Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Moments - I should be flattered...

You may notice a little addition to my blog. That's right...Mindika Moments has now been Copyrighted. So I wanted to take a brief moment to explain why I did this and how it works....

They say that imitation is the best form of flattery! So I guess I should be flattered?? In the last couple weeks I've found some of my writing, original recipes, and poems out there on the world wide web, being claimed by other bloggers as their own. I have to say the recipes don't bother me as much...well maybe a little. I think it would be nice if someone posts my recipes, especially my original recipes, that they give me credit and a link back to my site. In fact from now on, I'm asking that you please ask for my permission to do so.

But what I really can't handle is when I find my writing and poetry have been plagiarized. You see, when I write, I write from my heart and soul. When someone steals what I write, they might as well be stealing a piece of me. And from this moment forward...I will be taking legal action when it comes to my writing and poetry.

Back to the recipes...through my research on copyright law, I've discovered a few things that I thought were interesting and may be helpful to my fellow food bloggers. I had always heard that recipes could not be copyrighted, but I have discovered that isn't entirely true. A list of ingredients can not be copyrighted, but the method, directions, and detail instructions can absolutely be copyrighted. In other words, if you wish to re-post a recipe from another site, cookbook, magazine either need to ask permission to do so, or you need to rewrite the directions/instructions in your own words or you are infringing upon copyright laws.

Aside from the legal stance, there's quite a bit of information on what is considered proper etiquette when sharing or posting recipes. Some of these guidelines include:
  • If you know where the recipe came from, you should most definitely site the source and if applicable, link it to the appropriate site.
  • If the recipe is an original recipe and/or the site has been copyrighted you should contact the person for permission to post the recipe on your site. (It's my personal opinion that you should just post a picture with a link to where the recipe can be found. A little shout-out to a fellow food blogger is a good thing. We put a lot of time and effort when developing and testing new recipes. That should be rewarded.)
  • If the recipe is from a cook book or magazine, you should provide a link to the cookbook/magazine site, author site or a site where the book/magazine can be purchased. This obviously is contingent on whether or not the cook book/magazine is still in circulation.
  • If you created the recipe after being inspired by another food blog recipe, chef, magazine etc... You should still give them a mention and possible link.
Obviously these etiquette guidelines have no legal standing, and whether or not bloggers follow them is a matter of integrity. I personally haven't done the best job when it comes to cookbooks or magazine links. That's one thing I hadn't thought about and I vow to do better in the future. Also over the years I've collected hundreds of recipes and I don't always remember where I got them. I guess I never for saw the future and the possibility of one day creating a food blog and wanting to site my source. But If I remember, I definitely have and will give credit. There are so many great stories behind quite a few of my recipe and they're fun to share.

So here's the bottom line...I think recipes are meant to be shared, that's why I started a food blog in the first place. But I also think it's a matter of integrity to give credit where credit is due. More important than the recipes...the writing. There's just no way to justify stealing someones writing. In fact it's down right illegal! So please...don't do it!

For more information on blog copyrights and blogging etiquette, here are some great articles to read.


Frieda Loves Bread said...

Thank you for sharing something that is SO important! I'm sorry to hear that someone, somewhere, is plagarizing your work AND taking credit for it. I've noticed a lot of downloads of my photos from my blog, but I haven't taken the time to see if they have popped up elsewhere. I have appreciated it when readers have asked permission to share my site/recipe with others or have linked back to my blog.

Em said...

THat's too bad to hear that people are actually taking writing that you came up with and using it as their own. I am guilty of using recipes from blogs, printing them out, and giving them to my in-laws. Thank you for the information because I had no idea that you could do that with a recipe. It makes sense though. You must have found someone who was claiming that it was their recipe and they came up with it? Yuck. Sorry to hear.

Carol said...

Thanks for the great information. I usually give credit for borrowed recipes. Congratulations on being copyrited! That's awful that someone has been pirating from you.

Alanna Kellogg said...

It's too bad about your content being taken, you're not alone. But your interpretation of US (take note of that distinction) is off, you might check the details from Food Blog Alliance.

Mindika said...

Em, I have no problem with you printing out recipes and sharing them with family. I don't thing most food bloggers do. It's just when other's post recipes on their blogs and take credit for them. Specifically Original recipes. Just thought I'd clarify that. Print and share away.

Alanna, I'm not sure what you're referring to. I'll need more clarification. The copyright information I found was from a copyright lawyer. And the etiquette information was gathered from several different sources. Food Blog Alliance was not one of them, so I'm not quite sure what you mean by interpretation of US??? If you think something I've posted is incorrect, please let me know. I'm all about knowing and doing the right thing, so I'm happy to glean from other's knowledge on the subject.

Thanks to all for reading my blog and leaving comments! I love knowing and hearing what everyone has to say.

Chellese said...

It's a crazy blogging world. I want to hear more about this - let's talk.

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