Jun 10, 2011

Blogging Round Table Discussion: Is it wrong to post recipes?

Food bloggers and the recipes they post. I have seen the topic brought up regarding posting recipes from published cookbooks or magazines and that bloggers have been 'strongly advised' to remove any recipes from their blog lest they face 'further action.'

What is new to me, however, is the thought that it is a faux paux to post a recipe, even with adaptions, that comes from another blog. This is assuming they even give credit back to the original posted. Instead, you should only link back to the website.

What do you think?

I have to say, while I am of the 'to each her own' line of thinking, the longer I mulled over this, the more confused I became. Why put your recipes on the internet if you are going to become so upset when someone posts it on their blog?

To clarify, this is not when someone steals your photographs or a recipe and says "This is MY photo, this is MY recipe that I created." This is when someone says, here is a recipe from such and such blog, here are my adaptions, ta-da.

I do not subscribe to food blogs that are photo's only, with no links to a recipe. I just don't see the point of it. Furthermore, if I want to see photo's only with no recipe attached, I'll just go browse Pinterest. Hehe.

I am of the opinion that if you are that upset that someone loved your recipe enough to blog about it, give you a link back and credit you as the recipe creator, you should probably say "Thank you, thank you!" Better yet, write yourself a cookbook and stop posting recipes online.

Okay, your turn. Do you agree with this train of thought? Why or why not?


  1. Agree, agree, agree! I believe there is no such thing, really, of an original recipe, as all recipes are just variations... And people should be flattered if someone liked your recipe enough to blog about it! A link back to the original is common courtesy!

  2. I agree also. As long as a source to the recipe is acknowledged (magazine, cookbook or link back to a blog) any recipe should be considered flattery if copied or adapted. My 2 cents.

  3. i agree also! i am all about giving credit where credit is earned, with that said its awesome to share and be inspired by other bloggers. thats what this is all about!!!

  4. I think if you try out a recipe (or project) and blog about your experience with it, your variations, you should post the recipe. Really nothing is more annoying than reading about a recipe and not being given the recipe. Like you said, if I just want to look at food, I hang out on Pinterest (espcially your boards!). I might not follow a link. I'll just be annoyed with everyone, you know? If you say I got this from so and so and here's my go at it: ta-da. And, hey, you should really check out so and so's blog for more yummy goodness, that is fine and good etiquette and really, free advertising. Too many people out there are not giving proper credit which is annoying, but if credit is given, what's the problem?

  5. Speaking from an older cook's point of view, I think of food blogs as a new version of the long accepted community cookbook. I finally started my blog to share recipes I have been collecting for over 50 years. My purpose is to get new recipes "out there." If someone likes a recipe well enough to make it and blog about it and link back to my blog, that is all well and good. A reader of that blog may then find my blog. Isn't that what we all want?

    An article in the April/May 2011 Cook's Country for "Thoroughbred Pie" explains that the author was trying to make an adaptation of "Derby Pie." The article further explains that although you cannot copyright recipes, per se, you can trademark a name. The name "Derby" Pie is trademarked. Hense the name "Thoroughbred Pie" for the Cook's Country version.

    This has gotten too long, and the issue is one where bloggers are going to remain divided, I'm afraid.

  6. @ Everyone who commented so far : Yep, that is pretty much how I feel.

    I think the issue it comes down to is picking your battles. Do you really want to spend time ranting about how someone posted "your" recipe?

    There are really only so many recipes out there. Claiming ownership, which technically cookbook authors tend to do, is sort of silly. I mean, I guess I can see their point, but at the same time, when there are 1,630,000 recipes for Stroganoff on the internet, how unique do you think "your" recipe really is? (Stroganoff is just an example recipe here)

  7. Sharing and being inspired by other bloggers,That is what this is all about,having fun, I don't understand why make a "job" out of blogging.Ain't we suppose to be enjoying ourselves,meeting new people getting inspiration from each others creativity.Correct me if I'm wrong,but ain't we suppose to be sharing?...If it goes on the world-wide web blogger, you know the ole sayin',"the cat is out of the bag".
    I know I probable don't ever blog about anything worth a "toot".But it would tickle me if someone thought it was interesting enough to borrow.
    O' BTW I'm having my first giveaway
    next week on June 15, I'm joining up with Happier Than A Pig In Mud for a cook along with the Pillsbury Doughboy,Hope yall come join in the fun!

  8. I am so glad you feel this way since I recently post an adaptation of your Cherry Vanilla Cake (with the link back to you, of course)!

    And I completely agree. I'm flattered when someone makes one of my recipes. I like seeing the variations they make on the dish. I don't think people should copy/paste recipes or give no credit. That is wrong. But sharing naturally, and giving credit is a good thing.

  9. I agree completely as well. Sometimes when I think I have created an original recipe, someone will email me privately to say it's not, that they make something very similar. There really aren't too many "original" recipes :)

    I totally agree on giving credit where it's due, and consider it flattering when I am the source. The whole point in food blogging (at least I think for me) is to share my talent and love for food with others, and hope to gain something from them (like how to decorate a cake...still working on that one!)

    Thanks for addressing a hot topic. Love it! Love you!

  10. I agree that for me food blogging is about sharing a love of food with others Aimee.

    There are going to be times when people rip you off entirely, pass of your work (or your entire blog!) as their own. Those are the times to get upset.

    But when someone recommends your blog, gives you love, and praises your recipes, man back down just a bit. :)

  11. I agree with everyone as well, I've posted other blogger's recipes with a link back and full credit, and while I don't have a lot of my own recipes I have had someone link back to me which I was really excited about!

    I guess when some bloggers have thousands of followers they lose sight of the fact that they're not the first to have invented cake. :)

  12. Agree! As long as you give credit where credit is due, I think it's flattering! I've bought more than one cookbook because of the recipes I've seen posted online (and subsequently tried). As far as I'm concerned, it's a win-win situation!

  13. I totally agree! I'm really flattered when others blog my recipes, but a big-time blogger once got her "feelings hurt" (her words) when I posted a recipe of hers, because I only listed her as the recipe source with a link back to her recipe and didn't mention her in the actual post. I do understand where she was coming from, since it was her original recipe and she felt she deserved more credit than I gave, and I did change the post to sing her praises before the recipe, but I still get a little irritated about it if I think on it too long. I hope that I never get so full of myself that I'd get my feelings hurt if someone didn't sing my praises before posting a recipe of mine.

  14. I started food blogging to share recipes I love with friends and family. I DID NOT start a food blog in the hopes of writing a cook-book or making "big-bucks". I think it is absolutely ridiculous that people get upset when someone wants to share the food-love whether it be from a magazine, a book, or another blog. A blog is an on-line coversation...a journal, NOT a website. If you don't want your stuff shared among the masses, then WHY PUT IT ON THE INTERNET?!?! Package and sell the stuff if you are so protective of it! Ok, off my rant :)

  15. I had no idea this was even a real big issue? I am with you though...I would only re-post a recipe from someone else that I fall in love with, I always give credit, and I link back. Really no one is re-inventing the wheel these days, all recipes tend to be built on stuff we all know of or have heard of....sharing is caring!

  16. I totally agree with you all. I have just started up a recipe blog with the intention of having the recipes all in one spot for my kids to use later. Most of my recipes I have no idea where they have come from as I have been collecting them for the last 30 years. I have two huge folders filled with recipes from magazines, the internet and cookbooks etc that have been scrawled on paper. I'm not going to share them just in case I upset someone. I will give credit where I can but if I don't have someone to give credit to, it won't stop me from sharing it on my blog.

  17. Thanks so much, Ali for sending me the link to this post! I just read through everything and I'm SO glad to see this side of it! Food for thought... (haha!)

  18. I 100% agree with you. Very well said. It is something I have wondered about because I do use recipes from other bloggers, but I will ALWAYS link back and give them the credit where it is due!

  19. I've been thinking about this a lot the past few days. Over the weekend I saw a "big" blogger get pissy about another blogger posting her recipe. I never claim to be a recipe developer - I post recipes that I want to save & list any changes I make & take my own pics - with full credit back to where I found it. I would never want to take traffic away from a blogger who uses their blog as their source of income, but I think their should be room for all of us. If anything, I think I'm sending people their way.

    1. Oh boy, drama in blog land! :)

      I agree with you. The only time I ever personally get annoyed is when someone takes my photographs without asking, takes the recipe, and posts it on a blog with no mention of where all that came from. When they pass my hard work off as their own.

      Now, somebody posting a recipe from my site and linking back to me? I love it! Thank you people who take the time to give the source of their recipes or food inspirations.

      Food blogging is about sharing. I am so happy when I see people have shared recipes from my blog. I appreciate the comments, the traffic they send me.

      I have to laugh if someone throws a fit, such as you described. My only response would be, "Get real, lady!" :)

  20. I have 5 blogs mostly about my interests, with an abundance of recipes. I collect cookbooks and my 3 girls have told me 'enough' so I decided to copy recipes and add to my blogs. But, lately I've taken too much time to look at the lengthy copyrights and find it irritating. I have only had 3 instances where they have ask me to take it off, even though I gave them credit. One of my blogs gets between 1-2 thousand hits daily. Evidently many others have the same interests as I... bird watching, decorating, recipe collecting and a few others. I am from a family of 8 children and I spent a lot of my childhood in the kitchen with my mom. Wished we had had computers in those days I would have cooked up a storm with 4 hungry brothers.

    Sorry is is lengthy, but I have to add one last thought: the first time I got a notice, years ago, I was so scared I wanted to hide in my closet in case they came to arrest me! Yes, get real Betty!

  21. Love your way of thinking Ali. Like my Mom would always say...."Copy Katting is the best form of flattery". Oops! Maybe my Mom didn't come up with that ~ Sorry, hope no one gets upset if she stole "your" saying! Hehehe!