The Editor of Cooks Source is an Idiot…And I Know This Because Of Having my “Hello Kitty” Article Republished!
|Hello Kitty Guitar! In Tokyo!|
The Internet’s intellectual-property scandal of the day involves the magazine Cooks Source re-printing an article by Monica Gaudio, without the writer’s approval. When she contacted them to see about being compensated and having an apology printed, she got a reply from the editor, telling her that everything on the Internet was public property.
**original post as follows**
All of the fuss about the editor of Cooks Source thinking that everything on the Internet is public property made me think about my experience with having my articles republished without my permission.
Back when the Internet was young (1999) I wrote an article on Hello Kitty for the Austin Chronicle that was republished all over the web, mostly by people innocently putting it on their personal fan websites, because they didn’t understand that wasn’t the right way to do it.
Since I was paid for the original article–and since most instances of it being republished w/out permission were with my name, an Austin Chronicle attribution, and sometimes a link back to the original article– I didn’t worry about it too much. I reasoned it was just Hello Kitty fans being excited about what I said.
Much of the reason I decided not to worry about it being reposted was that, most of the time when someone put it on their webpage, they appeared to be a high-school girl with a bigger “Hello Kitty” fixation than me. Their hearts seemed to be in the right place, even if their grasp of copyright law was shaky. Also, by the time I knew what had happened, that article was everywhere. Hello Kitty was out of the bag.
In order not to deal with the mess, I reasoned that, if the article appeared on what seemed to be a personal (and un-commercial) website, I left it alone. I figured that the high school girl who’d republished it had enough problems, without me making her feel bad. I never saw where anyone republished it on a commercial website, but I kept an eye on the Internet, just in case someone did.
Finding out that the article was so popular was kind of surprise, since it was when AskJeeves was the best search-engine technology in general use. (Google was just a baby!) It was before blogs, Twitter, etc. We barely had fire. Only a few people carried around huge, heavy laptops.
Nowadays, most civilized people no longer have things like “Angel Fire” pages or “webrings,” and I was surprised that, today, I can’t find a single instance where that “Hello Kitty” article is currently republished. However, there are still plenty of places linking to to that article, likely a result of it being reposted by lots of Hello Kitty fans.
This means that the editor of Cook’s Source is an idiot. Or a high school girl with a circa 1999 “Angelfire” page.
As a result of this crazy republishing and linking, that Hello Kitty article is everywhere. Everywhere! Which, ironically, makes me an “expert!”
Here I am in a book about Hello Kitty, Seven going on seventeen: tween studies in the culture of girlhood. By Claudia Mitchell, Jacqueline Reid-Walsh
–And in this academic paper from Kathleen Neves: