Historical and Contemporary Romance Author

Some People Shouldn’t Be Allowed Near the Internet…

A case in point: Cooks Source magazine editor, Judith Griggs. Apparently, Ms. Griggs is under the impression that all content viewable on the web is in the public domain and free of copyright restrictions. Um, no.

True, what Ms. Griggs did when she copied an article from a blog site and reprinted it in her magazine was not plagiarism. But because she did not get permission from the author to use the article, she infringed the author’s copyright, which does exist despite the fact that anyone could go to the original blog and read the article for free. Just because something is freely available does not make “public domain.” (If that were true, the fact that you can download a copy of many of my books from torrent sites without paying for them would mean that they were in the public domain and not protected by copyright. Oy, wrap your head around the mess that would be copyright law if all it took to place something in the public domain was pirating it!)

1 Comment

  • Zoe Winters November 9, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    OMG I was just reading a marketing book the other day where the author, who was supposed to be a social marketing guru said you shouldn’t post chapters of your novel on your website because it puts it in the public domain. Um… O.o

    I think what she “meant” to say was that it loses you ‘first publication rights’ and puts it ‘out there’ where just anyone can view it. People get confused easily about copyright for information posted online that no one is directly charging for. But yes, Virginia, it IS copyrighted, and no, it’s NOT Public Domain.

    When I read that, I cringed, and the author lost some credibility with me.


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