Monday, 13 February 2012

The Bloggers Voluntary Code of Fair Practice

Over the past couple of years I’ve learnt such allot about blogging.  I’m the first to admit I blundered about a bit at first, not really knowing any rules other than don’t write anything you could get sued for!

As time has gone on I read and hear lots and there are some fabulous blogs out there, but on the odd occasion, often through wanting to promote something we love or we forget ( I know I have) or even that we are new to blogging we can make mistakes.

One of the most difficult areas is the copywriting of recipes. I for one have never minded people who tested my recipes publishing them.  It served a great purpose by providing back links and establishing me quickly.  That said people always asked me if I minded the recipes being used.  Fair play  ... because often they would take me a day to develop and write .. not to mention the cost of ingredients! 

I think that it is right to be asked though.   When I first published my book there were all sorts of deals that went on .. mostly involving exclusivity and I know that one deal that meant some amazing media exposure was seriously threatened when one of the “exclusive” recipes was seen online published be a blogger. (yes I had given permission) but the magazine didn’t see it that way.  It was no longer an exclusive.  

Bloggers don’t write beautiful posts endorsing the writer and book if they don’t love the book and the writer. It's such a thrill and a compliment to written about al all !

However writing a full recipe in a well meaning blog post can cause some serious problems when the writer is contacted to be exclusive.  Behind the scenes I've leant that there are deals, and contacts that are agreed, and these can be very sensitive in a highly competitive arena .. so having your livelihood used as content by an adoring blogger means that you are stuck between a rock and a hard place  .. you can't win.  You look unreasonable to the blogger whilst your means to earn a living is under threat.  Rock, hard place, rock.  

Then there is the problem of sponsored posts.  I read a superb post here on how to write a good sponsored post… but what is sponsored?  Well basically anything you were given free.  It’s just not fair to mislead people by not mentioning it.  It’s also in my view unprofessional. Although I will admit that I was rather wooly with what constituted sponsored to begin with !

I read lots of articles on Google and there are all sorts of laws that cover blogging and no I don’t profess to understand all the copy write laws or the trading standards rules.. I do understand however what is truthful and right.
It’s not an area that can be policed, and really who would want to?  So I thought and thought about it, and called several friends to ask their opinions, and came up with the fact that any standards have to voluntary and easy to follow.

Then I changed my mind.  Who am I to suggest such a thing?  Am I setting myself up to be shot down in flames by angry bloggers suggesting with indignation that this is all so blindingly obvious?   But then when I first started blogging it wasn't obvious, and how do I show that I have integrity quickly unless people are intimately familiar with your blog .. then how do you know the the writer who's blog you are reading is fair and upfront?  So here is what I am going to do.  I am going to set out a simple idea:

The Bloggers Voluntary Code of Fair Practice. 

It has three simple rules.  

1) If you have been sent something for free or had any kind of payment in kind you must declare it in an obvious way.

2) The second is that before reproducing any work, or photograph or recipe that you have permission from the publisher / author.

3) The third ( optional ) rule is that you pop the badge on your site and link back to the original rules here.

This is totally self-policing and voluntary. Nobody owns it or is in charge.  
It is not meant to cause anyone to be hung drawn and quartered for forgetting one of the rules .. however if you find you have made a boob .. it’s pretty quick stuff to correct it!

I hope it will be used as a sign of fair practice. Please let me know what you think. 


PS It did not occur to me as I wrote this until an anonymous comment was made saying that asking to link back to this post was self profiting. However I appreciate that it could be seen as so I have made it  an optional rule but would REALLY appreciate it if you did link back so people could read what this badge is about and what it means to use it !! 

PPS  Anyone who comments confirming they wish to participate and would like a link to their site added to this post please email me your blog url to and I'll add your site to this post 


A Small Holding
Belleau Kitchen
Carmelas Kitchen
Charlottes Kitchen Diary
Chilli and chai
Corner Cottage Bakery
Exploits of a food Nut 
Farmers girl
Goddess On a Budget
Grazing Kate
Lavender and Lovage
L'heure du The
Pebble Soup
Magnolia Verandah
Marks Veg Plot
Misk cooks
Not Just any old Baking
The Hungry Manc
the secluded tea party shhh
Vanessa Kimbell


  1. there was some discussion on twitter over this the other day but a conclusion was never reached. what part of a recipe has been copyrighted the whole thing or just the method?

  2. I think this is a very good idea. Well thought out and good advice.

  3. I am pretty sure there is american case law on recipe copyright as follows:-

    A list of ingredients cannot be copyright.

    Method is copyright and covered by normal copyright law (e.g. minor changes will not suffice). So, copying 'Jamie's winter warmer stew' and changing the name to 'My Mum's winter warmer stew', replacing all references to Jamie's wife Jules with 'My Dad' still breaches copyright.

    Photography is always copyright, unless rights are explicitly given up.

    I agree it's a good idea. I've got a bit of a backlog of stuff to do but I will try to add the square thing asap

  4. I agree with you entirely... but I do think point number 2 needs clarification... we're not talking about something you may have changed or adapted we're talking about stuff that you have quite obviously used and copied word for word... be truthful about where you got it and if possible seek the authors permission... it's about claiming that it belongs to you where we get off on the wrong foot.

    Food blogging comes in many different forms... some people review restaurants... some people review books... some people cook and talk about their lives... what does the law say about reproducing the recipe and saying I AM copying this recipe directly from someone else's book, not because i'm ripping them off and claiming it as my own but because I want to try out the recipe and let you, my reader see how it went...?

    What I think is brilliant about what you're doing here Vanessa is that WE as a group (food bloggers) should have our own set of morals and standards and should be self policing... we should know what is right and wrong... we should be inspired by recipes and want to inspire others...

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. I think this is a fantastic idea and I will proudly put up the badge on my blog!

  7. I was always brought up on the principle that honesty is the best policy. In current times honesty and integrity are unfortunately rare commodities. Despite what "Wakeup" says, Im putting your badge on my blog, because we (the Food Blogging community) do need somewhere to collate our thinking on these matters, and your blog seems as good a place as any. Blogging should not just be about boosting your pageview count and the safest way for a blogger to operate is to publish only their own stuff!

  8. I'm with Mark Willis, honesty will always be the best policy for me. I only write out the recipes if I change the methods and/or quantities of the ingredients. If I've ever been inspired by something then I'll link back or mention the book title.
    Sadly, I've seen recipes, photos and text from websites and blogs alike being passed off as their own creation. It boils down to respect. If someone has spent hours writing books, money on ingredients for testing and the sheer stress of putting something like that together then I, for one, will respect that.
    Great post, Vanessa. I'll be adding this badge to my blog when I get home. Well done to all those doing likewise, I sincerely hope it'll make a difference.

  9. Dear wakeup .. I have deleted your comment. Not because I disagree ... ( I do ) but If you want to make comments please have the decency to use your own name .. not a silly anonymous one.

  10. I'm one of those'new' bloggers who is finding my way around, the hard way! I really appreciate the advice of established bloggers like yourself. I'll certainly have a go at adding the badge! Not sure how long it will take me but I'll figure it out!!

  11. Oh My!! I managed it really quickly!! :o) So now you can add mine to the list of blogs that will stick to the code! :o)

  12. Hi Vanessa- I think this is a good idea. I have always said I was given something to blog about and lately I have been asking for permission to reproduce the recips and the answer is usually 'yes' as long as I give the appropriate credit (which I will). Not sure how to add the badge but I wll give it a go - might contact you for 'how to'.

  13. As usual another brill idea Vanessa, you always get it 'just right'...mind you I go to pains to tell readers when its sponsored and when its not sponsored too as I don't want to mislead anyone...I read the 'wake up' comment and thought it was misinformed because you don't need to do this to publicise or get hits on your blog YOU ARE Vanessa Kimbell FGS!!!

  14. Hi Susan .. Now I am laughing out loud and the cat is looking alarmed!!


    No I did't do it for ratings. In the end I hope it will just become a gadget that people use to show they are fair at a glance and people can auto trust the blog.

    However I have a policy clearly stating on both the terms and on the sidebar that I have an open comment policy but i do not ever allow anonymous comments. It seems fair. If the comment had been from the person I would have left it up.

  15. Oh dear - rightly or wrongly I feel that this is all meant for me and the really big mistake I made on my blog yesterday. Wrongly I thought that as along as I made it clear where a recipe came from it would be okay to use it. How wrong can you be. So, my sincere apologies for using your jam recipe, I have already apologised via my blog comments to the other author I have offended and am in the process of writing a new post to this effect. I will be following the Bloggers Voluntary Code of Fair Practice in future.

  16. Thanks for letting me know about this Vanessa! Sorry to be late the party but I was writing recipes and uploading photos, as well as trying to cook tea!
    I think this is a marvellous idea and I shall be linking up and adding the badge, but I would just like to add that I also see this as being something to protect blogger's rights too. I post every day and 99% of my posts and recipes are mine - I developed them, I cooked them, I took the photos and edited them and finally I took the time to write the post and share it with the whole of blogland! I feel that bloggers also need some protection; I have seen my recipes and photos being used on large websites as well as other blogs without my permission and with no thought of copyright to me or links back to my blog. I think this should be an all encompassing badge of integrity that applies to all of us, food writers, authors, journalists and bloggers.
    I have posted a recipe belonging to an author in the past, but with NUMEROUS links back to the original source, Amazon and publishers; I made mistake as the recipe was published in a newspaper, so I assumed (wrongly) that I did not have to ask for permission prior to posting it, BUT I did tweet the fact that I was posting and with a link to my site, and all seemed fine for several months! I obviously won't be doing that again, but it was in the best interests of promoting the author, the book and recipe, which in all cases I loved - I DO understand the rock and the hard-place principal now though! I think Dom has a point about different blogs having different audiences and areas of interests, so those who review books (as I often do) must be on their toes when posting recipes; I may make it my new policy now to say what I have made, post MY photos but with no recipe at all, I think that is a clearer set of guidelines, and maybe we should all adopt that policy to make sure we remain inside the copyright laws.
    As for sponsored posts, I have always made it clear where and when I have received anything and will continue to do so....BUT, that is a REALLY helpful link you have posted!
    A great idea Vanessa that I wholeheartedly support, with the small exception that I think we, bloggers, also need protection too!
    Off to add my link and badge now.....

  17. Oh Karen,

    Lovely comment. I was just saying to my husband that Bloggers, including you and Dom write with their hearts and in kindness and support. It's not always straight forward as I have discovered!

    I am so glad i haven't been shot down for writing this post ( Although I am still waiting for a backlash from places! )

    I once fed a rather hungry drunken chap I fancied the pants off an emergency store cupboard meal at 2am. Spaghetti with Campbell's Concentrated chicken soup and grated cheddar. He ate the whole bowl. The next morning he asked what the delicious meal was that I had cooked and when I told him with pride my inititive his face turned ashen. He abhorred eating meat and I was mortified that my kindness had backfired.

    We never did get it together!


  18. Oh Jennifer .. I hope I put your mind at rest! Really nothing at all to apologise to me about at all. Please leave your post exactly as it is!

    Have a lovely evening.

  19. Yes, totally agree, with you all. Fab advice again, keep it coming Vanessa x

  20. I'll sign up to this. Although I hope it doesn't put anyone off blogging recipes, as that would be a shame. I do have some concerns about getting in touch with publishers of some of the older books I own, but will do my best to honour the code!

  21. I think most bloggers agree that full disclosure is best when it comes to making it clear that something has been received for free, whether that be a product sample, a restaurant visit, a cookery book or anything else. I always prefer to make it crystal clear in my posts, not because I write any differently when I've been given something for free but because it's up to my readers to decide whether they still wish to place the same value on what I have said.

    Regarding recipe copyright, as has been said, the ingredients and method are not copyrighted, not even if the recipe is something new and original, though there's little of that in the world - it's all about personal tweaks in the majority of cases.

    What IS copyrighted is the exact words an individual author has used to describe the dish and to convey the method.

    So, sharing a recipe exactly as it is but re-writing the method in your own words means you are not breaching copyright at all. Of course, when I say 're-writing' I don't mean just changing the odd word or two.

    I've tried to do this more, recently, as I have seen some recent discussions from cookery book authors pointing out the issue from their point of view, of recipes being published by bloggers. Yes, it's most commonly in a positive review, and may well garner more sales for a book from that blog's readership, but overall, if each blogger chooses a different recipe, it's not long before the entire contents of the book are available on the web, with a little Googling, and that can make it difficult for the author to leverage the value of syndication.

    Having already been firmly declaring all freebies, and moving towards changing how I share recipes, I applaud your encouragement of more bloggers to do the same.

    However, for me, I don't feel any need to show any badge on my blog, there are already bloggers codes of practice out there for those who want them, and I think it's about doing the right thing, rather than pointing it out. That's just for me.

    But very happy to applaud your initiative on putting this whole discussion into words. It's a big issue and I think bloggers, quite rightly, will face more and more pressure to be transparent about the perks and behind-the-scenes PR that they benefit from.

  22. Very interesting and appropriate article as this subject seems to be a hot topic of conversation at the moment.
    I agree with you and like to think I always use the correct codes of practice when blogging and if the recipe has been adapted I always reference the source.
    Any suggestions as to what to do with old recipe books? I love all my old and faded copies of Marguerite Patten, Elizabeth David. What to do if adapting from these books.....?
    I often try to contact cookbook writers to ask permission to mention their recipes but as of yet have never received a reply.
    I would like to think that this code of practice will help to maintain some moral standards in the blogging community.
    I shall hope that many join in with your badge on their blogs.......thanks Vanessa!

  23. I am very (very) new to the blogging world. I have just sat down to write my first proper blog along with some recipes. However on reading this I think I'll stick to only posting my own recipes and for others simply give authors and boom titles.

    Really good idea and great advice for newbies such as myself

    You can count me soon as i can figure out how to add the square thingy!!!

  24. Thank you for your kind words Vanessa - you have put my mind at rest.

  25. Pop me on the list Honey ! I'll try and add the badge but as most of the Mids Food Bloggers (Jo & Louise) know .. I'm blimmin useless at techy stuff ......

  26. Thanks for another great initiative. I have only really been publishing my blog since last November, so the sponsorship issue has not arisen for me.
    I think these are good, simple rules to stick by.
    I have thus far been going with the rule that I will link back to the source, and not post the recipe at all (this goes for books and blogs), unless I have made significant changes to the recipe. I do show my photos of my efforts, however.
    I also always ask permission from the authors of blogs to use links, but not publishers of books - but this is because I am not really using any content of theirs, and they get a free plug with my few readers. I hope that this is OK, and if you think it isn't your advice is also appreciated.
    If the situation ever arises where people want to use my recipes, then I have vowed that I will always get back to them, even if I have to say no on occasion. I have found it frustrating if I seek permission before posting something, but then the blogger does not get back to me at all. I can respect a negative answer (and have), but when there is no answer, I am left to wonder if the author can't be bothered to get back to me, or if my e-mail was caught in their spam filter.
    I would also like to sign up for this, and put the button on my blog, if I can work out how to.

  27. Well done Vanessa, if I could clarify one point, Fiona Maclean hit it on the button in her post, when she said that minor changes don't get you around copyright law. As the Australian blogger Sharon Robards made clear at, "Attempting to rephrase words is still, and will be picked up, as a copyright breach". If all you do is adapt something from a copyright recipe but it's obvious where your version came from, you're in breach. It's not just about copying something word-for-word, or claiming it as your own, if you take someone's recipe and make inconsequential changes or rewrite the method in your own words, you are still going to breach copyright. Only if you take the concept and make something substantially new and original will you be ok (an example I've given of this in the past was a blogger who took a recipe for white dinner rolls, changed the ingredients to accommodate food allergies, and remade the bread as a loaf for toasting, with an entirely new and personally written method, which did not attempt to paraphrase the original).
    But you know, it's not just about what's legal, it's about what's moral, and the rights of an author to choose how their work is published and distributed.

  28. This is a code I have always tried to adhere to (thanks to wise teachings by Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes) she also said that you have to change at least 2 ingredients for a recipe to become yours. However, how boring is it to just copy a recipe, what service does it provide? Its not yours, so why do it? I have in the past tried out recipes from a book, (with the writers permission and encouragement) and it was boring for me and probably boring for the reader! As my recipes are mainly traditional Provencal dishes, I do look at different recipe books to see how they differ (and refer to them with title etc) I also ask the market vendors how they cook it, or friends and then finally I try it out myself....I haven't invented the dish, but I have made it in my own makes sense as does your code of fair practice, which I will happily link to on my blog.....

  29. Trying to spread the word on good blogging practice is a really good thing to be doing Vanessa. There are many blogs out there who’ve copied recipes word for word and don’t even credit their sources. Some of this is due to naivety, in other cases it’s down to ill manners. This subject has been debated at different points and on different forums since I’ve been blogging. I do think that intellectual property law is a very complicated area though and so much is open to interpretation. As cookery is an incremental process of knowledge and technique, it’s very hard to claim that something is completely novel.
    On the first point, I’m in complete agreement with you and have always disclosed when something is a freebie – that is only right and fair.
    On the second point, I agree with Dom. It’s all about fair dealings. My blog is very much about “how I did it” AND I always do it differently to the recipe I am inspired by. I don’t copy the recipe wording, the ingredients are usually different in some way and often, so is the methodology. I also always credit the book or blog from where it has come. This seems to me to be fair.
    I also agree with Karen that fair dealing for blogs and bloggers should be considered too. I suspect, but have no evidence to prove it, that the majority of people picking up a recipe on the net would never buy the book from whence it came. People who like books will buy books anyway – I know that’s what I do.
    Bloggers can and do also play a key role in promoting books. I know people have bought books because of mentions on my blog, so I expect a bit of give and take is in order.
    Having said all of that, I’m happy to add your badge to my blog and hope the campaign is successful.

  30. I think a degree of common sense is needed in all of this. If you are making bread, a victoria sponge or an omelette, the recipe is not 'yours' but, it probably isn't 'delia's' or 'jamie's' either. As an example, I've cooked steak, chicken, beef casserole, goulash, stroganoff, pancakes, flapjacks, jams, jellies and pickles and various other things without a recipe for years. I learnt how to make them when I was a kid, from my mum. She would have got the recipes from HER mum, or possibly from the set of cordon bleu books she used or from Mrs Beeton! Now, if I want to blog about those dishes, I can't reference a source because I genuinely don't know it! I'm curious how that is supposed to work...or how it works if like me, you browse recipe books, get ideas and then do something completely different based on the same concept. Any ideas?

  31. Fiona - I think the answer lies in what exactly it is that copyright protects. Copyright protects the expression og an idea, not the idea itself. so no, Heston Blumenthal does not own the copyright to the idea of egg & bacon ice-cream, just the expression of that idea in writing. So if you make egg & pancetta ice cream and write your own ingredient list and instructions, you are NOT in breach if his copyright. However, everybody in the English-speaking foodie world knows that eggs & smoked pork in ice-cream are Heston's idea. so morally you have a duty to say that tye recipe was "inspired by" Heston's. But the actual concept of, say, an omelette or a risotto cannot be copyrighted so there is no need to credit every omelettes recipe you browsed before devising your own.

    As for the code if conduct, although it is a timely reminder it's not a new idea - some US bloggers drafted a similar code a few years ago and encouraged people to sign up to it and display their badge. The problem is that at best, it will stop those swiping recipes out of naivety. If you are a hardened content scraper (and there are a depressing number out there!) you wouldn't be signing up to this code. Also, these standards are standards I and many other bloggers have adhered to for years, because it is the right thing to do. Having a badge and a code to sign up to may wrongly create the impression that only those bloggers who have the badge or appear on the list adhere to ethical standards, which is patently not true. But as I said, a timely reminder to newbies about the legalities of using somebody else's content - thanks Vanessa :)

  32. Wow - what a can of worms this has opened. What lively discussion - all of which is good otherwise I could have landed in hot water. Thanks so much Jennifer for bringing this to my attention.
    Vanessa add me to your list of Voluntary Coders.

  33. Hi! I've followed your badge link from Mark's Veg Plot.
    Your 'rules' are something I adhere to and I like your idea - I'm also going to come back for a good 'nosey round'! :)
    I shalll be pleased to join in. Mo

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. I agree that some clarity is needed here re copyright of a book as a whole and copyright on an individual recipe

  36. In answer to your copyright questions (which I used to lecture):

    1. I have heard of Jamie Oliver's people telling bloggers to take down his recipes, even though they were posted with full credit being given, and with links to his books on Amazon. So it is not totally unheard of and I think with the rise in the number of food bloggers it is going to happen more frequently. But as with any copyright, it is up to the holder of the copyright to enfore their rights, so it may be that two bloggers reproduce two recipes from different books, and one gets asked to take it down and the other doesn't. Think about Yotam Ottolenghi - the Internet is littered with his recipes, but he sees it as publicity and does not chase bloggers to take his recipes down (to the best of my knowledge!). So some of the variation in the enforcement of copyright does not have to do with a lack of clarity in the law, but with variation in how aggressively the individual copyright holder wants to pursue his rights.

    2. To reiterate my previous comment: Copyright does NOT protect an idea. Copyright protects an ORIGINAL ARTISTIC EXPRESSION of an idea. So copyright does not protect the recipe for nitro ice cream (for that, you could take out a patent if you wished) - it protects the way you express that recipe. A list of ingredients is seen as a statement of fact, not a literary expression and thereford the list of ingredients cannot be the subject of copyright - but every other part of the recipe is protected by copyright - in other words any substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation, directions, comments or anecdotes related to the recipe, as well as photographs. So legally you can use a list of ingredients from a recipe book as long as you write your own instructions, tips etc. and take your own photographs. And I do mean write your own, not slightly rewrite the original recipe instructions!! You need to create your own artistic expression so as not to be infringing copyright.

    3. The abovementioned only deals with the words of a recipe - so where does the changing of ingredients come into it? Apart from the function of copyright in protecting your right to profit (financially and otherwise) from your original artistic expression, there is also something called moral rights - in other words your right to be identified as the originator of an artistic work. So take a very distinctive recipe like Heston's snail porridge. Even if you write your own instructions and take your own images, it is still so that calling it "your" recipe is a stretch of the truth - how would YOU feel if somebody described your signature dish as "their" dish? So although strictly speaking you can copy the ingredient list for snail porridge without technically being in breach of copyright, the author of the recipe still has a moral right to be acknowledged as the source or at least the inspiration for the recipe. So this is where the "change 3 ingredients" rule of thumb comes in. To play it safe, if you want to call something your original recipe, you need to change 3 substantial ingredients from a existing recipe - and I say substantial, not changing plain salt to celery salt! But this is a rule of thumb, not a hard and fast rule - if in doubt, give a hat-tip to the original recipe creator.

    To be continued...

  37. 4. Copyright of a book as a whole as opposed to a recipe - I think the individal recipe has been dealt with above. And there is no theoretical difference between copyright of a single recipe and copyright of a whole book - the principles remain the same. However, copyright of a whole book has an added element of protection in that both the individual recipes and their collective arrangement in that book are subject to copyright. So for instance you can't copy ONLY the ingredient lists of the Delia's latest book, paste them into a document, write up all your own instructions and introductionsm take all your own photos, and then publish a "new" book under your own name - yo uwill be in breach of copyright. Although each individual ingredient list may not be subject to copyright, the process of choosing and arrangement that particular selection of recipes into a single book, is itself seen as a creative/artistic expression. (A good analogy is a book of collected quotations: the compiler of the book cannot clain copyright over the quotations themselves, but CAN claim copyright over the collection and arrangement of that group of quotes in a single book.)

    The general rule for deciding whether copyright infringement has taken place is whether a substantial part of a published (online or in hard copy) work has been appropriated. There is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes a substantial part - it is up to the facts and circumstances of each individual case.

    Hope that helps.

  38. I'd like to add a couple of things for people to think about.

    Bloggers who like to cut & paste will often claim it helps sell more copies of the author's books. We'd all acknowledge that there's been an explosion in the number of food blogs over the last few years. So logically, that would have been followed by a boom in the sales of cookbooks. Has that happened across the sector ?

    No. So the argument that it helps sales is shaky, to say the least, and from talking to authors and publishers, I would say there is much more evidence that cutting & pasting hurts book sales (and wallops library lending, which at least gives authors a little PLR money).

    Secondly, someone noted that many internet scrapers would never actually buy a cook book. I'd agree. But why should they get recipes written by me, or someone I work with ? There's no moral justification - there are lots of things I might like for free, but I can't take them from the person whose property they are. And in any case, you can't serve recipes to that group of people alone, along the way you'll also give that content to a lot of other people, who may be shifted by your actions into the line of "non-purchasers". Writing "around" a recipe - how you managed with the tools and ingredients you had to hand, how you used what you made - is frankly better blogging anyway.

    And finally, individual bloggers have to stop seeing what they do in isolation. It isn't just the effect of what you cut & paste, it's the cumulative effect of many bloggers, all cherrypicking what appeals to them, until a writer's whole archive has been taken. When a book comes out, the publisher and author will usually agree a recipe shortlist which print publications can choose from for features and reviews. And print sources stick to that, which keeps most of the book "fresh". Bloggers have to be prepared to do the same, and leave the greater part of something alone. And asking permission before you publish is the first step on the morally reponsible road.

  39. Jeanne - thank you so much for sharing this information here. It has really helped me understand much more.

    I think a point I would like to make is that when a book comes out it is the publicity in the from of exclusive deals regarding publication of recipes gets the book off the ground. Unwittingly we bloggers can jeopardise exclusive deals and end up with no publicity .. and a book that may well have done really well doesn't get off the ground.

    It's kind of hard to accept that as a blogger you don't have the automatic right to share a recipe .. even if you are doing it as a kindness to promote a favourite writer it can still completely ruin a deal behind the scenes.

    I am afraid there are many many authors who don't want their recipes published willy nilly for many reasons .. one of which one writer I spoke with said that occasionally a typo is made and the recipes is not produced accurately and she was forever being told about the recipe that was a disaster that was a bloggers typo who didn't correct it!

    It seems good manners at the very least to me to ask permission to reproduce someones creation. EVERYONE without exception has asked me when I launched Prepped.

    A point Dom made .. If the book is so old that it is out of print then it might not be possible .. in which case use your judgment and finally I have to say that we are in fact a large small community and whilst here are many publishers and writers wishing that we bloggers ask about which recipes are ok to publish ( And I do get to speak to them often so I know !) those that have been brave enough to speak out should be commended for trying to explain the potential damage it can have on an writers livelihood.

    and lastly thank you again Jeanne ... !

  40. I wholeheartedly suppose this, and I'm putting one of your little icon-thingies on my blog. I'll email you as requested.

  41. I think this is a great idea as being a new blogger I have found the whole thing confusing. This is good advice and I am happy to support.


If you are reading my blog I must warn you that I am not impartial. I want to influence you. I want to make you stop for just a moment and consider the effect of a lifetime of seemingly insignificant decisions and how making small delicious choices can change the world.

I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time.

It's a delicious revolution.