Home Bread-Bakers v004.n009.2

Re: BREAD Digest V4 #8

ace@tidbits.com (Adam C. Engst)
Thu, 25 Feb 93 09:00:16 PDT
In Regards to your letter <00968A06.C5162C80.29018@cykick.infores.com>:
> Am I the only person who feels uncomfortable with seeing recipes reprinted from
> Donna German's books?  Come on people -- you are violating Ms. German's copy-
> rights!

As I understand it from a relative who writes cookbooks, recipes cannot
be copyrighted, unlike any descriptive text around them. It makes
a certain amount of sense - there's no reason to assume that two people
couldn't come up with exactly the same recipe independently and both
publish it. Thus, cookbook tradition states that you can copy a recipe
(the specific ingredients) but you should put the instructions in
your own words and if you are writing any preamble, copying is forbidden.

Now, in this instance, although people are copying recipes fairly
clearly, I would say that no matter what, Donna German wouldn't be
too worried. With something like a cookbook, the only way to judge
its value is to try the recipes, and people are more likely to try
a recipe that's free than take a chance on buying the book first.
That's why magazine articles often have reprints of recipes - it's
excellent advertising for the book as a whole.

If someone was to type in all of the recipes and make it available,
that might violate not copyright, but misappropriation laws. They
basically, as I understand it, state that you can't use the results
of someone else's labor too completely. A quote is fine, a recipe
is fine, but you can't just copy everything and expect people not
to mind.

cheers ... -Adam

Disclaimer: I very well may have no clue what I'm talking about.