Copyright infringement & plagarism

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missM

Cook
Joined
May 16, 2010
Messages
81
I've noticed with some concern that some members are publishing on the forums, word for word text and recipes which have appeared as copyrighted material on other web sites, without referencing their source.

There are a zillion recipe variations and those of us who to love to cook throw in a dash of this and a pinch of that to a standard version thus altering the original that little bit. If we pass our variation along on a forum like this we should at least say the original was in Dora McGinty's Great dishes of Zaire, or something. That'd be polite.

Some members do do this and even cite the URL which is the right thing to do.

But to pass off someone else's recipe - line-by-line and even word-for-word the text that prefaced it, as their own, is a bit rough:ermm:

missM
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,793
Location
Massachusetts
Posting a copyrighted recipe word for word along the the source - book title and author - DOES NOT make it OK from a copyright infringement point of view. It may be the courteous thing to do but in a legal case, it's evidence that you knowingly copied something illegally.

The appropriate thing to do is to post only a link to the website it came from.

If you've used a copyrighted recipe for inspiration and changed it, it may be post-able if you've made a substantial change to the directions (changing the ingredients doesn't count, an ingredient list is not copyrightable).

If you've copied a recipe from another site and posted it here as your own, it's not only illegal, it's rude.
 

GrillingFool

Head Chef
Joined
Jun 21, 2007
Messages
2,223
Location
usa
What's sad is that most recipes you find on the net are probably 10 times copied already, if not more.
THis is why I don't post recipes here anymore... scared to!
 

missM

Cook
Joined
May 16, 2010
Messages
81
The copying was so blatantly obvious on three posts today, that I googled and had hits for 2 within minutes. The third is obvious, but I couldn't find the source easily, and its not that important, just sad as grillingfool says.
The forum is meant to be fun, helpful and informative, so I just don't see the point in someone trying this form of oneupmanship which ultimately makes them look foolish.
 

Alix

Everymom
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
May 10, 2002
Messages
23,275
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Hopefully those folks have permission to repost.

Any time something on the site bothers you, doesn't look right, or you think needs a Moderator's attention I urge you to hit the Report Post button. All moderators are immediately notified and someone will assess the situation. Thanks so much for being concerned about the site, we really appreciate that!
 

TATTRAT

The Dude Abides
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
5,476
Location
Bermuda Native in D.C./NoVA
It is an unfortunate reality of the net. . .

You can always report the post. I know the mod Admin team here don't like to have copyright issues kicking around.


lol, as Alix just said
 
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Kayelle

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
14,789
Location
south central coast/California
:rolleyes: Is there anything new under the sun when it comes to recipes?
For example, how can a basic beef stew recipe be copyrighted, when the ingredients and instructions are the same? Who the heck first published that recipe, and where and when? Most of us have "scraps of paper" recipes we've used for years, that came from who knows where, not to mention hand me down recipes from family members. If we were all afraid of copyright laws, we'd never be able to share anything here. As far as I know, I've never violated a recipe copyright, and there are lots of things I'm afraid of, but copyright laws for recipes isn't one of them. Just my opinion:blink:
 

Alix

Everymom
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
May 10, 2002
Messages
23,275
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Ingredient lists can NOT be copyrighted, but INSTRUCTIONS can. Please take a second and check out our Community Rules to refresh your memory about copyright.

Generally speaking, if your recipe has been written on a recipe card, or scrap of paper and passed along for a generation or so you are all good. When you post your instructions, just post in your own words exactly how you make things. Those instructions are yours.

C&P is only OK if you have permission from the original poster.

Does that help or did I just confuse the heck out of everyone!
 

ChefJune

Master Chef
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
8,763
Location
Metro New York
C&P is only OK if you have permission from the original poster.

Does that help or did I just confuse the heck out of everyone!

Actually, C&P is only OK if you have permission from the copyright holder (which is not always the original poster).
 

mollyanne

Flour Child
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
1,392
Location
North Carolina, USA
Interesting article, kayelle. I like where a Washington chef says that "recipes are to be shared" and that recipes in her cookbook came from her childhood experiences in Austria. She even went so far as to say she wouldn't mind if someone posted it online and called it their own...
...unless they were a bad cook :D
That validates the notion that nothing is new under the sun really. God only created a certain number of spices and edibles...how many combinations could there possibly be...and to think we've been cooking since the beginning of time.

However, with that being said, I can't imagine that "Yam Vichyssoise" has ever been done before...or at least called that by name.

I don't think it's right for any of us to judge DC members here when they post a recipe. We don't know the story behind it.
Maybe they got permission?
Maybe they only posted the ingredients and reworded the directions?...which is allowed here
Maybe it came from a blog of theirs where they go by another name?
Maybe it was passed down from their family generation and, in fact, belongs to their family?
Maybe they believe in the "sharing recipes" concept and are generous themselves?
Maybe we should just let everyone enjoy the Forum here and let them worry about themselves?

According to kayelle's article, usually only bake-off contests check recipes for authenticity and require 3 substantial changes to a recipe in order to call it their own. Maybe we don't pick up on that when viewing someone's recipe here?
I say ease up and let's not be so quick to criticize others.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,793
Location
Massachusetts
Mollyanne, it's not a matter of not criticizing other members. Rather it's about complying with the law. If a recipe owner chooses to sue, both the individual poster and the owner of this site care liable and could pay major fines.

The fact that it is rare for a recipe owner to sue is irrelevant. That act is wrong.
 

mollyanne

Flour Child
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
1,392
Location
North Carolina, USA
Mollyanne, it's not a matter of not criticizing other members. Rather it's about complying with the law....The fact that it is rare for a recipe owner to sue is irrelevant. That act is wrong.
Of course I agree that not abiding by the law is wrong BUT my point is that it's not up to us to judge the DCmembers here as to whether they have broken the law or not...because, as I said, maybe this or maybe that...maybe we don't know the full story.

Good point, kayelle.

.
 

Uncle Bob

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
17,551
Location
Small Town Mississippi
MollyAnne said:
BUT my point is that it's not up to us to judge the DC members here as to whether they have broken the law or not...

Then Who???
Are you saying that the owner of DC should only be reactive to possible copy write infringements..ie wait for the judge to levy a $25,000 + fine then act??? Surely not!!~~~ If I were the owner I would be very proactive on the matter..I would charge those who serve as Moderators, and Administrators to watch for possible violations and take the appropriate action....
 

ChefJune

Master Chef
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
8,763
Location
Metro New York
Then Who???
Are you saying that the owner of DC should only be reactive to possible copy write infringements..ie wait for the judge to levy a $25,000 + fine then act??? Surely not!!~~~ If I were the owner I would be very proactive on the matter..I would charge those who serve as Moderators, and Administrators to watch for possible violations and take the appropriate action....

I guess they've never heard that "ignorance of the law is no excuse."

The real deal is, that unless YOU personally own the copyright, it's best to only post the link to the recipe you want to share. How difficult is that?
 

mollyanne

Flour Child
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
1,392
Location
North Carolina, USA
Of course I agree that not abiding by the law is wrong BUT my point is that it's not up to us to judge the DCmembers here as to whether they have broken the law or not...because, as I said, maybe this or maybe that...maybe we don't know the full story.
It wasn't quite fair to leave off the last part of my quote, unclebob, since it changes my intentions (although i know you didn't mean to). Judging others before knowing the whole story was the admonishment I was making. Our legal system agrees with me. And I was speaking to typical DC members such as myself...not administration nor the owner. It's a given that they can run DC however they want and are obviously doing a fantastic job of it. It wouldn't be my place to tell them what to do nor do they need me to do that. I'm not an educated lawyer either...all is my humble opinion and a plea not to be too quick to judge others as I mentioned before.

Of course I agree that posting a link is the right thing to do if it's not yours...and/or copying the ingredients only and posting your own instructions is the right thing to do as I read when I first came here in the DC rules. But before casting judgement on others we should answer these questions (as I mentioned):

Maybe they got permission?
Maybe they only posted the ingredients and reworded the directions?...which is allowed here
Maybe it came from a blog of theirs where they go by another name?
Maybe it was passed down from their family generation and, in fact, belongs to their family?

That's all I'm saying. Let's ask before assuming guilt.

:flowers:......peace, mollyanne
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,793
Location
Massachusetts
...

Maybe they got permission?
Maybe they only posted the ingredients and reworded the directions?...which is allowed here
Maybe it came from a blog of theirs where they go by another name?
Maybe it was passed down from their family generation and, in fact, belongs to their family?

That's all I'm saying. Let's ask before assuming guilt.

:flowers:......peace, mollyanne


Mollyanne, the mods do ask these questions and more. All you see is the final result, not the 'behind the scenes' stuff.

If a recipe looks like it may be a copy job, a search is done to try to find it. If found, the poster is approached with options to provide evidence of permission or ownership, replace it with a link, make the necessary changes, or remove it.
 
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