Ingredients to publish magazine:
Some syndicated columns
A few young writers who contribute for free
Articles posted on the internet (as many as you'd like)
Photos found on the internet that will illustrate the articles (ditto, the internet is your garden to harvest!)

Put all together, with juicily judicious editing. Publish.

If any bad apples complain, just toss 'em a reply like 'It was on the internet, didn't you want to be published?' Let them know the service you have provided for free for their portfolio, that they should feel gratified, that the internet is public domain and let them simmer.

Disclaimer: The author claims no responsibility for any recourse from indignant internetfolk*.


On 3 November, 2010, LiveJournal user illadore posted her frustrations with dealing with copyright infringement by the editor of a magazine, Cooks Source, distributed free in New England. It had republished (with some changes) an article she wrote for an SCA newsletter five years previously, using her name as the byline. Included was part of the reply to her request for an apology, and a small compensation paid to the Columbia School of Journalism, which tried to turn the tables around on her (part of that reply paraphrased in my --copyrighted, mind tell-- recipe above). A friend on LiveJournal wrote about it the next day, Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi tweeted about it, and then it was picked up within a few hours by, well, everyone else, from Reddit to news media like the Guardian, CNN and yes, everyone else.

Outraged that someone would be so bold as to take other people's work and sell it on for their own profit instead of sharing it for free, the internet people have deluged the magazine's Facebook page with insults, brought its website down through denial of service attacks, made the editor's name a google bomb, contacted every advertiser involved with the magazine to inform them of what's been going on, and perused back issues to discover many more instances of copyright infringement. Journalists have confirmed several cases where authors have not given permission or been compensated for articles published. illadore has found a lawyer, and this whole thing will start to fizzle down, unless the editor responsible says something outrageous again.

Copyright infringement, and especially the feigned ignorance that 'it's on the internet, so it's public domain', is becoming more and more noticed in the mainstream recently, partially due to the ease of using a search engine to find your work being used fraudulently. The most recent occurance of this was use of a girl's photo on a porn dvd. Given also that she had taken the photo while underage, you'd think this was an open and shut case of destroying all evidence, and compensating with a big settlement, but it took three years before there was a (relatively small) settlement (mostly for defamation).

A sleazy porn distributor you could probably understand as thinking 'if you put it on the web, I can use it for profit; also, now you are famous', but the self-described thirty years of experience editor of Cooks Source can't be excused. Which is probably why the abuse and bullying she is getting for her audacity still goes on.

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*props to spiregrain for coining this term.

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