Hey JEMM magazine, Stop Bogarting Our Stories
the420times | Oct 02, 2012 | Comments 2
Look we love weed. We preach about its medical benefits every day, every week, every month – actually pretty much every hour it seems like we are talking about it.
We also talk about legalization, politics, do interviews with folks on the left and right of the issues, feature stories about workplace discrimination, legal issues, doctors and more.
Now I just said “we” in that paragraph and that’s important. “We” are numerous great working writers putting out what most news agencies don’t: medical marijuana is giving relief to hundreds of thousands of needy patients across the US. We are pretty proud to be getting out there, going to city council meetings, showing up at protests and reporting it.
But here’s the thing; there is a magazine called JEMM (The Journal for Education on Medical Marijuana) in Southern California that has no interest in doing any of that. Instead they choose to steal stories from others instead of doing the hard work of reporting on medical marijuana as original journalists or writers.
Take the recent August, September and October issues of the JEMM. Inside the pages you will find stories by: Toke of the Town, UT San Diego, San Diego Reader, ABC News/Scripps, KOMO News, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Boulder Weekly, UCLA News, LA Observed, DeathandTaxesmag.com, Tri City Herald, Santa Cruz Patch, Gawker, Disabled-World.com and The Economist.
Yes, really, The Economist.
And of course they also stole a story from us, The 420 Times. Click, copy, paste, printed, stolen.
How many of these stories are paid for by JEMM?
We asked the editor of Disabled-World.com, the online community for people with disabilities, if they sold or gave permission to the JEMM for the articles appearing in the magazine. “No.” They were from Quebec… so short answers from them.
In 2010, JEMM magazine had this same problem with stories from the Daily News and the Los Angeles Times. (http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlla/l-a-jemm-publisher-gets-defensive-about-stealing-stories_b10237). JEMM claimed that stories on the internet are freely available to be copied and placed in their 80-100 page advertiser funded magazine. Guess they have still no idea of copyright law today even when called out on it two years ago by the LA Weekly.
We asked widely read Toke of the Town publisher Steve Elliott about his stories also appearing in the JEMM. “I was surprised — OK, shocked — to see that JEMM had reprinted stories from Toke of the Town, word for word, without even bothering to ask for permission first.
“Evidently they are under the impression that stealing material without permission is OK if you print the byline and website from which it was stolen. They really are due for an education in publishing etiquette — and publishing law.”
Another publisher on the East Coast was equally upset, “It’s not OK to steal stories.” They are right, nobody likes their stories to be bogarted.
How much longer can someone tarnish medical marijuana and get away with it? We’ve reported on questionable doctors, dirty medicine and now we have to report on magazines.
If you can’t even write your own original stories for your magazine – then just close it down. You’re doing nobody any service by stealing stories and cheating your readers and advertisers by what you’re doing. You are undercutting all of the positive work of the medical marijuana community by your actions.
We look forward to this story appearing in the JEMM’s next issue.
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