Cook’s Source: When The Source is Plagiarized, The Source Should Feel Grateful - and Guilty

I have this short write-up of links that are all feel-good and awesome with coulis, but first, let’s have some hot smoking asshattery. From many people comes this amazing series of links wherein Monica Gaudio, a writer and something of an expert on historical cookery, was plagiarized by a magazine, Cook’s Source, whose editor, Judith Griggs, believes the internet is public domain. So you don’t have to pay people whose words you steal, and moreover (wait for it… wait for it…) Monica should be grateful that Cook’s Source reprinted her article without permission or payment.

No, really. Cook’s Source lifted Monica Gaudio’s article on apple tarts from Gode Cookery. They put her name on it (thanks for small favors and all) but since they get paid by advertisers and Monica’s site surely does not, they profited off her words without permission or compensation. Smells like asshattery!

Here’s the blood-pressure raising part: after contacting them about it, Monica was asked by the editor of Cook’s Source what she wanted, and Monica replied that she “wanted an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism.”

The reply Monica received from Judith Griggs is reprinted in part on her LiveJournal:

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!”

Oh, the sound of jaws dropping all over the internet. So not only should Monica compensate Cook’s Source for doing edits on an article they stole, Monica should feel proud that the plagiarism will look good in her portfolio AND she should feel a little guilt for having asked for a donation for a wealthy institution of learning. It’s a good thing Monica has friends in Live-Journally places to spread the word.

According to the Cook’s Source website, their “mission is to educate our readers in sustainable sources of foods and products.” My mission is to tell everyone who’s listening that Cook’s Source’s editor, Judith Griggs, is a complete fucking asshat who wouldn’t know copyright, plagiarism, or ethics if they were stolen from her handbag.

But here’s the fun part: do not plagiarize a person, then treat them dismissively and mock the ownership of the words they wrote on the internet…when you a Facebook page. Cook’s Source’s Facebook page has gone all Explodey with the ire, outrage, vitriol, and subtle mocking education that, no, no, Judith Griggs, the internet is not public domain. And you’re a complete fucking asshat.

And is news of this asshattery perpetrated by Judith Griggs on Twitter? Why do you ask these questions: Of Course It Is.

As much as I loathe plagiarism and editors who wouldn’t know ethics and copyright from a hole in their head, I love the internet. Cook’s Source, your editor Judith Griggs is a complete fucking asshat. Internet, I want to send you cookies.

ETA: Oh, sweet holy Moses, not only did they lift content from Monica and GodeCookery, but Food Network, head’s up: you’re in there,

much like Prego

. Sorry, no Prego-lagiarism, was making bad joke!

Also, your unintentional comedy moment of the day: they have a section called “Food Frauds.” Which, according to alert commenter Andrew Pritchard, was ripped off from WebMD. *headdesk*

Aaaaaaand there’s an entire Facebook page dedicated to tracking down the original articles they reprinted.

ETA PART DEUX: ELECTRIC GOOGLE-OO! It’s Google Bomb time for Judith Griggs. All you have to do: link the words “Judith Griggs” to for fun and google-fu! Our new definition of Judith Griggs:

Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): griggs’d
Pronunciation: gr i gz

1. To use content on the web without permission, then request payment from original author for rewrites and editing.
2. To remain ignorant of plagiarism, ethics, copyright, and asshat behavior.

Example of usage: “Why’d you get an F on that essay?”
“I griggs’d the professor’s doctoral thesis from her website, and I even cleaned it up for her and told her she should give me an A, but she failed me anyway.”

The more who link, the higher our definition will be in the Google rankings. The more you link, the more plagiarism gets a royal assing, one asshat at a time. Play along—because plagiarism still sucks!


Ranty McRant

Comments are Closed

  1. Lori says:

    How in the name of Cthulhu does a person who thinks the internet is “public domain” get paid work as an editor?

  2. Reneesance says:

    Wow I feel like I’m on the cutting edge I found this a half hour before this lovely article.  Yes the internet is a mighty force for good, today at least.

  3. Sharon says:

    If you really want to get her, notify FoodNetwork and whichever ginormous conglomerate owns Prego.  They have buildings full of lawyers they pay just to smack down intellectual property thieves like this Judith Griggs person.

  4. Donna says:

    Color me flabbergasted.

  5. Brandi says:

    I’m just glad it’s not Cook’s Illustrated. I always liked their product reviews.

  6. Maryann says:

    I live in the area where this…magazine…is published and I’d say it wasn’t so much a case of someone hiring her to be editor as it was of her deciding, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to be a magazine editor?”

  7. Celia says:

    You can tell Ms. Griggs is a professionl editor with three decades of personal experience by her professional attitude and knowledge of international copyright laws.

    Ugh. Honestly, I suspect she only said everything on the internet is in the free domain because she hoped the original author wouldn’t know anything about copyright. Which is still stupid, because a five second Google search will reveal the truth, anyway.

    And for goodness sake, what possessed her to write such a catty, patronizing email without first running it past a lawyer? If someone accuses you of plagiarism, you refer them to your legal department, you don’t send them an email in which you admit to plagiarizing their work. FAIL.

  8. Lisa Hendrix says:

    Have you emailed Food Network directly? I would think their corporate lawyers would cream Judith Griggs and serve her over toast. Shit on a shingle.

    Definitely GoogleBomb time. Also a post to Preditors and Editors.

    various64: a reference to the variety and number of things that should be done to make her crawl back into the hole from whence she came.

  9. Kristin says:

    Cook Source and that ass clown also klnown as Judith Griggs are going DOWN.

  10. Dawn G says:

    Nothing like combining plagiarizing with really, really stupid. Wonder what Ms. Griggs’ response would be if someone lifted an article from her publication, “fixed” it and then reposted it with no compensation (or permission)?

    What a total moron.

  11. Sarah W says:

    Oh, sweet mother of holy cow. 

    I hope Ms. Griggs enjoys the taste of shoe leather and crow.

    I’m just sitting back and enjoying the show, now.

    Anyone want popcorn?

  12. Tracy says:


    I’d say I was surprised and all but, after trying to police several hundred college students who loved to quote the internet in their internet-source-free-dammit! term papers, I no longer am surprised by this sort of thing.  I am delighted that she didn’t consult any attorneys though, as she needs to learn this lesson with a giant spanking.

  13. Andrew says:

    Hey Smart Bitches:

    The “Food Frauds” comedy moment is…. drumroll, please… also plagiarized. This time it’s WebMD they’re ripping off:

    Is anything in this rag NOT ripped off from somewhere?

  14. Elysabeth says:

    just…. wow.

    :: stands by for nerdrage and fallout ::

  15. Patrice says:

    OMFG! My head just exploded. Seriously words fail me. Which is a good thing since apparantly the internet is public domain and anyone could and should happily lift them. HFS. Seriously my brain has exploded. Like that Saturday Night Live skit. If I wasn’t brain dead I’d lift that and use it here.

    account88 – oh yes Virgina, just like Santa Claus, I do believe there will be an accounting! lol

  16. P.N. Elrod says:

    Is anyone else wondering what ELSE Griggs has stolen to put in the magazine??

    Might we have another CassieGate??

  17. SB Sarah says:

    I’ve updated this entry and posted a new one – it’s Google Bomb time! Help us redefine Judith Griggs!

  18. Ruth says:

    Here’s the link to the April Fulton article that looks like it is also lifted:

  19. amberlynne says:

    You should check out the magazine’s Twitter. It is full of pompous sarcasm and fail like, “This is unfair. We’re adding value to someone’s article and getting zero credit for it,” and “The Internet obviously doesn’t know anything about copyright law.”

  20. Ruth says:

    I think the Twitter feed is a spoof.

  21. Donna says:

    I’ve got the link on my favorites so I can just keep clicking back to it while I sit on hold with assorted insurance companies today. What fun. Also, nice post on you might want to check out.

  22. ghn says:

    Is this ever exploding in Griggs’ face! Among others, John Scalzi has picked up this, and it has gone viral in no time at all!

    fiscal32 – is that a hint to Griggs?

  23. Lynne says:

    amberlynne, for what it’s worth, the @cookssource Twitter doesn’t have any entries older than a couple of hours ago, and appears to be a parody. @crookssource is worth a look, too 😉 (I bet the former probably gets shut down when Twitter notices, or at least told to put “This is a parody, not a real Twitter controlled by Cooks Source” in the bio.)

    Given Judith Griggs claims to have worked as an editor for over three decades, it sounds like she’s on the verge of forced retirement.

  24. amberlynne says:

    Ha. I see now that it is a spoof. Yet another lesson on why you should claim your company’s name on social media sites even if you don’t plan on using them.

  25. Alex says:

    This bleeds awesomeness.  I hope Griggs is ready for the shitstorm that’s coming her way.

  26. HikingYogini says:

    Utterly flabbergasted. My jaw did hit my desk when I read this.  Everything on the web is public domain?  What ancient computer has this editor been hiding under?

  27. fightingwords says:

    It looks like Griggs also ripped off Paula Deen. One of her people commented on Facebook that she was notifying PD’s legal team.

  28. Elysabeth says:

    Oh lawd… someone done pissed off the southern woman. Their grandchildren will feel that burn. LOL

  29. Karenmc says:

    Holy moon pies!

    short28: Ms. Griggs may only have a short 28 minutes of peace and quiet today.

  30. MissFifi says:

    This woman is a moron and an asshat.
    Yet again I think of a Law and Order CI episode where a lawyer is arrested for murder and the other who’s mistress was the murder victim is busted with plagiarism. DA Carver says: These two broke the first rule taught in law school. Never commit anything to paper.

  31. Arethusa says:

    The tweets & fb page are comedy gold! I will sit back & be entertained.

  32. Kerry says:

    Maybe this is petty, considering all that is going on, but surely there should be an apostrophe somewhere in Cooks Source?

    Cook’s Source?

    Cooks’ Source?

    But Cooks Source doesn’t really make sense.

  33. Lori says:

    Both John Scalzi and Neil Gaiman have picked this up and it’s hit the website of the Guardian. Griggs might as well clean out her desk now. When foreign publications have pulled up a chair and a tub of popcorn to watch the debacle you created for yourself, you’re done.

  34. Wylykat says:

    This link has other cooks source articles that have been “lifted” and their sources.

  35. Lee says:

    Notice that she never said where she had “three decades of experience in publishing”. Wanna bet it was in the mailroom?

  36. Kar says:


    Seriously, this makes me think that a Copyright Law class should be required for those with Majors that tie in the Media. I’m a Designer-in-Training, so Plagiarism and not giving proper credit is a big thing. And it should be.

    At any rate, I hope karma comes back to bite he in the ass, she really deserves it.

  37. darlynne says:

    The Daily Dish of the LA Times has also picked up the story:

  38. No, no. Something’s wrong. The SBs are exposing a clear cut case of plagiarism of the most egregious kind – and no one is defending the plagiarist? Or accusing the SBs of making her ill, or ruining her career for spite? No one is accusing Sarah of being a mean girl for posting about this?

    This isn’t how these things are supposed to go, guys. I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you.

    Or is the difference here that Griggs is a nobody, while Cassie Edwards has devoted fans and publishing contracts, which is the balm that soothes all injuries and wipes away all crimes? Could it possibly be that ::gasp:: the Internet community holds nobodies and famous people to different standards? Tell me it ain’t so!

  39. katiebabs says:

    I blogged about this:

    and Griggs has responded on the Facebook site basically saying she doesn’t give two shits, nanny nanny poo poo we got over 1,000 new Facebook followers.

    Douche. Total douche.

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