Any regular visitor to Jane Smith’s website – How Publishing Works – will be familiar with the Cooks Source furore and the fact that Jane suggested November 19 be dedicated to the subject of copyright.
Throughout the week, I’ve been thinking up all sorts of things to write – not least a good rant in response to the recent statements by Cooks Source editor Judith Griggs, which I have to admit have riled me good and proper in recent weeks.
However, after reading Nicola Morgan’s blog entry at Help! I Need a Publisher this morning, I realised making this a personal issue on my blog would be a waste of cyberspace. After all, we all know that this editor and her publication were in the wrong – that much is irrefutable. And as Nicola points out, education seems to be a better – and far more constructive – way to mark the occasion.
As a journalist, I have been on the receiving end of this type of copyright infringement – and downright plagiarism, in fact – many times. I cannot describe the feeling you get when you’ve gone the extra mile to seek out those all-important (and exclusive) quotes that will really make a story and then see all your efforts appearing under somebody else’s byline.
Plagiarism and copyright infringement are different things, of course – but in the end it all boils down to having respect for an author’s hard work. I would urge anyone unsure of the rules to read Nicola’s very useful post so that instances like this can be avoided in future.