Copyrights And Recipes???

Decorating By kellertur Updated 19 Jan 2009 , 5:41pm by Sugarflowers

kellertur Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 6:27pm
post #1 of 11

I realize the majority of people who own bakeries are probably working off someone else's recipe, but how does that factor into copyright laws?

I've learned when I pass a recipe along (that's NOT mine) to send the actual "link". That way there's no confusion. Most of my recipes have been altered beyond recognition so I'm not worried about infringement, but it gets confusing. icon_confused.gif

~Can we legally use other people's recipes to bake foods for sale? Not everyone is going to have "their own" recipes, right?
~I do know you can't publish a recipe that is in any way close to the original one (which is tricky, since there are only so many basic ingred. you can use)

Can anyone add clarity to this for me? Any time I see the words "copyright infringement" a red flag goes up and I do research.

~thanks icon_smile.gif

10 replies
Sugarflowers Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 7:02am
post #2 of 11

In all of the stuff I have read about copyright laws (this is a lot) I have not seen anything about the use of a recipe in the sale of a finished product. As far as I can tell, if you don't print the recipe as one of your own, then you should have no problem. It's sort of like when someone like Martha Stewart has photos of cakes in her magazines, it's very like that it's going to be copied. Once it's put in a book in this manner, then I don't think it is infringement.

When it comes to things like Disney characters that's a whole different story. This is Trademark infringement. Those are considered works of art and are owned by the Disney company. The designs in magazine for cakes are not trademarked.

I hope this makes sense. It's late and I'm beginning to get loopy.

Michele

p.s. If you used a recipe out of my cookbook for your business I would be quite flattered and I wouldn't charge you for doing it. icon_lol.gif

CakesByJen2 Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 1:12pm
post #3 of 11

As long as the recipe has been published and made available to the public, you can use it. What you couldn't use is a stolen, "secret" recipe. That would be industrial espionage icon_wink.gif .

The copyright applies to the publishing of the recipe, not the cooking of it. So you could bake and sell the cake, but you could not include the recipe in your own cookbook for sale.

Now, I don't know how much a recipe would need to be changed for it to be considered yours, but there are so many recipes that are so basic and so universal, I don't think anyone could claim them as their own.

kellertur Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 7:22pm
post #4 of 11

thank you both very much ~ this really helps. thumbs_up.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 7:34pm
post #5 of 11

Hey Sugarflowers....when I click on the link to www.thesugarfixtoo.com...I get an error. Are you aware of this?

CakesByLJ Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 7:43pm
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesByJen2

Now, I don't know how much a recipe would need to be changed for it to be considered yours, but there are so many recipes that are so basic and so universal, I don't think anyone could claim them as their own.




From what I understand, in order to "copyright" your own recipe, it needs to be at least 25% different from any other, and you have the burden of proof to verify that.. whew! that is a tall order I think.. icon_confused.gif

MaisieBake Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 7:58pm
post #7 of 11

Copyright doesn't play into baking from published recipes.

Knowledge cannot be copyrighted-- it's the specific expression of information that can be.

TexasSugar Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 9:06pm
post #8 of 11

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought you couldn't copyright the list of ingredients, but could copyright the method, or the directions to the recipe.

MaisieBake Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:13pm
post #9 of 11

You can copyright the _expression_ of the method ("with your mixer on low, blend room-temperature unsalted butter until"). But that you or I or General Foods owns the idea of creaming butter and then adding sugar? No.

Sugarflowers Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 2:14am
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie85364

Hey Sugarflowers....when I click on the link to www.thesugarfixtoo.com...I get an error. Are you aware of this?




Yes, but thanks though. It's down temporarily until I can get a few things fixed.

Sugarflowers Posted 19 Jan 2009 , 5:41pm
post #11 of 11

Well, it took a while, but I finally got my Sugar Fix Too site fixed. There are some neat things on there too, including some very romantic stuff for Valentine's Day.

Thanks again Jamie for letting me know about the problems.

Michele

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