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Old 01-15-2015, 09:08 PM   #51
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At what point can you claim a recipe as ' Your Own'?

I rarely follow a printed recipe. Not enough patience to read it thru. So most of the time it is my take on an ingredient mentioned in the recipe.


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Old 04-14-2015, 12:45 AM   #52
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I usually take bits and pieces of recipes from books, internet, chef friends and experience and just wing it.
But I would never claim my roast chicken and tarragon dish as my own creation, even though it is my own variant on the classic dish.
Even less so with baking cakes, pastries and so on, whereby measuring ingredients accurately is important.
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Old 04-16-2015, 05:48 PM   #53
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Interesting question!

A quick sidetrack recalling my days as a moderator. You cannot copyright a list of ingredients but you can copyright the instructions.

I realize that's not what you asked but it can provide a framework. I think we all fiddle a little with recipes, even if it's just to add more salt. I think you'd have to do more than that to own a recipe. For example, changing a significant ingredient or two and fiddling with the herbs and spices.

Changing the process is probably less common. If you're making a stew, how much can you change the instructions?

I guess if the chef that wrote the original recipe tastes yours and recognizes it, it's not your own yet.
" You cannot copyright a list of ingredients but you can copyright the instructions." I'm not disputing the correctness of this but it always seems odd to me. How can Mrs A Cakemaker, writer of cookery books, claim the copyright on the basis of the instructions for a cake which generations of housewives have been making probably for a couple of hundred years and which no-one remembers who invented it.

I make a fruit cake from a recipe that I found in a famous cook's book (no names no pack-drill!). The cake as it came from the recipe she had published in her book was dry, boring and tasteless. I have changed the ingredients and added more, to the point where the recipe and the cake are unrecognisable as the same one, apart from the fact that I use the writer's stated method of making up the cake, which is one that features in almost any cookery book you open. Does that mean that the writer of the book I got the idea from owns my version of the recipe?
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:28 PM   #54
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" You cannot copyright a list of ingredients but you can copyright the instructions."

I make a fruit cake from a recipe that I found in a famous cook's book (no names no pack-drill!). The cake as it came from the recipe she had published in her book was dry, boring and tasteless. I have changed the ingredients and added more, to the point where the recipe and the cake are unrecognisable as the same one, apart from the fact that I use the writer's stated method of making up the cake, which is one that features in almost any cookery book you open. Does that mean that the writer of the book I got the idea from owns my version of the recipe?
Andy's right. In a recipe, the list of ingredients cannot be protected but the description of how to make the dish can be.

The writer of the book owns the words that express how the recipe is made. If you use it exactly, you may have committed copyright infringement.

In your case you have changed the ingredients so the description will, by definition, also change. So it would depend on whether your version is substantially similar to the original. If it's too similar (though not verbatim) you could also be in trouble. In the US, at least.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:36 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
" You cannot copyright a list of ingredients but you can copyright the instructions." I'm not disputing the correctness of this but it always seems odd to me. How can Mrs A Cakemaker, writer of cookery books, claim the copyright on the basis of the instructions for a cake which generations of housewives have been making probably for a couple of hundred years and which no-one remembers who invented it.

I make a fruit cake from a recipe that I found in a famous cook's book (no names no pack-drill!). The cake as it came from the recipe she had published in her book was dry, boring and tasteless. I have changed the ingredients and added more, to the point where the recipe and the cake are unrecognisable as the same one, apart from the fact that I use the writer's stated method of making up the cake, which is one that features in almost any cookery book you open. Does that mean that the writer of the book I got the idea from owns my version of the recipe?
No this is your recipe, but you do have to re-write the instruction so they do not mirror what another person has already written. Are there no tips or tricks you can add? Your ingredient changes should change the instructions.
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:08 PM   #56
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I'm sure lawyers have their own definition, but I figure that when your cross outs, arrows and notes in the cookbook become too messy to follow, prompting you to whip out a card and write it down so that you can keep it straight...it's yours. :)
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:33 PM   #57
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Unfortunately, it's when the lawyers get involved, that we have to worry about it. Please be sure to not post word for word directions from a website or cookbook.
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:54 AM   #58
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Unfortunately, it's when the lawyers get involved, that we have to worry about it. Please be sure to not post word for word directions from a website or cookbook.
I understand that this website and all others have to publish and follow the letter of the law with what's required.

However there are only so many ways you can put instructions into words, and I doubt there are lawyers sweeping the recipe instructions of every recipe on the internet looking to file a a suit for instruction copyright abuses.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:53 AM   #59
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I understand that this website and all others have to publish and follow the letter of the law with what's required.

However there are only so many ways you can put instructions into words, and I doubt there are lawyers sweeping the recipe instructions of every recipe on the internet looking to file a a suit for instruction copyright abuses.
No, but you can bet the author or their agent IS making the effort to find copyright infringement on the Internet. It's as easy as Googling the first sentence of the recipe.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:07 AM   #60
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No, but you can bet the author or their agent IS making the effort to find copyright infringement on the Internet. It's as easy as Googling the first sentence of the recipe.
Is it allowed to post such a recipe if credit is given, same as if you quote a passage from a book? Just wondering, no plans to do so. I usually give credit for the base recipe even if I've made some changes to it.
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