Judith Griggs from Cooks Source Has Swallowed Her Foot

Good news content-thieves world-wide. Your fellow content-thief Judith Griggs, editor and bad-grammarian, thinks that you’re all really just misunderstood. Well, she‘s misunderstood, anyway. Not content with her non-apology, she’s taken it back and put up something that’s not an apology at all.

After all, the person whose work she stole was *gasp* rude to her! Rude, I tell you. Isn’t rudeness really the greater crime?

She doesnt say that she was rude[…]

Another crime? Not being willing to be content with Judith Griggs’s patronizing letter, which she really was going to follow-up on, to sit around and wait until Judith was good and ready to decide what to do. After all Judith, the thief, really should be the one setting the timetable on writing her wrongs. Gods forbid the person whose work was stolen getting rude and uppity and demanding her wrongs be righted promptly.

Not only that, but Judith is shocked that Monica (who asked for the magazine to make her payment as a donation….her payment for her work that they stole) isn’t considering all the poor people in Judith’s town who have nothing.

I do not offer this as an excuse, but that, when she wanted money for Columbia University, it seemed ironic because there were all these people in this small town going into the holidays with no jobs, and no, well, nothing.

Somehow, Judith doesn’t realize that by not paying authors for their work, she’s contributing to the number of people in the world who aren’t getting paid. Again, the mind boggles. If Monica had asked for the money for herself, would Judith have said the same thing? I can’t wrap my head around that kind of twisted logic “It’s sad that I should have to pay this money which I owe someone when there are other people out there who don’t have money.” Was Judith going to give it to them instead? Should nobody be paid for their work because some people aren’t able to find work? That’d be a messy world.

After telling us why she’s entirely the victim here of a big mean young author whose outrage over having her work stolen “but we put her name on it!!” caught the eye of a few major players and turned from a quiet theft into an internet outrage storm, Judith decides to tell us how it happened.

You see, Judith Griggs was so exhausted by her mission of do-gooding, that she found herself blearily scanning the internet for content. She missed the copyright notice and took Monica’s work. It was a fluke, right? Oh, wait. Actually the internet decided to investigate Cooks Source and found out that Judith Griggs has stolen content from a number of larger publications. It’s been neatly documented and set out in a number of locations for everyone to see. Maybe it wasn’t just Judith Griggs, maybe all of Cooks Source has been involved in the content theft.

But frankly, we all know that this wasn’t a bleary-eyed fluke, brought on by too much do-gooding. This is a documented series of content thefts committed by Judith Griggs and possibly her colleagues. But Judith Griggs hasn’t acknowledged that.

I’ve actually met content-thieves like Judith Griggs before, though never such publicly stupid ones. Mine have all been blog scrapers, taking the feed of my old & more valuable blog and republishing it on their sites. They’re convinced that because they put a little work into it (some of them edit your content, others “wrote the code that made this site, which means the [stolen] content is mine since I made this site”), they’re adamant right up until the point where I tell them I’ll force their host to take down their site (under the DMCA) unless they remove my content. One argued with me so long that I may have insulted his mother (but I think I was right that she did a piss-poor job teaching him ethics).

Dear Judith Griggs: For fuck’s sake don’t make yourself look more stupid. Take down the piece of trash not-apology (which I’ve helpfully copied below so other people will have a clue what the hell I’m talking about…but it’d look so much better if it weren’t on your main page) which followed your non-apology and put up something short, sweet, and contrite. Here’s an idea:

“I apologize to Ms. Gaudio for taking her work without compensation and ignoring her copyright. I have made the restitution she asked me for. It’s come to my attention that our editorial policies on the whole need revamping. We will be doing this. Cooks Source is very sorry and we hope to be back on schedule soon with content which will help our community of readers.”

Everyone who’s followed the story knows what happened. And frankly, there’s no way to make yourself look better by making excuses and telling outright lies and half-truths (the whole thing about this being a fluke has been documented as a lie). So rather than rambling on with poor grammar and spelling about how you’re the wronged party, shut the hell up. Save it for a bartender. The only way you can save face is by admitting what the whole world knows and moving forward.

Full text below:

Its sad really. The problem is that I have been so overworked and stretched that when this woman — Monica — contacted me, I was on deadline and traveling at the rate of 200 mile a day for that week (over 900 in total for that week), which I actually told her, along with a few other “nice” things, which she hasnt written about.

I was stupid to even answer her that night, her email to me was antagonistic and just plain rude and I was exhausted. But I got suckered in and responded. She doesnt say that she was rude, she doesnt say that I agreed (and did) to pay her. It was my plan to contact her after deadline and have a good discussion about it. The complicating issue was that one of the businesses we worked with had closed without notice, just a sign on the door — leaving several people, including a chef who had relocated to this area from Florida — out of work. I do not offer this as an excuse, but that, when she wanted money for Columbia University, it seemed ironic because there were all these people in this small town going into the holidays with no jobs, and no, well, nothing.

I should add that this email exchange took place the day before she wrote her article for the world. After she (likely) received my email, she called the home office phone at 10PM, I didnt answer that late, was in bed as I was traveling again the next day (left at 7AM the next morning) to Connecticut, and didnt get back to her. This is not an uncommon practice with anyone, to not respond to a phone call for a day or two, it happens to me from other businesses, all the time. I came home that day from being in Connecticut to find hundreds of phone messages and emails telling me I sucked and was a dirtbag… and much MUCH worse.

I really wish she had given me a chance to respond to her before blasting me. She really never gave me a chance.

Since then, we have had so much hate email (over 400 pieces) , phone calls and regular mail. My advertisers too, have been so harassed that it has all muddies up the waters as to what the real situation is. I took the site downbecuase someone threatened to go to all the distribution spots and destroy the new issue, also to protect my advertisers.

Facebook has not responded at all; not taken these advertisers name off this bogus site — or remove the site completely — and takes no responsibility that someone unnamed can just create a page that can suggest that people — and I am sure that in real walking-around reality you are all really nice people — that people should email total innocent strangers and harass them to death. Honestly, some of you have been pretty mean. I have been busy for the last week, apologising to these business owners and helping them to get things right again. If my apology to Monica seemed shallow it was because I was angry about the harm she has inflicted on others on behalf of her own agenda.

So let me say this now: Monica I am so sorry for any harm I caused you. I never ment to hurt anyone, and I think I did a nice job for you, but the fact remains that I took this without asking you and that was so very wrong. Please find it in you heart to forgive me. I sent the check to the University and also, because so many people really need help, serious help, I am sending one to Food bank of Western Massachusetts (sorry, I got the name wrong the first time, even tho we did write an article on them).

This is how it happened:

When putting together a magazine, a publishing firm usually has a staff of many, a stable of writers and proofreaders. Cooks Source doesnt, it is just us two…and believe me we would if we could use more help. Consequently I do much, have a few stalwart writers who love to write (for free) and a number of publishers and book agents who send me A LOT of books, recipes, press releases, etc — I recieved one even today. In the past I have also assisted budding writers with their writing skills and given them a portfolio piece they can get jobs with, from magazines and newspapers that will pay them. In short, we do a lot of good, sell a lot of books for authors, and help a lot of people.

But one night when working yet another 12 hour day late into the night, I was short one article… Instead of picking up one of the multitude of books sent to me and typing it, I got lazy and went to the www and “found” something. Bleary-eyed I didnt notice it was copy written and reordered some of it. I did keep the author’s name on it rather than outright “stealing” it, and it was my intention to contact the author, but I simply forgot, between proofreading, deliveries, exhaustion.

Cooks Source for those of you who are not familiar with it, works with small food-oriented businesses and farms to get the word out on their works/products. We are about getting readers to get up and go to some of these places, because they are so great and so much fun. We write every month on over 20 + businesses and feature a town a month and all their good food and interesting shops. We cover 16 towns and villages in Western New England, every month.

The bad news is that this is probably the final straw for Cooks Source. We have never been a great money-maker even with all the good we do for businesses. Having a black mark wont help…and now, our black mark will become our shroud. Winters are bleak in Western New England, and as such they are bleak for Cooks Source as well. This will end us. In the end if we did keep going, I would (very gladly) hire someone else to serve as editor and just continue my work with the towns. You should know that I did have an interview last week and the reporter grilled me seriously. I was able to show him all the promo books and articles we receive, all the photos we take and the “clip art” that is free for everyone. I also showed him those emails…

Thank you to all our readers, thanks to all our advertisers and writers… and to everyone who has been supportive and who has been a part of Cooks Source. To one writer in particular, Monica Gaudio, I wish you had given me a chance.

FIN

8 Comments

  1. Carrie says:

    time for a lawsuit. one of my mom’s crochet book writing friends has a lien on the house of a woman who was selling her copyrighted patterns on ebay.

  2. Ruth says:

    While I doubt Monica (the author Judith is bitching about) will sue, I know the people who compiled the other violations have sent word about it to the legal departments of the larger groups like Food Network. It looks like if Judith can’t be polite, she’ll end up as an object lesson instead.

  3. Unbelievable.

    She can’t even spell “received” correctly. :)

    Mike

  4. Ruth says:

    She needs to stop writing off-the-cuff like this. It’s what got her into trouble last time and it makes her ever-so-easy to mock.

  5. Terry says:

    I missed that Griggs finally made a statement. I honestly can’t believe someone could be so deluded. As someone who also has had content stolen, this just makes me irate. Cook Source has a shroud over it? Good.

  6. Amy says:

    Un-frakking-believable. Though I’m sad they were stolen from too, I’m also glad that big companies like Food Network were also stolen from. They have pockets big enough to go after this idgit.

  7. […] like the horrid Cooks Source saga continues. Being Ruth has the […]

  8. Revanche says:

    Huh. Every time I shake my head and dismiss her as another editorial moron of the likes I’ve seen before but really hope not to see again, she goes and does something yet stupider than the last. She does really have amazing capacity in that sense.

    *Honestly*

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