Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Theft by Cut and Paste

I don't understand people.

What makes someone think that it's acceptable to take a bunch of copyrighted stuff from the internet and use it to make an e-book to sell on

They have to know what they're doing is wrong, don't they?  I mean, part of the process of e-publishing involves checking a box that says you have the rights to publish the submitted material. Are they too dumb to understand the basic concept of intellectual property and copyright?

In this particular case, Royal Kitchen: medieval recipes, by julie smith consists almost entirely of recipes and images copied directly from my website.  The "author" didn't even take the time to edit the material. Cut, Paste, Published!

So here's the thing, you want to see exactly what's in this book? No problem. Here, I'll give it to you for free:
Ember Day Tart 
Pegions Stewed 
Pety Pernauntes 
Chike endored 
Rice Lombard 
Pigge or Chiken in Sauge 
Onion and Parsley Salad 
Quynces or Wardones in Paast 
A Dishe of Artechokes 
Peach Tart 
To Make Pyes 
Humbles of a Deere 
Conserve of Orenges

Other than four short sentences added at the end of the intro, that's the entire book.  Hey!  I just saved you $3.99.

I won't post the link to Amazon though because it would be pointless. They tend to pull down stuff like this pretty quickly after being notified.

[Update - 1/19/2015:  I just got an email from Amazon saying that the book in question is being pulled from all of their websites. - DMM]


bbfit1104 said...

Your only option is suing them, but let's be honest (an I'm another author whose work was stolen repeatedly) if your work wasn't good they wouldn't bother steal it.

Russell O'the Bushes said...

I tried your link to the Pynade, and it comes up blank, BTW.
However, I've used your site in the past for comparing recipes and planning of meals for events, fairs, and here at home. They've been rather tasty, and I wish you success in thwarting this thief, Julie

Anonymous said...

Ouch. So sorry you had to go through this.
OTOH - it gives me a chance to thank you! When I found my period cookbooks were under 200 lbs. of disassembled loom, I thought I'd have to cancel my pie class. Someone suggested your site, and the class was a (very tasty) success!

Doc said...

Thanks for catching the bad link, Russell. It should work right now.

I'm very glad you all find the website useful - that's exactly why I built it!

Kevin said...

It's now changed to show 'pricing not available' now - which is a great result. Hopefully it will be pulled completely soon!

Anonymous said...

Not to be picky, nor forgiving of copyright piracy, but since you probably were not around for the Middle Ages, where did you get the recipes to begin with?

ecb said...

While Doc is perfectly capable of speaking for himself, I would say that what is copyrighted is Doc's interpretation of the medieval and early modern cookery he studies. That's one of the reasons that something like this book feels so especially snakey: Doc and I can take the same source recipe and come up with 2 different interpretations, which would both be valid and separately copyrighted. Add to that the difference in our ways of writing up our work and you have two different piece of intellectual property all together. It's the same principle that allows 10 different copyrighted novels to stem from the same public domain fairy tale--Sleeping Beauty, for instance.

Anonymous said...

People so suck, but there are now 22 reviews that I would assume are from Scadians, telling people not to buy this pirated version. It has been shared across the Known World, which is pretty cool when we can come together and agree on something Society wide. Will you be at Gulf Wars? I would love to meet you.

Una,(Leslie) Kingdom of Trimaris, Barony of Oldenfeld.

Anonymous said...

Won't be taken down until the actual author makes a complaint.

foodie-in-pain said...

I just googled this book, it is currently on at least half a dozen free download sites being pirated....I think this is a classic case of "what goes round, comes round".
BTW, I have used your recipes in the past for historical demonstrations as well as classes on historical interpretation with your and several other interpretations (incl. mine of the same recipe) illustrating just how difficult some of the original 'recipes' are to reconstruct. Thanks for all the hard work, even if sometimes my views and frankly tastes differ.
Good luck with getting the author removed from amazon.

Mary Sproles Martin said...

It is still showing on Amazon - with 27 1-star reviews calling them out for theft...

Anonymous said...

Actually I know for a fact that many college educated people do not know that much of what is on the Internet is copyrighted. Over fifty people of my acquaintance between the ages of 17 to 25 have never heard of Turabian or The Manual of Style or the U. of C. Writer's Guide. My friend Eric got an A+ on one of his papers because he was the only person in his class who used primary sources and c orrectly credited these in his footnotes and bibliography. I tell you Wikipedia is being used the same way the World Book was being used in the 70s.

Maggie Illfoster said...

your website is amazing. I love the recipes that you have posted and have used several of them at feasts and dinner parties for friends. I am sorry that your hard work was stolen and compiled for sale by some thief, when I use your recipes at feasts, I always give out the links to your site.

Marc Carlson said...

You have my complete sympathies. And no, there are a large number of people who believe that if its available on the Internet, it's ok to use it for their own purposes.

Ashley said...

While this completely sucks and I totally understand, I have occasionally found it useful to get some particularly good online resources and try to format them into something book-like or even just a PDF for my own records (I've learned the hard way that things on the internet don't always last...). But I'd never *ever* even consider selling it or putting it out there as mine.