with the harassment that has taken place on Facebook, we felt was unsafe for them. ran and hid when the Internet got mad at us. We should have taken it like adults running a business and stuck around to face the angry mob. On the other hand, angry mobs are scary...which sounds a little like sorry, which we are.
Cooks Source will not be on Facebook again at any time in the future: hacking is too prevalent and apparently too easily performed by disreputable people. We are still sort of scared...and extremely sorry. The email and Facebook abuse of our advertisers is the prime example: it is hurtful to people who are innocent of this issue, and can ill-afford the abuse -- either emotionally or financially. Small business owners are being bombarded with hate mail, and distasteful messages because someone downloaded their contact information on these bogus sites. These small business owners work very hard to keep their businesses going in a bad economy. We respectfully request this harassment be stopped immediately. (There is no evidence of this. Playing the victim will not help you here.) If you or anyone knows of this abuse, you should go to the bogus Cooks Source (or other bogus pages) Facebook page, look to the left side of the page and press “Report Abuse,” or else go to How to Report Claims of Intellectual Property Infringement, (Again with the intellectual property. You have no credibility on the topic, why do you keep reminding people? Every time you talk about intellectual property a kitten dies. Stop it!) http://www.facebook.com/legal/copyright.php The Facebook Corporate phone number are 650-543-4800, 650-853-1300 and 650-543-4811which hopefully will assist interested parties who feels these snipers who are perpetuating hate have gotten out of hand and want to report it. Interestingly, this phone number and any other contact info is not listed on the Facebook site, and has taken four people a number of days to track down. (Fire your web geeks. I found this number in about 45 seconds. Also, "snipers" - get serious.)
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. (This is your lede, why is it here?) We sincerely wish to apologize to her for this error, it was an oversight of a small, overworked staff. We screwed up. No excuses. We have made a donation at her request, to her chosen institution, the Columbia School of Journalism. In addition, a donation to the Western New England Food Bank, is being made in her name. It is not enough. We will be paying her industry standard freelance rates, doubled because we didn't ask up front. It should be noted that Monica was given a clear credit for using her article within the publication, and has been paid in the way that she has requested to be paid. (Again, just STFU. You stole her work and only made a nominal donation after the web showed up at your door with pitchforks and torches. This is not bragging material.) Did we mention that we are very, very sorry?
With this issue, we have has made certain changes here at Cooks Source. We are letting our editor, Judith Griggs, go and sending the remaining staff to classes on respecting intellectual property where they will write "The Internet is not public domain" 1300 times, once for each word we lifted from Ms. Gaudio. In addition, we are taking away their Internet connections until they demonstrate they can use them responsibly. This may take a while. Starting with this month, we will now list all sources. Also we now request that all the articles and informational pieces will have been made with written consent of the writers, the book publishers and/or their agents or distributors, chefs and business owners. We promise to never steal again. All submission authors and chefs and cooks will have emailed, and/or signed a release form for this material to Cooks Source and as such will have approved its final inclusion. Email submissions are considered consent, with a verbal/written follow-up. Recipes created in the Cooks Source Kitchen are owned by Cooks Source and as such approval is given for chefs and cooks in our area to use them. Artwork used is created by our staff, or is royalty-free or purchased “clip-art.” (Again, just STFU. Remember the kittens!) We are very, very, very sorry.
However: Cooks Source can not vouch for all the writers we have used in the past, so we would like to refer you to this handy spreadsheet. and If you find your work has been infringed, please contact us so that we may apologize and compensate you. In the future we will only publish work for which we have a signed release. Period. can only check to a certain extent. Therefore, we will no longer accept unrequested articles, nor will we work with writers or illustrators unless they can prove they are reputable people, provide their sources, and who, in our estimation, we feel our readers and advertisers can trust and rely on for accuracy and originality. All sources will be listed with the articles, along with the permission, where necessary. (Again with the details nobody believes. Stop! Think of the kittens.) Utterly and completely sorry, that's us.
To say this - and by this, we mean our illegal and unethical use of other people's work and subsequent poor handling of the situation - has hurt our business is an understatement. But that's okay. We deserve it. We hired a clueless and arrogant editor and then failed to fix the mess she made. worse, it is harming the very people we are here to assist. Cooks Source’s is a small, free, local food newspaper-type magazine (called 'magazine' because it doesn't generally include what is known as 'news,') ("called magazine..."? These people are pissed off not stupid.) whose mission statement is to assist small businesses and farms in our area and help readers learn about sustainable food issues. We promote small businesses and farms in our area, offer recipes because our readers request them, and because we are offered cookbooks and excerpts from distributors, publicists, agents and authors, non-profits, ag organizations, chefs and home cooks so as to help them promote their works. (Which begs the question, why didn't you publish some of that instead of what you swiped? Maybe you should just not mention it.) Cooks Source is so named because it reports on food sources and not because cooks are our preferred source from whom to lift articles as some rumors would have it.: the farms, the bakers, the chefs and the foodie producers and purveyors-- to the home and professional cooks and chefs in our area.
The misuse of Facebook discussed above also applies to Ms. Gaudio: she did what she felt was the right thing, and doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment, either. Regardless of what has been said by Ms Griggs (and we do agree, it was egregious), we liked her article very much. Enough to steal it, in fact. For which we are very, very, very, very sorry.
New Managing Editor, Cooks Source