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Monday, 3 October 2011

Recipe Ethics

Not "ethnic recipes.|" It's happened to me before - I post a recipe - a tested, photographed and annotated recipe I developed from an older one, or even one that is creatively new, and someone posts it elsewhere with no credit, no link back to my work. I've called strangers to task for it, because this is plagiarism.

Recipes are really, really susceptible to it. There are only so many ways to make bread, or noodles, or roast beef. We are all working from the same basic techniques.

I don't have a lot of recipes on this blog yet because I do test every single one. I am as meticulous about it as a scientist in the lab. I make notes as I go, weigh and measure twice, take photographs, and sometimes make the recipe several times before I am satisfied. If I am using a vintage recipe, I must modify it for modern kitchens and ingredients, and every time, untangle and interpret the instructions, and improve on them for people who don't know what "cream butter" and "make sponge" mean.

Obviously, I put hours into every dish. I will accredit the originator of the recipe, if I know it, without plagiarizing, and if necessary, note the variants I have added.

If you take my recipe and directions and repost them, even if a little altered, then you have stolen my work. Maybe you wrote the recipe long hand and didn't note the source; maybe you copied and pasted and didn't think it mattered. But the minute you expose that recipe to a public audience- on a blog, on Facebook, demonstrating it on television or youtube even - you have stolen my hard work.

There is an implied international copyright on everything written, photographed or created. The creator has a right to control their work until they sign away the rights. This is the only blog I have with advertising. One of the ways Google designates the value of the advertising is by the number of visits to the site, and the number of links posted to the site. If you take my work and use it without links back to it, then I don't get those page visits, which keeps my statistics low and makes my site less valuable for advertising.

I hope this clarifies what can be borrowed or re-used. Ask questions if you want more information.

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