Tag Archives: copyright

Why Would Cooks Source Magazine Steal Content?

Despite what Cooks Source Magazine editor Judith Griggs might want to believe, using someone else’s published content without their permission is theft – period. It doesn’t matter if you edit said content to make it “better.” The fact remains you took someone’s words and used them for your own purposes. Ms. Griggs should learn that not only is stealing bad, it’s far worse to be aggressive and rude when confronted by one’s wrongdoing.

When student Monica Gaudio discovered her work had been published in the magazine, she immediately sent off a letter to the company. Cooks Source used her article – nearly word-for-word – and even put her name as the by-line. Giving “credit” in that way isn’t acceptable, though. There was no permission asked for or granted to use Ms. Gaudio’s work. Had the editor admitted her mistake and acted like an adult, the offense may have been forgivable. Her reaction, though, is one that has set off a storm of criticism online:

“Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was “my bad” indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.
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! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, 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. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me… ALWAYS for free!”

Are you kidding me? The girl should be thanking the editor for stealing her work? This woman needs some sense slapped into her, along with lessons in basic courtesy and tact. Judith and her magazine has lost quite a lot of repuation points today – a fact which can only harm the fledgling magazine in the end.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel that Monica is right to stand up to the editor and perhaps should look into filing a copyright suit?

How Far is Too Far in the Fight Against Piracy?

Piracy is rampant, whether you like it or not. People are stealing that which does not belong to them every second of every day. Torrenting sites are making a killing by providing a means to an end. Companies are tearing their hair out trying to figure out how to stop the criminals. Some companies, however, are taking things a little too far. SuddenLink gives their customers three strikes or warnings, and then cuts off their Internet for six months without a refund of any type. More than that… they do so without solid evidence or any charges being brought by proper authorities.

SuddenLink Communications has dubbed themselves judge, jury and executioner with their new policy. According to a company representative, they are required by DMCA law to take such an aggressive stance – an absolutely false claim. There is nothing in the Terms of Service about the three-strike rule. The closest thing is a small statement:

“If you continue to transfer Copyrighted Material illegally, you are violating Suddenlink’s policies and Suddenlink may take further action, including limiting your Internet download capacity, suspending or terminating your account, or a range of other measures.”

Suddenlink has gone on record to say that they are within their rights, much as Comcast did a few years back when they began blocking BitTorrent traffic.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel this is a little too extreme, or is the company hitting the nail on the proverbial head? Following is a copy of the chat transcript between a customer who lost their service for six months and a representative of SuddenLink. Leave a comment with your thoughts.

Customer: I want to reconnect my internet service. They said I got 3 DMCA letters and they said that by law I had to be disconnected. Is that true?

Suddenlink rep: Yes, your internet was disconnected due to DMCA. When the internet is disconnected due to DMCA, it can not be reconnected for a minimum of 6 months.

Customer: The DMCA makes that requirement?

Suddenlink rep: Yes.

Customer: So you’re stating, for the record, that by law, the DMCA law, that you have to disconnect users for receiving 3 DMCA letters?

Suddenlink rep: You have no choice in the matter.

Suddenlink rep: It is the DMCA policy that it can not be reconnected for 6 months.

Suddenlink rep: It may be the DMCA policy or it may be the way we go about following the DMCA guidelines.

Customer: The law states that?

Suddenlink rep: Once the 3rd offense occurs, it can not be reconnected for 6 months.

Suddenlink Rep: The information I have on the DMCA states: This law was enacted in 1998 to protect against illegal downloading of copyrighted material like movies, music, etc. As an Internet Service Provider (ISP), Suddenlink , and other ISPs, must implement a policy of terminating internet service of customers who repeatedly share copyrighted files.

iPad DRM Thoughts


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Dylan feels that the iPad is a step back in content consumption, due to the fact that there is DRM all over it. We’ve tried so hard to move away from the DRM environment. He points out that the Marvel Comic Book app takes away the fun of trading comic books with your friends as an example.

At first I thought he had been reading Cory Doctorow, but it turns out that he didn’t even know who he was. I’m definitely not a fan of DRM. The argument could be made that the iPad is a step back in content consumption as far as DRM goes. However, I sat in my bed the other night with my iPad and caught up on my favorite television shows. I have no want or need to store those elsewhere. If there was DRM keeping me from doing things with them, I wasn’t aware of it.

As far as limitations as to what you can do with the content you’re watching on the iPad, I don’t think most of the world cares or will notice. I don’t like DRM, but I don’t see it as a huge issue with the iPad.

I digest content in an ad-hoc on-demand capacity. I subscribe to Rhapsody. Rhapsody has DRM, but why does that matter to me? I pull up the app and play the music that I want to hear. This is the same thing when you buy a CD. You own the physical disc, and the right to listen to it. You DON’T own the right to the music itself, and don’t have the rights to copy it to other places and people.

DRM is a tricky thing, to be sure. There are a lot of people on both sides of the line. However, with the iPad I don’t see it as being a huge issue.

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What Would You Do With a Million Dollars?

Over on Geeks today, people have been talking about what they’d do if they suddenly won a million dollars. It’s funny to read the answers, and touching as well. Many people would donate to charities, which I would do more of myself if I won that kind of money. I’d also invest plenty of it, in order to retire at an early age!

But we all know me, and we all know that I would be going on a massive Geeky shopping spree! There’s so many gadgets and USB gizmos out there that I don’t have yet!! Don’t lie – you know you’d be buying some, as well. So come on… tell us… what would you do if you had a cool million in your bank account?

I had a look through what’s new at our downloads site today. Holy cow there are some excellent pieces of software. Did you realize you can find everything from games to productivity software… for your Windows machine, your Mac AND your phone?

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Should You Ask Before Shooting – a Photographer's Dilemma

Jennifer is a member of our new Geeks community. She recently started a discussion about this very topic. As a photographer, she feels torn at times about her ‘rights’ to shoot pictures as she wishes, and the rights of those she’s snapping pics of. So, I put this question to people over on FriendFeed, to see what they think, as well.

I never do it without permission. Ever. – l0ckergn0me

I ask.. there are a few exceptions but if someone is the main subject of my shots, I ask. I know I don’t have to, but I do. It just feels like the right thing to do. Maybe I’ll get over it… I realize it seems old-fashioned, but I think it’s somehow connected to the old idea that photographers "take" pictures not "make" them. – Anthony Citrano

Shoot first, ask questions later? – klecu

Definitely not … you need to get people in the moment – Nick O’Neill

My problem is if I see some one I want a picture of I think I ruin the mood of the picture by going up to them and asking. – Colide81

I was out with an acquaintance who; after having his picture snapped smashed the camera "Elvis style" all over the side walk.After a few short tense moments I suggested that he reimburse the man (in exchange for him not calling the police).So, I would ask because while its unlikely some one else would react the way that shaved ape did, you never know… – J. Abdul-Qahhar

very true. – Colide81

The community seems divided on this issue, just like photographers are. What do you think? Should go up and ask a random person their permission to photograph them in all instances, or are there times it’s ok not to?

How to Find YouTube Videos in Violation of Copyright

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As far as online video is concerned… if it’s not on YouTube, then it’s not a video. I publish all my videos to YouTube, along with a few other places. I’ve been publishing videos for several years, but never found a place that offers me more than YouTube does. I definitely have to give a shoutout to Kat, who does all my video encoding and uploading for me. She makes my job a heck of a lot easier, definitely.


What happens when a video is yanked off of YouTube, due to alleged copyright infringement? Does it disappear forever? Being that it’s digital media, it will just crop up elsewhere. If you kill one, three others will pop up in its place. This is what sparked the YouTomb project.

YouTomb is a research project by MIT Free Culture that tracks videos taken down from YouTube for alleged copyright violation. More specifically, YouTomb continually monitors the most popular videos on YouTube for copyright-related take downs. Any information available in the metadata is retained, including who issued the complaint and how long the video was up before take down. The goal of the project is to identify how YouTube recognizes potential copyright violations as well as to aggregate mistakes made by the algorithm.


When a user-submitted video is suspected to infringe copyright, the rights holder is contacted and given the option to take down the video in question. In addition, rights holders can submit DMCA take down notifications at any time that cause YouTube to immediately remove alleged infringing content. MIT Free Culture became especially interested in the issue after YouTube announced that it would begin using filtering technology to scan users’ video and audio for near-matches with copyrighted material. While automating the take down process may make enforcement easier, it also means that content falling under fair-use exceptions and even totally innocuous videos may receive some of the collateral damage.


These videos are not available for viewing/downloading. Once again, this is simply a research project that seeks to find out more details about how YouTube locates and takes down videos accused of copyright violation. If you believe your video was wrongfully taken down (it falls under fair use, or it contains no copyrighted material), you can file a DMCA counter-claim to have your video restored.

Very cool project.

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