I think I found my hero on Chowhound the other day. It was a discussion forum with many posts. The guy had 4 sets of comparative links. One side was recipes from mainstream food magazines and the other was recipes from one very popular, well-regarded and respected food blog. His point was, the recipes were a direct lift from the ingredients to instructions. The only thing original on the food blog was the photography . The food blog author said the recipes were “adapted” and cited the source, but I have to agree with the guy on Chowhound, a carbon copy doesn’t really qualify as an “adaptation.” One of the recipes was for a savory tart. I mean seriously, the blogger couldn't have created it with a different vegetable, herb, or cheese? It is unclear whether the author had permission to reprint the recipes. But in spite of that, the written content is still unoriginal. There may be more recipes that are lifted from other sources on this blog, but I got his point with the 4 examples. I just think if you are going to copy something word for word for your blog say something like "reprinted with permission" like the guy on Chowhound says.
The dichotomy is that an on another site, this same food blogger pontificates about not resorting to cheap tactics to help build your traffic and that hard work and good content always wins in the end. I thought the whole point of having a blog is because you feel YOU have something to say to world not copy and paste what someone else already put out there. As a relatively new food blogger, this is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts. While I am not an expert photographer, my recipes are for the most part original. In so much as one recipe may be a merger of several recipes with some tweaks along the way. For some recipes, I’ve disciplined myself enough to stand with measuring cups and spoons in hand to figure out how much a splash of this or a handful of that is, to translate that to my readers. And indeed if I used the majority of recipe from another source, mine is an “adaptation.” I’ve changed some measures or ingredients. One recipe for Chicken Stew with Scallion Cornmeal Dumplings, I use the exact measures and ingredients from an old cookbook for the dumplings only. While the ingredients may be the same, I will write out the method in my own words based on my experience with the recipe. I’ve never posted anything verbatim from another source.
As I said, I’m new to this world and perhaps the publishers or authors don’t care if they’re stuff is being lifted as long as they are credited in some way and hope it drives some traffic back to the original content. I’d be curious to know what you think. I just know when I was working in marketing, it made me very uncomfortable when my boss gave one vendor’s idea to another agency to execute. I also know how bad it felt, when someone claimed one of my ideas as their own. I guess I’m learning the rules when it comes to intellectual property in the blogging arena. Up until this happened, I was in awe of this food blogger. They still have wonderful photography, but my level of respect for them is a lot different now. For those of you bloggers who do develop or are inspired to create your own recipes... you have my utmost admiration.
Milda writes about "Can Do Cooking" at http://www.uncannygoodness.blogspot.com
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