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PostPosted: September 1st, 2009, 2:08 pm 
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Subject: COMPLAINT about Eucalyptus Magazine / eucalyptusmagazine.com / Michaela Marek
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 17:02:08 -0400
To: michaela@eucalyptusmagazine.com, editor@eucalyptusmagazine.com, ambrown1@earthlink.net

August 20, 2009

Michaela Marek, Publisher - michaela@eucalyptusmagazine.com /
editor@eucalyptusmagazine.com
Ann Marie Brown, Associate Editor - ambrown1@earthlink.net
Eucalyptus Magazine / eucalyptusmagazine.com
15559 Union Avenue Suite 215
Los Gatos, CA 95032
P/F 866-797-6570
P 408-499-5619


WritersWeekly.com has received a complaint about:
Eucalyptus Magazine / eucalyptusmagazine.com

WritersWeekly.com is a publication that publishes information for
and about freelance writers. The publication is the
largest-circulation freelance writing ezine in the world.

As part of that information, WritersWeekly.com publishes a Warnings
section on its website and in its newsletter. This warning section
contains reports about publications that are unprofessional in
dealing with writers, haven't paid writers money that is owed to
them, who have not abided by their contracts, or who have unfair
contract terms. These reports are used by WritersWeekly.com's
subscribers
to decide which publications they should and should not work with.

Your firm has been submitted to us for inclusion in the
WritersWeekly.com Whispers and Warnings section.

Step one of our investigation of this report is to gather all
relevant correspondence between your publication and the person
submitting the complaint so that we can piece together that person's
side of the story. Step one of our investigation has been completed.

-------------
THE COMPLAINT
-------------

BU (name not published here but was, of course, provided to the publisher)
alleges you owe her $75. After your editor told the
writer that the direction of the magazine had changed (see emails
below), you told the writer it was the quality of her writing, not your
editorial change, that was responsible for the rewrite. You then offered
her only $25 instead of the original $75 that was agree upon.

All of this was done without the consent of [BU] and her name was
published on an article she did not approve.

Also below are both versions of the article. It is clear [BU]'s
research and words were heavily used.

We chose a few lines that prove this:

WAS: Green building is a relatively new field but quickly gaining momentum.
IS NOW: Green building, also known as sustainable building, is a
relatively new field, but it is quickly gaining momentum

WAS: Green building is all about using sustainable materials and more
efficient resources
IS NOW: The core concept of green building is to use sustainable
materials and more efficient resources

WAS: With the growing popularity of the green movement, a burgeoning
industry is born.
IS NOW: With the growing popularity of the green movement, an industry
has boomed.

WAS: Peter’s work involved transforming a 60-year old house in Palo Alto
by gutting, reframing and rewiring it
IS NOW: One of Lyon’s recent projects was the transformation of a
60-year-old Palo Alto house by gutting, reframing, and rewiring it

Offering someone a flat fee, having someone else rewrite it to fit a new
editorial vision, sending the piece to print, and then only paying 1/3rd
of what was owed, without the permission of the original writer, may be
considered copyright infringement, no matter how much editing/rewriting
was required.

Trying to renege on an agreement while still using someone else's work,
regardless of the percentage that was or was not rewritten, is unethical.

Falsely blaming the quality of someone's work, in what appears to be an
attempt to get out of paying in full for work performed, is downright
despicable.

See allegation under my signature.

-----------------
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
-----------------

The second step in our investigation is to send this communication
to your firm to get its side of the story. If you have evidence
disputing these allegations, or would like to make your own
statement about these allegations for publication in our report, please
email angela@writersweekly.com within two business days.

***All correspondence for our investigations must be in writing and
is subject to publication.***

If you do owe this person money, we strongly suggest you read
this article before responding:
http://www.writersweekly.com/the_latest ... 32006.html

Our report on your firm is scheduled for inclusion in our
publication next Wednesday, though it may appear in our Whispers and
Warnings forum before that time.

If there is no response to these allegations, WritersWeekly.com will
still publish this complaint, but our readers will not be able to
read your side of the story.

We appreciate your prompt response in this matter.

Angela Hoy
Publisher
WritersWeekly.com

-----------------
THE COMPLAINT
-----------------

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Question
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2009 11:14:10 -0700
From: [BU]
Hi Angela!

I love your website. It's such a great resource for writers. Right now,
I am a writer that's in need of some advice. I recently wrote a cover
story for a magazine. The publisher promised to pay me $75 for the
article. I completed it and then they hired an editorial staff whereby
they suddenly decided the article wasn't in the direction they wanted to
go. The editor had to redo my entire article at the last minute and told
me after it had gone to print. While I was upset that they didn't tell
me ahead of time and that the article was almost completely altered, I
understood that they had to change it. What really made me mad, however,
was that the publisher decided the new article with the editor's byline
on it deserved only $25. In addition, I had requested a copy of the
magazine. Her response? You can buy one at the nearest store.

[BU]

~~~~~

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Question
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2009 14:53:14 -0700
From: [BU]

Hi Angela,

Even though her own editor said they switched it on me because of their
lack of communication and decision to change the magazine's direction at
the last minute, this is what she wrote back to me in response:

"I made the decision to pay you based on preious work thas has been
based on research, not interview. If I has know that such poor work was
to be returned I would not offer any pay. Sorry, I have to pay based on
result. I do apreciate that you took the time and that's why I chose to
have it rewritten and publish it so that you can use it in your
portfolio. I could have just re-assigned it to someone else from scratch."


~~~~~

Ann Marie Brown wrote:

"Hi [BU]. The main issue with your original story was that it was so
"advertorial" in nature... in other words, it was basically a piece that
glorified (name removed) and his business without explaining much about what
green building is all about. I can see why you wrote it that way since
you say that you used the previous cover issue as a model for your
story. Now that we have an editorial team in place at Eucalyptus
Magazine, we are trying to get away from "advertorial" pieces. Instead,
we want to produce stories that are much less slanted in nature and more
packed with unbiased information that readers can use. But I know that
you wrote this without much direction from anyone, so again, I can see
why you wrote it the way you did. My apologies to you for the mix-up.

I just sent your article on green building to our layout team at
Eucalyptus Magazine, and I wanted to take a minute to write to you about
it. As you will see, the final version is radically changed from the
original that you wrote. Normally I wouldn't make such extensive changes
to a piece without asking the writer to revise it, but we were under an
extreme time crunch and I simply had to do it myself. I altered the
story's byline so it says the piece is written by both of us. So if you
don't like the new version, you can blame it on me!"

~~~~~

PUBLISHER RESPONDS

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: COMPLAINT about Eucalyptus Magazine / eucalyptusmagazine.com / Michaela Marek
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 14:38:01 -0700
From: Michaela Marek <mmajkla@gmail.com>
To: 'Angela Hoy'

Response:
We execute written contracts with all freelance writers, and we cannot honor
oral promises. [BU] applied for a position of an intern writer (we have
this documented) and therefore received a limited compensation of $25 along
with a copy of August issue of Eucalyptus Magazine. September issue will
also be mailed once it hits newsstands.
Best regards,
Michaela Marek
Publisher

~~~~~

WRITERSWEEKLY RESPONDS

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Fwd: Re: [Fwd: RE: COMPLAINT about Eucalyptus Magazine / eucalyptusmagazine.com / Michaela Marek]]
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:29:03 -0400
From: Angela Hoy <angie@booklocker.com>
To: michaela@eucalyptusmagazine.com, editor@eucalyptusmagazine.com, ambrown1@earthlink.net

Hi Michaela,

Below is the writer's rebuttal to your claims.

She was clearly offered $75 to write the article, regardless of whatever
claims you have regarding her initial response to a call for interns.

Offering interns any payment at all is a violation of federal labor law.
Since you offered payment (and for a number of other reason with regards
to this "assignment"), she is not considered an "intern" under federal
law. She is a contractor who is entitled to full payment for her work
and who is also entitled to copyright protection under federal law.
It appears you broke labor laws (many of them with regards to interns)
as well as copyright laws. Ms. Michaela, could, at her discretion, file
a complaint against you with the Department of Labor for what appears to
be illegal internship programs.

I am stunned that you claim you don't honor oral promises. Our readers
are likely going to consider your statement deeply unethical.

When can [BU] expect payment of the $50 balance she is owed?

Angela Hoy
WritersWeekly.com

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Fwd: RE: COMPLAINT about Eucalyptus Magazine /
eucalyptusmagazine.com / Michaela Marek]
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 22:42:22 -1000
From: [BU]

EMAIL from Michaela:

I made the decision to pay you based on preious work thas has been based
on research, not interview. If I has know that such poor work was to be
returned I would not offer any pay. Sorry, I have to pay based on
result. I do apreciate that you took the time and that's why I chose to
have it rewritten and publish it so that you can use it in your
portfolio. I could have just re-assigned it to someone else from scratch.

Michaela Marek
www.eucalyptusmagazine.com
408.499.5619

On Aug 4, 2009, at 10:35 AM, [BU] wrote:

Hi Michaela

I think I should still receive the $75 we discussed over the phone.
This was a verbal agreement and I still took the time and energy to
complete the article. The changes were not part of our initial agreement
and I was not made aware of the changes until I really couldn't do
anything about it. This is really not standard practice for a
publication and would really hope that you will reconsider your
decision. If need be, please call me at (removed) so we can talk
about this over the phone. Thank you.

Sincerely,
[BU]

On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 5:06 AM, Michaela Marek
<michaela@eucalyptusmagazine.com wrote:

Hello [BU],

I will be mailing a check for $25 today and the September issue can be
picked up at any local Whole Foods in the first week of September.

It is OK to re-use your version elsewhere, but not OK to use our final
edited version that will appear in the magazine.

Best regards,

Michaela

THE PUBLISHER DID NOT RESPOND TO OUR LAST EMAIL.


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