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Old 11-19-2006, 11:39 AM   #11
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Anytime
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:15 PM   #12
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Boy, GB is the copyright expert!
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDog
Boy, GB is the copyright expert!
I'm not sure exactly how to take that but yes, we need to know about copyright law/issues here. This is a discussion that happens quite a bit. Each time it's the same answer. Andy R doesn't want to get fined and I'm sure neither does the poster. It might be rare as of right now that this happens but when the laws are more precise we will be ready.
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDog
Boy, GB is the copyright expert!
a year ago I knew nothing of this topic. The admins and moderators spent many many hours researching and discussing this stuff. We talked about so many different situations and how they apply to DC. I am hardly an expert though. I have a very basic and elementary understanding, but hopefully the understanding that I and the other staff members have is enough to protect the site and our members.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:08 AM   #15
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If you want to check out a "high powered" food site that takes copyright even more seriously than we do, check out eGullet. Lots of cookbook authors are eGullet Society members, so they have a pretty evolved way of addressing intellectual property issues.

I also see all the outright violations of copyright law on other boards and have to wonder. A member's post of a copyrighted recipe without permission but with attribution becomes a "knowing" violation of copyright law for both the board and the member because attributing the author is an admission that it is someone else's intellectual property. A "knowing" copyright violation is considered more serious and is subject to a $250,000 fine.

Besides the fine and lawsuit, boards can and have been shut down for allowing members to post copyrighted recipes. Ina Garten herself had one of her fan boards shut down temporarily because so many of her her copyrighted recipes were posted.

Taken from a previous post of mine:

Recipes themselves are indeed copyrightable -- the US Copyright Office says so:

"Mere listings of ingredients as in recipes, formulas, compounds or prescriptions are not subject to copyright protection. However, where a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection."

Lists of ingredients cannot be copyrighted, thus changing any number of the ingredients doesn't help you avoid copyright violations involving the part of the recipe that is protected.


Likewise, attribution also does not absolve you of liability should you distribute a copyrighted work without permission. In fact, it's the opposite -- it's an admission that the work is not your own.

There are exceptions to copyright laws involving "fair use," like reprinting a copyrighted recipe for teaching, for critique, to ask a question, etc.
This is where it's appropriate (and professional courtesy) to attribute the source.


Posting a copyrighted recipe on a site like DC (or other sites for that matter)for the purpose of distributing it to the members would, in all likelyhood, not be considered fair use. But that would be up to a court, and that's not where we want to end up.

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Old 11-20-2006, 11:28 AM   #16
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A list of ingredients cannot be copyrighted. Instructions taken and reposted verbatim from a published cookbook without proper attribution are copyrighted. This includes any "chatty little comments" added by the author. But if you re-write the instructions, copyright laws do not apply.

Fraidy (copyrighted author)
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FraidKnot
A list of ingredients cannot be copyrighted. Instructions taken and reposted verbatim from a published cookbook without proper attribution are copyrighted. This includes any "chatty little comments" added by the author. But if you re-write the instructions, copyright laws do not apply.

Fraidy (copyrighted author)
It has been well established that ingredients cannot be copyrighted - over and over and over again. Even in this thread.

This gets so confusing - and therein is where "attribution" falls in. EVEN with attribution you cannot copy someone else's work and post it verbatim. Don't confuse attribution in our instances here with academia. We were taught in high school that as long as we gave proper attribution it was not considered plagiarism - this is a different animal.

The more the word "attribution" is used the more confusing it gets. If you CHANGE a recipe but wish to say WHO or WHERE you got the original recipe from that is at least ethical and the proper thing to do. If you post the original recipe stating WHO or WHERE you got it from that is ADMITTING to a copyright violation.
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:05 PM   #18
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Correct, KElf.

Reprinting a copyrighted work without permission is a violation, even with attribution, unless it comes under the "fair use" or other exception to copyright law.

Attribution comes into play when you are reprinting an article under the "fair use" exception - like if you are teaching from it, or criticizing it, etc. Also, most licensing agreements between an author and a distributor include an attribution clause.

For example, I have written a number of articles that have been copyrighted. One appeared in a magazine called "Farm and Power Equipment Dealer".... please don't ask.

The magazine got permission to publish it from me. It ran with my name on it.

But I own the rights to it. If someone else, for some bizarre reason, published it, posted it on a website, made copies of it, etc. without my permission, that would be copyright violation. Even if they said it was mine.

If they took my idea and expressed that idea in their own words, that would be ok. You can't copyright ideas. If they quoted from it, in part, that would be ok, too. But they can't take the whole work and do anything with it without my permission -- because it's my property.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDog
Boy, GB is the copyright expert!
I'm not sure exactly how to take that but yes, we need to know about copyright law/issues here. This is a discussion that happens quite a bit. Each time it's the same answer. Andy R doesn't want to get fined and I'm sure neither does the poster. It might be rare as of right now that this happens but when the laws are more precise we will be ready.
Take it as it is written. No disrespect intended at all. IMHO, GB really knows this stuff. To me, I just can't quite get my arms around it to fully understand it. Perhaps the suggestion of "expert" is a bit over the top, but the point was he (and the other staff here) really know their stuff, and I applaud them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
a year ago I knew nothing of this topic. The admins and moderators spent many many hours researching and discussing this stuff. We talked about so many different situations and how they apply to DC. I am hardly an expert though. I have a very basic and elementary understanding, but hopefully the understanding that I and the other staff members have is enough to protect the site and our members.
Is it really that much more complicated? Wow. I still struggle to understand the basics, let alone what may lie beneath the surface of copyright law.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:02 PM   #20
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What complicates the issue is that everyone seems to have their own opinion of what should be acceptable and argues against expert opinions.

We (admins and mods) have had significant discussion on the subject and done extensive research and received professional legal advice. All that combined went into developing a policy that is effective and in line with the law.

If any member sees a recipe posted that they know to be from a copyrighted source, they should report the post to site administration.
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