From Apple Pie to Cow Pies in One Bizarre Step

This has to be the most perplexing thing I’ve heard about all day and I hear about some perplexing crap–this author, Monica Gaudio, writes a post about old recipes she found for apple pies. And I’m talking old, like so old she’s discussing whether you’d eat the crust of the older pie or if it was just intended as a carrying case. Very interesting stuff to a nerd like me.

She is then alerted to the fact that her post has appeared in Cooks Source magazine, without her permission. It has in fact been stolen by them.

And when she contacts them, the editor says two things which I invite you to marvel at:

1. “But honestly Monica, the web is considered ‘public domain’ and you should be happy we just didn’t ‘lift’ your whole article and put someone else’s name on it!”–The idea that copyright laws don’t apply to the web is so… well, I’ll say, it’s a common misconception people who don’t work in media industries have. But I have never encountered it from someone who works at a magazine. How do you work in magazine publishing for thirty years and not understand basic copyright law?

2. “I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally.” Obviously, I linked to the original, so you can ponder this yourself, but Nick Mamatas points out what is probably the truth: “Funnier to me is the implication that Griggs thought the obsolete spellings from the recipes Monica quoted were signs that the piece ‘was in very bad need of editing.'”

Anyway, a shitstorm has ensued. And I read on Twitter that folks have alerted the Food Network that some of their recipes appear to have been used as well. That should be interesting to watch, since they can afford attorneys to clarify forcefully the meaning of “public domain,” “fair use,” and “plagiarism.”

But I still can’t decide if the editor actually didn’t know she was stealing or if she thought she could just get away with it by bullying authors who complain.

It’s very strange.

Update: Here is the best article I’ve read about the incident so far, which outlines the scope and magnitude of the thievery, which appears to be enormous and beyond just an apple pie blog entry.

Good Things at the Scene!

Jewly Hight is one of my favorite writers in town. And I’m not just saying that because I know her. I think she’s just phenomenally talented in a way that feels very natural when you read her. She always does some nicely complex things in her sentences, which you are welcome to linger over, but she writes in such a way that, if you just want to breeze through for the information, you can. She’s very generous to her subjects in that way.

This Fisk situation just breaks my heart. And this whole matter of alienating the children of people who worked so hard during the Johnson years? It’s a bad habit Fisk has gotten into. Still, this is an interesting turn because it indicates that the “Fisk Family” is divided about the art and that there are Fisk alumni waiting to be a part of a plan to save the school. Both of those things make arguing that the school needs to be able to sell the art in order to survive sound a little shakier. If Creswell-Betsch is saying that she’s willing to help save the school, along with others, I think the Court is going to want to know why going to alumni for help isn’t an alternative before selling the art.

Lydia Peelle! Lord almighty, I am so jealous I could eat my socks. She deserves everything she’s getting, but damn, I wish I had half her talent. Or, fuck it, half her publicity.

That’s why I have to use self-promotion to promote myself. I’m talking blackface over at Pith and whether it’s unethical to be stupid.

Update: The judge has ruled in a manner sure to be satisfying to no one. I have to think there’s going to be an appeal. This doesn’t allow Fisk to do what it says it needs to do in order to save the school nor does it keep the collection here. It does, however, protect the collection, so I can see what the judge ruled how she did.

Every Day

I had really strange dreams all night and woke up and felt a little constipated. If you know my body, you know that doesn’t happen. So, yes, lo and behold I had forgotten to take my drugs last night.

Habits are a weird thing. You get into the habit of doing something so that it happens without you having to expend a lot of energy thinking about whether it’s happened. I brush my teeth before I go to bed. Dog tired or not. I brush my teeth.

But here’s the thing. My ritual of brushing my teeth before bed is so natural to me that, if I skipped a day, I wouldn’t know. The very thing that makes me do it automatically makes me not worry about whether its happened, which makes me not notices if it hasn’t.

The same holds true with taking these pills. They’re huge. You’d think you’d notice if you hadn’t taken them because of the absence of feeling like you swallowed a handful of horseflies.

But no, sometimes I just forget.

Fortunately, I had to work out a system to address this early on, back when I was worried all the time about whether I’d taken them and I didn’t want to double up. I take them in the evening, but in the morning, I put them in a shot glass. If the shot glass is empty, I know I’ve taken them. If it’s full, I know I’ve fucked up.

So, I took them this morning.

And it’s fine. It shouldn’t bother me. In the past, when I skipped days on accident, it’d be about lunchtime that it got bad, so I should be fine.

Still, it’s a funny thing, habit. It helps you out and, just when you’ve come to rely on it, it dicks you over.