Written by adam on May 23, 2006
Food Blogs and Copyright Issues
Filed Under: News
As I have begun to gain a small audience here at Men in Aprons, I think it wise for me to write about this, seeing how many of my readers are food bloggers themselves. All of you out there who are blogging about food, creating, recreating, and posting recipes should probably pay close attention to what's going on in copyright land.
It seems that the food blog world isn't without it's share of controvesy and flaming (pun most definitely intended). There's quite a big stink brewing right new between two bloggers and the use of a recipe for Shepherd's Pie. Darren at ProBlogger.net covered the story, one in which I'm extremely interested in.
In a move that is not entirely unprecedented in the blogosphere, Culinary Arts Blog (CAB) blatantly ripped off a post by Elise of Simply Recipes. Shepherd's Pie is the dish in question, and Elise was pretty upset that the post was taken. The post was written almost word for word, as well as the images being used, resized, etc. The CAB did credit Simply Recipes as the source, but near the end of the post which was almost two screenfuls down.
Recipes are not copyrightable, but opinions, photos, and customized instructions are most definitely. CAB republished Elise's personalized instructions word for word ... a giant no-no. Come on, folks. We learned this in 6th grade language arts class. You at least need to learn how to reword a paragraph. The images were also taken and used. If you've ever read Simply Recipes, you know that Elise takes those photos herself.
After find it the entry, it looks like Elise asked the blog to remove the intro paragraph and pictures, a pretty fair request if you asked me. But the request was not heeded nor was it taken seriously. That's too bad. I don't think anything would come of this, unless we knew Elise was making quite a living from those posts. This is quite likely, considering her traffic stats.
Here is my personal strategy for using somone else's recipes. If I find a recipe I like, I cook it myself, take my own pictures, and post my own thoughts about it. And I usually credit the author in the first paragraph. I will also post any modification or experimentations that I did. The cool thing about cooking is that there are an infinite number of possible ways to make a recipe. Try it out, do it for yourself and take some pictures. Then get to your blog and write about your OWN experiences.
It's so easy.
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