Thursday, March 27, 2008

Copyright conundrum

Here's one I haven't figured out yet. Anytime I have cited a recipe in this blog I try to credit the developer, and make sure it is freely available on a website or such. I'd like to give you the recipe for the potato soup I made for dinner, but there's an issue.

I made a pot of soup from a recipe titled "The Best Potato Soup in the World", from in a fundraiser cookbook sold by my mother's church. The title's pretty grandiose, but I have to give it to Mr. Dawson, it's probably the best potato soup I've ever eaten. I think he may have invented the recipe. I haven't seen it elsewhere.

But it's published in this fundraiser cookbook printed by Morris Press, which has the "All rights reserved, reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited" statement on the title page. Does this mean that Mr. Dawson does not own the rights to his own recipe any more? If, for example, someone asked him for the recipe at a potluck supper, he would not be legally able to give it to them?

And how about the other recipes in the book? Were they all developed by the contributors? Were they checked out for originality and authenticity? Is Betty Ball's five bean salad recipe a possible copyright infringement?

All this gives me a headache.


Rose said...

I am always having issues with copyright, too. With me it has been poems--I have so far just given a link to the poem but I wish I could just feel free to print them on my blog. I can find them all over the place on the internet--so does that mean I can copy and paste the whole thing to my blog? There are a couple that just go so well with fall pictures.

Lisa Boyer said...

I read somewhere once that you can't copyright recipes. I wish I knew where I read it, maybe I'll do a little google research. I've never seen an actual stand-alone recipe copyrighted, have you? Interesting...