Editor's Email A Career Death Wish
Writer Monica Guadio found an article she wrote plagiarized in a cooking magazine. She contacted the magazine's editor and a viral Internet sensation was born. Find out what valuable career lessons this situation gives professional women.
File this one under "Easy ways to kill your career" and "don't mess with someone on the Internet."
Writer Monica Guadio wrote an article for the website GodeCookery several years ago. Recently, a friend discovered it reprinted in Cook's Source, a magazine "for food lovers in New England" and asked why she sold it to the magazine. Guadio hadn't -- the publication added her name, but she didn't authorize the reprint in the publication.
She contacted the publication's editor, Judith Griggs, to find out why her article -- renamed As American as Apple Pie -- Isn't! -- was published without permission. Among her requests? That she receive $130 for the article, donated on her behalf to Columbia University's School of Journalism.
Guadio posted Griggs' response on her LiveJournal account. She was obviously dumbfounded by the editor's smug and confident response.
The editor wrote:
So, to sum up, Griggs knowingly plagiarized Guadio's article and said that it didn't matter because content on the internet is public domain.
Spoiler alert: It's not.
Anything you write is copyright-protected until you transfer the rights of it to someone else -- like if you write something for a publication and they pay you for your work. Guadio's work was copyrighted and Griggs didn't have the right to it, especially if she refused to pay.
Getting the word out
Guadio's post went viral earlier today and it's spread like wildfire across the internet. The publication's Facebook page has been flooded with posts blasting the editor and Cook's Source for their blatant copying. Several businesses advertising in the magazine have already pulled their ads as a result, and it's likely the magazine will fold.
What's worse – Guadio isn't the only one with work plagiarized in the publication. Another Facebook discussion has popped up this afternoon with links to several articles stolen directly from other publications, including National Public Radio.
Uh oh, someone has some explainin' to do.
There's a valuable lesson in editor Griggs' actions -- don't lie, cheat or steal, especially at work. You will be caught and the internet makes it possible for millions of people to learn about your mistakes in a matter of minutes. Sure, it's an interesting trainwreck for others to laugh about, but this is a serious and real issue.
It's unlikely that Griggs will be able to find a job in journalism after this gaffe.
Moral of the story: Telling the truth might not always be the easiest (or fastest) way to the top, but it's the most rewarding thing to do. Hopefully Judith Griggs is learning that hard lesson now.
More on careers
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and the author alone. They do not reflect the opinions of SheKnows, LLC or any of its affiliates and they have not been reviewed by an expert in a related field or any member of the SheKnows editorial staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on the Site are not a substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on SheKnows. SheKnows does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.