|By Adelie (Adelie) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 02:40 pm: Edit|
I have a lovely gingerbread recipe that I developed after many years of trial and error in my home kitchen. I originally got it from someone else, but it was too light and sweet. Now it's dark, dense, and chewy, not too sweet. My friends all love it, and I always tell them where I first got it from and how I've changed it.
I share recipes freely, and gave this to a friend a while ago. She has now included it in a recipe collection she has published. She changed it by adding an extra half-teaspoon of molasses, but other than that, it's identical to mine. But that small change, she says, justifies her claiming it as her own "original" recipe. She says that because she changed it from what I gave her, it IS original and she doesn't owe any attribution.
So my questions are:
- To what degree do you think a recipe has to be changed to make it "original"?
- Is there such a thing as a truly original recipe, or do they all build on established themes?
- How much change do you have to make to what you've received/learned to earn the right not to credit someone else for it, or to claim full credit for yourself?
- Or is it naturally assumed that all recipes are based on established themes that have been fiddled with?
- Is there a time element involved here - if I've used it for X number of years, do I still have to credit the person who gave me the original version? I got the original more than 25 years ago, but still happily bore people with its attribution.
I love to trade recipes, and usually fiddle with the ones I get to suit my own taste. I'm happy if people go on and use mine - they don't even have to credit me - but it seems mingy to claim it as her own for publication.
|By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 04:46 pm: Edit|
Of course your "friend" should have attributed. Her justification rings hollow. An organal is the first. Changing a part does not make a new organal. Give credit where credit is due, there is no time limit.
To claim something as common as gingerbread as being organal is stupid. How could a gingerbread recipe be an organal every know what it is and they all have similar ingredients. Your "friend" is missing an opportunity, people love to here the evolution of a recipe. It would add character to her book.
|By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 05:13 pm: Edit|
I think you are going to have to speak to a lawyer????????
Any Chef-Lawyers here????
|By Adelie (Adelie) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 05:44 pm: Edit|
No, no, I'm not interested in that at all. I cook and bake purely for the pleasure of it; I'm not a professional, and I certainly wouldn't think of suing over something as inconsequential as a recipe. (Especially since, as a non-pro, I would never be able to prove any monetary loss due to her action.) That would be "malicious sue-age" on a par with her malicious usurpation of my recipe!
I'm mostly interested in this as a philosophical issue. I'm always happy to share recipes, and this is the first time I've ever experienced anything like this. I posted it here to get a sense of how these issues are regarded in the professional cooking and baking world. And I don't intend to stop sharing my recipes.
But how DO you define an "original" recipe? After what degree of massaging a recipe do you consider it to be "yours," or "your" version, or original? What, if anything, is the convention here?
|By Beachbumcook (Beachbumcook) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 05:50 pm: Edit|
Did some reading-
You can not copyright a list of ingredients in a recipe but you can pattent a new method or procedure.
The Copyright office of the US Government says specifically "A mere listing of ingredients is not protected under copyright law. However, where a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a collection of recipes as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection." (http://www.loc.gov/copyright/faq.html#q29) So the literary expression in the form of directions or description might be protected, if it can be proven to be truly creative. In other words, a lasagna recipe with 3 basic steps (cook the noodles, make the sauce, and bake for an hour) is not copyrightable -- no matter how tasty -- because it is obvious, not creative. Or a collection of recipes into the unique presentation of a cookbook is copyrightable due to the choice of the collection and it's arrangement, not the individual recipes themselves. http://www.loc.gov/copyright/fls/fl122.pdf
|By Adelie (Adelie) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 06:13 pm: Edit|
You're right about that part!
|By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 06:21 pm: Edit|
I did not mean to sue, I meant for an explanation!
Sometimes, as in Coke, and KFC, the recipe is just kept secret, even copyright and patents have a time frame.....then anyone can copy it!
|By Beachbumcook (Beachbumcook) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 07:10 pm: Edit|
OK, so what's the recipe so I can put it in my cookbook and copyright it, with attribution of course ;<)
|By Adelie (Adelie) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 11:14 am: Edit|
Here it is - I got it from my friend Carmen about 25 years ago and adapted it to my own taste, which is always toward the less sweet. It's best made the day before you serve it.
½ c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 c. molasses
1 c. sour milk (or add 1 t. lemon juice/vinegar to milk, stir, and let sit 20 - 30 minutes
3 c. flour
1 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. soda in 1 T. hot water
Cream shortening and sugar.
Add rest of ingredients and mix well.
Turn into a greased lasagne (approx. 9" x 13")pan and bake at 275° for an hour, or until it tests done.
|By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 02:04 am: Edit|
I have 200 baking books and 30 of them have almost the same recipe. they date all before 1950.
its nothing special (sorry, not trying to be nasty )
don't share your recipes with people, and if you must, put them in book form, pay 20.00 bucks for a copyright and then give them to your friends.
as far as your friend goes, have her beat up.
and her fingers broke with a rolling pin.
and blue food coloring on her face.
and then have her beat up again.
|By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 02:27 am: Edit|
To what degree do you think a recipe has to be changed to make it "original"?
unless its brand new spanking ingredients, you can't call it orignal. just adding an ingredient to a recipe does not change the original.
Is there such a thing as a truly original recipe, or do they all build on established themes
yes, there are TRUE ORIGINALS but you will never see most of them or read most of them and in some cases never be able to match the same ingredients with todays.
How much change do you have to make to what you've received/learned to earn the right not to credit someone else for it, or to claim full credit for yourself?
thats an endless argument, move on from it.
Or is it naturally assumed that all recipes are based on established themes that have been fiddled with?
Answer: theres no assuming to it. its a fact.
its in stone. like taxes and death.
Is there a time element involved here - if I've used it for X number of years, do I still have to credit the person who gave me the original version? I got the original more than 25 years ago, but still happily bore people with its attribution.
Answer: no theres no time limit and no one would care if there was and no one cares if you say their name or not. unless YOU have it in book form and have a copyright on said book its a mute point.
I love to trade recipes, and usually fiddle with the ones I get to suit my own taste. I'm happy if people go on and use mine - they don't even have to credit me - but it seems mingy to claim it as her own for publication
Answer: stop fiddling with yourself and just make up recipes from scratch. why do you need to start with some one else's ??
if you don't know what the ingrediends do alone and with each other then learn that and create your own piece of work.
and stop fiddling, Chef's hate that.
|By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 02:34 am: Edit|
and how come your not in school yet?, i thought you were going to go last year?
did you check out that school on melrose and robertson in west hollywood??
theres another on ocean blvd in santa monica, i think its called academy of arts or some crap like that.
|By Adelie (Adelie) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 02:11 pm: Edit|
I ALWAYS fiddle. The first time I make a recipe, I do it as given, but from then on, I play with it until it's exactly the way I like it.
And if there's no such thing as an original for the non-pros, I'll always have to start with someone else's, won't I?
I'm not in school for a number of reasons, mostly 1) because I never found a program that wasn't an intensive geared toward producing professionals, and that's not what I want; 2) those programs are terribly expensive, especially given that they aren't what I want; and 3) we will be leaving the Los Angeles area within the next few months.
But when we are resettled, most likely in the Sonoma, Santa Cruz, or Grass Valley/Nevada City areas, I intend to resume my search for a local Cooking School for Dilletantes!
|By Adelie (Adelie) on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 02:17 pm: Edit|
I never assumed that the recipe was original; my friend probably got her version from one of those 30 books before she passed it on to me. Which is why I was surprised when my other "friend" included it. I've always assumed that people who publish cookbooks are touting their own creations, or versions thereof.
|By Fritz (Fritz) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 10:46 pm: Edit|
The fastest way to get a completely blank stare from a pushing - Middle - Age woman who likes to have fun in her kitchen is to ask her for a 'recipe'....
Trust me..... I spend a great deal of time w/ that look on my face.
If I had time for recipies, I'd have time to write a book - & be making way more $. I always share basic ingredients, & I tend to prep things that are open to interpretation... I can't speak to being p.o.'ed that someone stole a recipe - knowing the addition or subtraction of something might work better is okay w/ me, & I think that person should do whatever they want w/ their interpretation.... But I am not a pro, so ya got me there. -(;o)~
Just have fun, & if someone tweaks w/ what you do, try it yourself, & see what you like better - so you can feel humbled or superior.... But above all, don't take the fun out of it for yourself, or someone else.
Oh, &... If you happen to feel particularly spunky (vengeful?!)... Organize a local gingerbread bake-off, & see what happens.
|By Adelie (Adelie) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 07:38 pm: Edit|
Well, I participated in a cornbread cookoff at work once and won it hands-down. But I'm the only one among our friends who enjoys baking, so I doubt that I could raise much interest in a gingerbread bake-off.
I would never try to spoil anyone's fun in the kitchen, which is why my questions about originality were philosophical.
And I actually have - not written - COMPILED a book of my favorites. It includes a bunch of my Austrian mother's recipes, as well as others that I've culled, tweaked, and made up. It makes it much easier to share when people ask me for a recipe.
|By Fritz (Fritz) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:25 pm: Edit|
Adelie... You just answered your own question.
|By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 12:38 am: Edit|
here all this time I thought you were going to school.
you are the one in Pasadena, NO?
who wanted to go to cooking school?
|By Jonesg (Jonesg) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 07:34 am: Edit|
A trained , skilled baker will produce superior products regardless of the formula by adjustments based on experience.
If you have done that, its still better to steer clear of the "my recipe" labels to keep the ego out of the process. You have simply done what any decent baker does.
If you like what you have done, why not get a job doing what you like to get some real pro training, then you can go sell it commercially.
|By Adelie (Adelie) on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 10:56 am: Edit|
Fritz, which question was that?
Spike, I thought I mentioned that I hadn't found a program that worked for me. All the ones around here are 18-month intensives that cost a fortune and are designed to turn out pros. That's not what I want; I just want to learn some of the basic chemistry and techniques so I'd be a better home baker and cook. My husband retires this Friday and we're leaving for the UK that day, which is probably going to be a pattern for us - he really wants to travel a lot, which precludes any major schooling or a job. We're also selling our house and moving when we return, and I'm hoping to find a program geared to home cooks wherever we land.
My original post, last January, generated information about some professional books. Corey offered me two by Wayne Gislen but forgot to ship them to me until now. I'm anxiously awaiting them and hope they arrive before we leave. I hope they contain the kind of information I want, which isn't available in most consumer books (except Beranbaum's "Cake Bible.")
|By Cvincolorado (Cvincolorado) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 01:05 am: Edit|
Adelie, I just bought a book called Baking Illustrated. It is written by the people from Cooks Illustrated Magazine. It not only gives you the recipes, but also give you the trials and errors of thier test kitchens. Each recipe is tried many different ways and the results are laid out in easy to read formats. I sent a copy to my mother, who is a great cook but very hesitant to try new things, and she has in turn reccomended it to all her friends. I found it on the internet(ecookbooks.com)for only $20.97. It's so worth it.
|By Adelie (Adelie) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 11:11 am: Edit|
CV, that sounds like a really helpful book. I'll check it out - thanks.
The ones I was originally interested in were Professional Cooking and Professional Baking by Gislen (?). Those are the ones Corey offered to sell me last January but I haven't received them yet. Between them and your recommendation, I ought to be set. (Well, as set as I can be without going to school, anyway.)
Thanks again -
|By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit|
whats a recipe without a little ego?
are you saying that cooks, chefs don't have ego's?
how can that be?, let the ones here without a little ego throw the first stone.
( so to speak)
|By Cheffy (Cheffy) on Saturday, August 28, 2004 - 12:49 am: Edit|
A Chef that I studied under years ago used to say....
There is no original thought, everything that you think has already been thunk...