Do we own the legal rights to our recipes posted on 52?

I'm sure the aswer is somewhere on the site but I couldn't find it. Do we still own the rights to our recipes after they are entered onto 52? So we can use them in books or articles that we write?Thnx much.

LeBec Fin


ChefOno April 11, 2012
Indeed. The line between "inspired by" and "stolen from" is fuzzier than a six month old block of cheese in the back of the refrigerator.
petitbleu April 10, 2012
Now that I read your question again, I see that my answer is slightly tangential. But this is something we all need to think about as crowd-sourcing and digitization of content become bigger and bigger issues.
petitbleu April 10, 2012
The tricky thing about recipes is that it's almost impossible to safeguard the rights to them. If you were to rip off someone's recipe word for word and try to make money on it, that individual could pursue litigation. However, if you were to take someone's recipe and alter it, whether by rewording it or by reworking it, that altered recipe would be yours and, most likely, no one would be the wiser.
This is largely due to the fact that many recipes are so similar--for instance, from chocolate chip cookie recipe to chocolate chip cookie recipe, there will usually be very minor differences, thus to claim that someone ripped off your chocolate chip cookie recipe, unless stolen verbatim, would be very hard to prove and even harder to pursue.
Not to ramble on too much, but as someone who works for cookbook writers, this issue is something that we come across a lot, or at least have to think about.
pierino April 10, 2012
Someone wiser than me once said, "cooks don't create. It's all been done before" [except maybe for Ferran Adria and his 'atelier']. Then there have been the David Ruggerios. The latter was not only a plagiarist but an incredibly stupid one. He was copying recipes almost word for word. As an added offense he was guilty of stealing from is customers' credit cards.
Panfusine April 2, 2012
there is some information right on the site about this, hope it helps
Kristy M. April 2, 2012
Hey there, LE BEC FIN. Questions like this are best directed to [email protected] -- we're here and happy to help answer any questions like this.
cranberry April 2, 2012
Well but then the answer isn't shared openly like this one was, correct? I was curious about this and I'm sure others are too.
Panfusine April 2, 2012
There was a wonderful post regarding this from Food52, very clearly explaining the legal details in layman language.. Yes, we do retain full ownership of our recipes, but by posting them, we also grant F52 the rights to share them on other sites w/o any expectation of getting compensated. & yes, if you want your recipe to be taken down for any reason, they're very co-operative about it.
LeBec F. April 2, 2012
perfect. th you!

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno April 2, 2012
From "Terms" at the bottom of the page. I am not an attorney but I believe the answer to your question is in the term "non-exclusive". In other words, you still retain rights to your own work but you are releasing it into the public domain.

By submitting any content to or Food52 Inc., you simultaneously and automatically grant or warrant that the owner has expressly granted us a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, fully sublicensable and transferable right and license to use, record, sell, lease, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works based upon, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, publish and otherwise exploit the submitted content as we, in our sole discretion, deem appropriate.
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