I don't know if this is the place to post this question...if not, my apologies!
I notice that many people publish recipes on Hubpages and Squidoo (I've done a handful myself). I'm sure some of these people are chefs or graduates of culinary school. Others are just moms and so forth who enjoy sharing their favorite recipes. My confusion is that I'm pretty sure a fair number of these recipes aren't really their own, although they may have tweaked a thing or two. Is it normal and OK to do this, publish recipes that are not your own "work"?
I'm not asking in the sense of wanting to finger point, I'm asking because perhaps I'm missing the boat here. I'm not seeing copyright or attribution info on any of these Hubs...I'm confused. Perhaps I'm wrong and the average person really does design all of these dishes from scratch, and I'm just a slacker.
In simple terms, it is only the precise wording of reproducing a recipe which will constitute plagiarism.
If you publish a recipe and I copy and paste it on to my site, I am a plagiarist. If I remake your recipe, take my own photographs and reproduce it in my own words, that is simply my version of your recipe and in no way any breach of protocol, never mind law.
It would be nice of me and decent of me to attribute the recipe to you but I am totally unaware of any legal statute requiring me to do so. I also cannot see how any such statute could possibly be workable.
Think about it the sense of specific recipes. How many spaghetti bolognaise recipes have been published, online or off? How many chilli con carne recipes? Tomato soup recipes? It's simply unworkable to attempt to copyright a food recipe.
What may help to clarify this is the fact that I create all my own recipes from scratch, though obviously with influences from elsewhere. Only last week, I found all my original photographs in relation to a particular recipe on the home site of a Scottish journalist (for a "quality newspaper!") alluding that they were his. I enquired of someone in the know what I could do (given that they were taken in my kitchen, on my dishes, and I have the original photos on my PC.) I was told to ignore it and do nothing, or I would simply be creating problems for myself that would solve nothing and serve no purpose.
Yes, they are from a Hub...
IMHO, you're right and they're wrong, but it is somewhat allowable. You can use someone else's ingredients and measurements, but not the prep methods. It's unfortunate, but accepted by copyright law.
I do a lot of "themed food" hubs. Instead of copying someone else's recipe and "tweaking" it if I don't have one of my own, I simply tell why I'm including it, describe the dish and then link to the original. For the most part, I save my own, original recipes for my blogs.
A lot of folks here think outbound links are the closest thing to death and they don't do it, but I can tell you that some of those hubs (with many, many outbound links) are my highest earners, with not one bastardized, reworded recipe in them.
In other words, there's no need to take someone else's work.
Thanks for the response, I was kind of wondering if anyone had researched copyright regarding the publishing of recipes, because I see it all over, not just Hubpages. I was thinking perhaps they were/are viewed differently.
I agree about the outbound links. If they are useful to readers don't hold back, add them. On other sites I make them Nofollow...not sure if you can do that here on Hubpages. But, if it's someone elses work I'm using, I leave them Do Follow anyway. I see it as they're "reward" for allowing me to share the info.
A recipe would have to be pretty different for the remotest chance of anyone having a copyright to it. How can you copyright fish and chips if everybody's mum made them !
The recipe market is pretty saturated with material I would say - it is unusual to see a new good recipe, trillions of reworked recipes tweaked with a dash of something though.
Why don't you join an affiliate programme where you are part of a group writing around one topic at a time to make it look and feel different, all that is left in a workd of all the same materials
Oh yes - I just happen to have started one of those - pop over to my one hub and check it out, I can guarantee you would be accepted LOL
Isn't that what I said? The recipe itself cannot be copyrighted, but the preparation methods are. You cannot simply copy a recipe and call it your own, as many people unfortunately do.
Whether or not "fish and chips" and is copyrighted is not so much the issue. If I publish my recipe for fish and chips, you cannot simply come along and copy/paste it and call it your own. Ingredients, yes. The prep methods, no.
I do agree completely, but after seeing a hundred hubs for fish and chips how many more ways could you possibly cook them - and any new recipe must be a copy of another somewhere else.
But I still agree with you - the point I was making is about market saturation you are also invited to pop over to look at the offeer in my hub
This is the main reason that if I post recipe hubs, I like to add a twist to it that is different from others. And I mean more than just adding one ingredient. lol
I like hot and spicy meals. I like to take a regular dish and prepare it a way for those who enjoy a "bam, zap or jolt" from the meal.
LOL Confucius says - spicy foods are 'heating' foods and are the reason you have bad skin, headaches and mouth ulcers or sore throat !! also listlessness and other stuff - and all because you are not balancing it with 'cooling' foods, and I don't mean cold beer LOL
Thanks for the advice Recommend1. I actually do have a niche already (not cooking, food or recipes) although I don't focus on it here on Hubpages. Hubpages is just a "playground" for me where I do things I don't do elsewhere...I try to keep my miscellaneous topics separate. (although I do see them bleed together sometimes)
Anyway, thanks for the invitation!
I posted this just 7 weeks ago on the same question:
A mere listing of ingredients is not protected under copyright law. 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 collection of recipes as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection. Note that if you have secret ingredients to a recipe that you do not wish to be revealed, you should not submit your recipe for registration, because applications and deposit copies are public records.
ANYTHING you publish, ie present to the public, is automatically copyrighted in the US. so recipes would qualify and if someone copies your recipe your have grounds for ra complaint - unfortunately there's little you can do other than get them taken off a site like hp.
earlier there was some confusion of copyrights with trademarks
>>>A recipe would have to be pretty different for the remotest chance of anyone having a copyright to it. How can you copyright fish and chips if everybody's mum made them !<<<
a copyright is the expression of an idea. it doesnt have to be original
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