Publishing of copyrighted recipes
Good morning all,
For this post I want to send out a moral message for all food bloggers out there regarding the unauthorised blogging of copyrighted recipes. I’m not going into the fine detail of what the copyright law is in the world in this post, as for one I don’t consider myself qualified to do so, nor am I going to lecture anyone either, but what I do know a little of and appreciate are professional morals and ethics and want to take this opportunity to encourage fellow bloggers who may not be aware of the impact on posting copyrighted recipes, to consider the impact of giving them away for free.
Previously I have posted, albeit innocently and naively being a new blogger, a couple of recipes which I have tried out from a good cook book I own, Baking with passion by Dan Lepard and Richard Whittington and I was blissfully unaware of the potential lack of professional courtesy my humble new blog could do to the author and the potential impact on book sales. I received a comment to my blog from the Editor of Mr. Lepard’s book, David Whitehouse which was very polite and professional, and Mr. Whitehouse simply asked me to consider the consequences for the author, Editor and Publisher.
Here is Mr.Whitehouse’s reply to my post which I ask people to read and consider before posting any recipes and I think for those of you who can appreciate the professional integrity in this comment. You will agree it offers very good advice for food bloggers which is very reasonable and above all if followed, will no doubt earn the respect the blog deserves and potentially increase the number of comments/ followers to that blog. As far as the moral integrity of the blogger, it pays well deserved courteous respect to the authors that we all love for their wonderful recipes they share in their books, which after all remember is their livelihood.
Mr. Whitehouse’s comment:
“I know a lot of food bloggers think nothing of giving away a recipe written by someone else, but could I ask you to reconsider?
Chefs and food writers (and publishing companies) need to sell books, if they are going to keep doing what they do. And those books are copyright. I know there’s a grey area around paraphrasing recipes, and whether that avoids the copyright issue, but the fact remains that recipes given away do not help to sell books – who would buy a book, when the contents can be found for free online? But as a matter of professional courtesy to food writers, I would urge you to “talk around” a recipe, say what you liked about it and whether you enjoyed making it, and create a platform for your own original photos – but without giving other peoples’ recipes away. By all means give a link to the website where an author has chosen to publish (in Dan Lepard’s case, usually www.guardian.co.uk or www.danlepard.com), or name the book the recipe came from. But please don’t republish a recipe without considering what you’re doing – and don’t take a recipe from a book and then not even name the book.”
Another way to look at it is how would you as keen food bloggers feel if you found out your post or recipe you had lovingly and painstakingly created/researched/written was re-blogged, possibly as someone else’s without your consent or without recognition to you the origin of that recipe, under someone else’s name?
For those of you interested in the legal side of copyright, there’s some info about it in American law at http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl122.html and in UK law at http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p01_uk_copyright_law
To summarise here, I think the point is, many great blogs can be written without the need to give away for free, copyrighted recipes that hack into the sales and livelihood of the authors that we all love, so please do spare a thought before publishing that recipe and instead, try “selling” that book in your post for the same reason you enjoy the book and recipe and brought the book in the first place Who knows, with a bit of luck and good fortune, maybe one day it might be your book that is sold in a blog.