I’ve just stumbled across and interesting discussion on a cooking blog that seems to have overstepped the mark when it comes to using another cooking blog’s content.
The Culinary Arts version gives a credit link to the Simple Recipes page as it’s source but the writer of the original post (Elise) takes exception with the way in which the post has been reproduced. Elise doesn’t seen to mind that the recipe has been reproduced but takes exception to the introductory passage being virtually identical and the use of her original photos all being used.
I’m interested in the conflict that is happening in the comments of Culinary Arts because it’s an example of a conflict that I’m seeing happen more and more as bloggers clash over different standards of what is and isn’t acceptable with using the content of others.
From what I know of copyright around recipes – recipes themselves are not copyrightable but unique descriptions or highly personalized instructions are projectable – as are photos.
My own approach to using other people’s content (whether recipes or any kind) is that to simply cut and paste (even if you change a couple of words) a full post including images into your blog then you’re probably overstepping what might be considered to be fair use – particularly when your blog contains advertising and is obviously a commercial venture (to some degree). The exception to this in my mind is when you have permission to do so from the author or copyright holder.
I don’t have issue with using quote from other sites as long as they are not full articles. I generally would stick to a paragraph or two (unless the article I was quoting was a very long one), make it obvious which bits are mind and which bits are the quotes (using blockquotes, quotation marks etc).
My other practice is that if I’m asked by another site to remove content (whether I think I should or not) I always try to come to some agreement with that person. This might ultimately mean the removal of content (I’ve only once been asked to remove content – a quote that an author didn’t want reproduced) or a revision of the use of that content. Perhaps this is not a legal thing but to me it comes out of my own ethical standards (not something I’d push on anyone).
I’m interested in the thoughts of others on this. Obviously the example I’ve used has gotten people’s blood boiling a little looking at the comment thread – I don’t think we need to add to the conflict but lets see it as an example and lets talk about the issues at hand.