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18 answers 11163 views
Ab57b4b7 946e 4ad2 8dc8 7ec7b6ffd9d1  winnie100
added over 5 years ago

People do it all the time, but it's not really ok (as you are infriging on the author's copyright if you do). It's best to adapt the recipe and re-write the method in your own words.

Ab57b4b7 946e 4ad2 8dc8 7ec7b6ffd9d1  winnie100
added over 5 years ago

Then credit the cookbook for your inspiration, or say "adapted from"...

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added over 5 years ago

I believe all the recipes posted by food52 members are original or have been adapted from more established recipes for other sources (in which case the reference is most definitely stated in the head notes). There is a guideline to the contests which explains it well. http://www.food52.com/blog...
Unless the blog is your own, it would not be appropriate to try & get credit for the recipe unless you've added significant value to the original.
I'm sure the editors would be able to offer their advice on this waay better.

C57a769e 0dfb 4f2c bf80 d29b484fa2a9  profile
added over 5 years ago

I agree WinnieAB. It seems appropriate to adapt a recipe and/or credit the author. I am just curious about the subject overall. It has nothing to go with any recipes on Food52. As a blogger and a blog/cookbook reader, I think about it a lot.

Thanks!

895246da b96b 4ecd 949f 61056e179c1f  head shot
added over 5 years ago

Yes, adapted from seems to work best.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 5 years ago

Maybe AntoniaJames can weigh in with some advice.

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added over 5 years ago

You can also contact the blogger or publisher if it's from a cookbook and request permission to reprint a recipe if you don't want to adapt it. Even with adaptation you have to be careful that you haven't only changed one little item. There is some guidance somewhere on this site done by A & M regarding when recipe becomes your own, though I'm not sure exactly where that is. WinnieAb is correct that about rewriting the method, as that is the part that is copyright protected (an ingredient list can not be) but unless you've really changed the recipe significantly or added something unique to it, it would be unethical, even if not technically illegal. Lastly, if the recipe is on another blog or website you can link to the recipe and simply talk about it on your blog.

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 5 years ago

The copyright the text of the recipe is what counts. The description, method, and instructions.

The ingredients and portions can't be copy righted.

http://www.copyright.gov...

E4b7660b f3f6 4873 bd6d 2130a16403fb  img 1088
drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 5 years ago

In March, Amanda was interviewed by Dianne Jacob of the blog, Will Write for Food, in which they discussed how to adapt and write recipes. Here's the link:
http://diannej.com/blog...

Aa0aef2d aae3 438c a22e 1340af35ed29  face hat underpainting 1
added over 5 years ago

The Austin Food Bloggers Alliance just sponsored an educational session on copyright issues. The above folks pretty much agree, but Sam1148 is right, lists of ingredients aren't copyright'able' -- the instructional text absolutely is. Some bloggers seem to think that giving credit for source is Fair Use. This is not sufficient. Asking permission is best if you want to reprint a recipe. [Example: Melissa Clark gave permission for me to print a specific recipe we talked about on the radio.] Otherwise, as said above adapting and attributing and linking are needed.

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added over 5 years ago

My take on publishing recipes.. Treat it as you would treat writing a scientific paper.. Giving the list of sources of inspiration does not take away from the glory if the your recipe is a novel dish that everyone would look forward to.. It only adds to your credibility..you would NEVER get a paper published if you did not cite the appropriate references, why should it be different for recipes..

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added over 5 years ago

this discussion brings me to another point that I'd like to hear opinions for... say you're dealing with a classic home recipe that 'everyone' makes at home & has been doing so for generations..& some cookbook author with access to publication facilities decides to print that everyday dish in their book (& the ingredients & proportions happen to be more or less a standard that the entire community uses without giving a second thought). does this mean that he/she can claim this to be theirs & theirs alone and expect to be credited for it because they were the first to attach their name to it in print??

C0d1f1de 4134 43ba 9510 1d7a8caa31f3  scan0004
added over 5 years ago

Now that there are patents on ancient plants -- which I think has been discredited -- anyone seemingly can "own" anything. We're in an "ad absurdum" world.

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 5 years ago

Technically, it's illegal to copy a recipe from a cookbook or an author's website verbatim, and potentially you could be sued. That rarely happens because of the expense in both time and money to pursue litigation. However, it definitely is unethical.

Rewrite the method in your own words, change some of the ingredients and'/or amounts, AND credit the author and the original recipe in your head notes. If you do those things, you should not incur anyone's wrath, or step on anyone's toes.

Bb83b178 f1cd 46d4 8191 b988177c4c23  18173 458838245592 877620592 10791885 4734636 n
added over 5 years ago

Great question. Really compelling discussion - especially as a college writing instructor who deals with these kinds of issues on a daily basis.

32fb3935 151a 4db2 ac26 980d4c0d5cea  lorigoldsby
added over 5 years ago

There is the age old adage..."Do unto others...". How would you feel if someone used your winning recipe and posted it as their own work? Can you imagine the time and effort in producing a whole cookbook? What would you want others to do to recognize your work? I am very uncomfortable with the idea of just "adapting" without giving the original inspiration.

C57a769e 0dfb 4f2c bf80 d29b484fa2a9  profile
added over 5 years ago

This has been a really wonderful discussion with lots of insight and perspective. Thank you to everyone who answered!