Copyright Laws are “srs bsnss”…

Copyright infringement can get even the most experienced or inexperienced person into big trouble. Avoiding copyright infringements seems like it would be easy, just don’t claim others work as your own; but it isn’t always that simple.

In the world of blogging, specifically related to recipes and reviews, we see a lot of grey areas. What I’m seeing is no clear cut defined norms within the society, and even the copyright laws leave plenty of room for interpretation. The implicit norm seems to be that general instructions are RARELY targets for copyright lawsuits, mainly because there aren’t large sums of money at stake. The society as a whole is really built around sharing and to violate this inherent unspoken ‘law’ would surely bring a negative light on to anyone taking these measures.

Legally, we see the same kind of grey area. The listing of a set of ingredients is NOT protected by copyrights, but the pictures and detailed instructions related to the recipe are. Supposedly if you change enough of the instructions though, it becomes your own. One exception here are books of recipes, basically compilations. If you explicitly post multiple recipes or a whole book of recipes then, as opposed to specifically violating copyright laws of a single recipe, you move in to a larger area of infringing on the copyright of a book as a whole.  So all of these things taken in to consideration, as long as you’re not explicitly claiming, “This is MY recipe!” and it’s clearly not then my opinion is that you’ll be fine.


One response to “Copyright Laws are “srs bsnss”…

  1. I think I have to agree with everything you said, and yes there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to copyrights. My group is using Creative Commons. That way people can still use our content as long as we get credit for it. Also, it is another way to get traffic to our site if someone else has a link to our blog on theirs!

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