Cooks Source claims to be victim of copyright infringement

 For background on the Cooks Source magazine fiasco from last week, see my post here.  For today’s update, see John Bredehoft’s post: The new Cooks Source tactic – blame Facebook, and praise the non-existent Western New England Food Bank.

Lots of other posts on the internet have analyzed the half-hearted nature of the apology. I have two observations to contribute.

Cooks Source is now a victim of copyright infringement — In addition to blaming Facebook for most of the problem, the magazine now claims to be the victim of copyright infringement.  How could that possible be?  The items posted on Facebook (which appears to be the Facebook previously controlled by the magazine and not a spoof site set up by someone else –trust me, you need to check out the background described above!) are the old copies of the magazine.  The Cooks Source web site now says those postings were done without their permission and therefore constitute copyright infringement.  On the other hand, these were available at the start of the fiasco, according to a variety of postings, which makes it hard to grasp how they could have been hacked.  My point is the apparent perp of copyright infringement is claiming to be a victim now.

Speed of response in social media era — One particular lesson to be learned is the importance of moving fast compared to the magazine’s horribly slow response time.  This statement from Cooks Source today is their first substantive response I am aware of.  This thing started about mid-day on Thursday, 11-4.  Thirty six hours later, at the time of my first post, thousands of bloggers had been pounding Cooks Source repeatedly for a long time.  This was beyond viral on Friday evening –what is the word for when something is an order of magnitude beyond viral?  After approximately 5 days of saying nothing, the web site reports a sort-of apology.  That is an eternity in the social media age.  The lesson we should take to heart is that when there is a disaster, you had better give a real apology and you had better do it really, really fast.

The apology on the Cooks Source web site can be seen here.

4 thoughts on “Cooks Source claims to be victim of copyright infringement

  1. Perhaps there’s another lesson here. It’s hard to tell based upon the scant information available, but somehow I get the feeling that the Cooks Source staff might not have a huge level of technical sophistication. If true, this could have affected their slow response and some of their odder statements (although it’s equally possible that the odd statements may be traced to intentional deception).

    I’m not saying that people have to have a computer science degree before employing a particular technology, but you need to have a basic understanding of a technology before you begin to use it. Before a non-profit sets up a Facebook page (or asks someone to set one up), the non-profit should ensure that it understands how Facebook permissions work, and decide which permissions should be activated – and what can happen based upon those permission settings.

  2. Thanks for your comment.

    It certainly appears that is one component of the story. Several of the little things, such as what you pointed out, indicate a subtle lack of tech skills.

    A great point was made in the book The Facebook Era, By Clara Shih. I plan to have several posts from ideas explained in her book. An illustration from the book is that if you need to recruit college students for your business, you really need to be on Facebook. You should get a Facebook account, observe that environment, learn what the rules are for that space, and only then jump in. Notice the critical middle steps: figure out what the social rules are and how people use that environment. The positive lesson from Ms. Shih and the learn-from-others-mistakes lesson from Cooks Source is you must know what you are doing. That takes time and awareness.

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