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Old 11-19-2006, 05:36 AM   #1
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This copyright thing

I am aware of the rules of this board and certainly try to abide by them and am reminded pleasantly by the administrators when I don't. BUT I just don't get it at all.
On EVERY other board I visit on the internet recipes are posted and attributed if they are copied, as from Ina Garten's cookbook. In fact, I was reading Ina's recipe on a board, got mixed up where I was (thinking I was here) and said, "Hey, how come SHE can do that and I can't" and then came to my sense of place.

I "get" the part of the oft quoted copyright law that extensive "personal remarks from the chef" (for example) cannot be included in a quote. Although, I am pretty sure you could say "Edna Lewis says that this is how her family in Virginia made this stock for generations". Reading the same section of that oft quoted copyright law also always seems to say to me that it is OK to quote the rest of the recipe--but that seems to just be my reading of it.

So, and not to be contentious, please just explain to me one more time why this is the case here and not everywhere else. I am just wondering. I understand the huge fine threat. And if it is just the way it is chosen to interpret all this here, then that, of course, is OK also. But, there are some pretty high powered boards that don't seem to have a problem with a cut and paste.

I am also of the opinion, shared often by others on various venues, that there are really NO original recipes--just everyone's different "takes" on ingredients. ;o) Have a great holiday season.

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Old 11-19-2006, 07:43 AM   #2
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The best way I can answer your question is with a story.

When I was a young boy there was a period where all the kids were shoplifting candy bars from a local drugstore. Every single kid was doing it. Kids would say "everyone is doing it and the store is not stopping us so they must not care and it must be OK". WRONG.

Just because other boards are breaking the law and getting away with it does not mean it is right. It also does not mean that we will do it here.

What you do not see Gretchen, is all the boards that have been shut down because of this. You don't see it because those boards are gone now.

DC and the person who post the recipe could be held responsible for fines of a quarter of a million dollars. Now of course the chances of that happening as admittedly small, but do you really want to take that chance? DC does not.
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:50 AM   #3
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Thank you GB. So clear. And as I look through the board and see recipes posted I wonder how those happen.
So, if I post a recipe and don't attribute it it is okay? Just so it isn't in a cut and paste that is identifiable? I have just been browsing the wonderful savory cheesecake thread.
I'm fine with your rules.
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Old 11-19-2006, 09:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen
So, if I post a recipe and don't attribute it it is okay? Just so it isn't in a cut and paste that is identifiable?
No not really. It is not the attribution that is the problem. The basic rules are that the ingredient list can not be copyrighted. It is the method that is the issue. The method needs to be worded substantially different from the original. The problem is what is substantial? Well that is up to a judge and jury (literally). That is why a link is the best and safest way to post a recipe that is copyrighted. Posting a link does not break any copyright laws.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:34 AM   #5
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Hello GB,
Can I add to Gretchen's query? I've posted a couple of recipes where no link is available on the Web. I've noted the original source cookery book and author and have mentioned my variations in the ingredients and my method, usually a simplified version of the original. Is this acceptable?
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:39 AM   #6
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What happens if you get a recipe from a friend.. and had no idea it was copyrighted? I get tons or recipes from friends.. I don't know where they got them tho.. oh oh
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:44 AM   #7
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Well it would depend on what exactly you wrote Snoop Puss. For instance, if you posted the recipe word for word, but then said you did not use the almonds, but substituted walnuts instead then that would not be OK.

If you reworded the entire method though then that would be fine. The key is to reword it enough. It is not good enough to just change enough words here and there. It needs to be very different from the original.

Here are some examples:

Original: Combine flour and water. Put in 350 oven. Bake until golden brown.

If you were to change that to: mix water and flour. Bake at 350 until browned, that would not be changed enough.

If you changed it to: In a large mixing bowl add flour and water and stir to combine. Preheat over to 350 and then bake the mixure in a baking dish until golden brown.
That would probably be OK. The reason I say probably is because the only way to know if it is changes enough is to have a judge and jury decide. It would have to go to court before you knew for sure if it was changed enough. That is why a link (if available) is always preferable. Of course that is not always possible so if posting the recipe you really need to do your best to change the wording as much as possible. Part of the job of the staff here is to make a judgment call as to whether or not we feel the site and poster is safe or not when it comes to this.
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:24 AM   #8
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Thanks GB. I'll bear that in mind.
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:25 AM   #9
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Thanks Snoop.

It is a very difficult issue because it is not cut and dry at all. It is very much up to interpretation. All we ask is that members do the best they can and if we see something that we feel may need to be changed then we will let you know
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:30 AM   #10
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I've just had a look back at the recipes I've posted and they are significantly different in wording, which is a relief. Thanks for the advice though.
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