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Posting recipes from other people/books/blogs?

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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:19 pm    Post subject: Posting recipes from other people/books/blogs? Reply with quote

I tried doing a search for a similar topic but it was a little tough, so forgive me if this is repetitive...

I'm wondering what the protocol is for posting recipes in my blog. I know I can post my own, but what about recipes from cookbooks or other blogs? I am assuming that it can be done, as long as they are properly cited. Is that true? If so, I would be so grateful if someone can point me to a good resource for that type of citation.

Thank you!

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Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full attribution and complete citations are critical, of course, but there are other considerations, including motivation.

There have been lengthy discussions of this issue on other Web sites, especially concerning copyright law and recipes as intellectual property. I believe the current thinking is that the text of a recipe is the author's own and protected by copyright law. For example, in today's entry by Clotilde on her pistachio "pound cake," the charming preface to the list of ingredients is protected as is the wording of the instructions.

However, even if she were the first to make a pistachio pound cake (I believe she says her inspiration came from elsewhere), she cannot prevent others from publishing or posting recipes for pistachio pound cake. The new author would not be vulnerable to law suits even if he were to copy the ingredients from C & Z exactly. However, instructions would have to be worded differently and the intro, of course, would be utterly different.

Most people would be more scrupulous than that and in all cases, would give full credit.

That said, few people in the culinary world manage to support a family of four on the money they earn, let alone own more than one home as is the case with some of the most celebrated. What they do earn from the sale of books matters. By publishing the recipe on your site, you lessen the incentive for your blog's readers to buy the book and in turn, for the author to benefit from the interest you raise.

There's another way to look at this, though. A major, recognized culinary site sometimes publishes recipes from cookbooks verbatim AS an incentive for readers to buy the book. This is done with the author's consent.

In a more informal fashion, some bloggers document their cooking and publish full recipes, more or less, while remaining completely up front about it. Or so I thought when I wrote that. However, I can't find what I was looking for, so I'll give this example, on The Amateur Gourmet instead:

The source for making the rice pudding is acknowledged and link provided. If you look at his other classic on Janet Jackson Breast Cupcakes, you'll see that Adam (right?) just identifies his recipe. The point for him is to be creative, not just perform the recipe accurately. (The other point is to be funny, earn praise, feel validated and so on.)

What bothers me most is a recipe presented as something original as well as novel when it is not. Credit should always be given for the source of inspiration with an explanation of the debt and tweaking that occurred.
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Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Food Blog S'cool has covered this topic in the past.

You can look through the archives here
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