Recipes and copyright infringement

42 posts in this topic

When posting a recipe to this chat forum please take care not to post any copyright infringements.

 

The copying and pasting of a list of ingredients is fine. This is not a copyright infringement. The copying and pasting of a detailed preparation method, however, is not OK. To do so is a copyright infringement.

 

For example, copying the following is ok:

 

 

Pesto ingredients:

 

Pine nuts - half a cup

Extra virgin olive oil - two cups

Basil leaves - four cups

Salt - quarter teaspoon

Pepper - half teaspoon

Grated parmesan cheese - half a cup

 

See full preparation method at: recipes.com / pesto

Copying a detailed description of how to mix the above ingredients in order to create a tasty pesto sauce, however, is not ok.

 

If you find a recipe elsewhere on the Internet and wish to post it to TT, you may copy the ingredients list but the preparation method must be posted as a link to the other website.

 

This is based on U.S. copyright law (title 17 of the United States Code, section 102)...

 

 

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.

Copyright infringements posted to TT are subject to removal without warning.

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does re-writing the instructions but using our own expressions count?

 

eg rather than saying "fold the egg into the flour and butter mixture" we say "chuck the egg into the mix and give it an aggressive stir" is that copyright infringement?

 

I am not trying to be facaetious, just wondering.

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we say "chuck the egg into the mix

In kitchen parlance, you whack, not chuck.

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A substantial re-write, as per the example you give Lassie, is ok. If you use your own words then this is not a copyright infringement. Technically, this would be termed a "derivative work" and, for the most part, is fine.

 

It is not the idea of how to bake a cake that is copyrightable. Rather, it is the specific text used to describe the details that is protected.

 

Your re-writes should be substantial, however. Just swapping a couple of words around is not ok.

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Replace o with 0

Replace a with 4

Replace e eith 3

Replace t with 7

Replace l with 1

 

How bout that bob?

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You mean obfuscate copyrighted text by using Leetspeak?

 

No, a copyright infringement is still a copyright infringement, regardless of encoding.

 

Note, I realise you weren't being entirely serious. :rolleyes:

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remember that the US is a nation of lawyers. and also that there are many international agreements regarding copyright and intellectual property (in both directions). Note also the recent trend of (push for?) US laws applying outside the US (i.e. Sarbanes-Oxley).

 

So EditorBob is being very smart on this topic. Please help TT to avoid getting tangled in (expensive) law suits.

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I posted the English-language laws because English is the language spoken on this website.

 

In Germany, however, the law regards this topic is effectively the same as in the U.S..

 

Further reading (in German): Urheberrecht und Rezepte

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can i paste the text and give the source? that should be okay?

Good point... Generally if you post a section of text and post the source ... is that acceptable ?

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the law also states that you only need to change the "Anleitung" or directions by a minimal amount for it to be considered a new, and therefore non-copyright protected recipe.

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what if its from a 'sample' cookbook, a cookbook done up from women who donated their fav recipies and then printed it... yes, its a published cookbook, but only a charity made money from it.

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just change a word or two in the description and you'll be fine, otherwise no, copyright is copyright irrelevant of whether an author or charity own the rights.

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i dont see what juristiction US law will have in Germany.

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Well, regardless of jurisDiction, if you want to steal someone else's work and creativity and pass it off as your own, then at least have the common decency to change the wording slightly so as not to arouse too much suspicion

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can i paste the text and give the source? that should be okay?

No, but you can make the pesto and give the sauce! :D

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The reason for paying so much attention to US copyright law is that so much of the stuff people cut and paste comes from US or US-based sources. Furthermore, the US is so stringent (read: excessive) and lawsuit-happy that if you're in compliance with US law regarding copyright, there's no chance anyone else will come after you.

 

woof.

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