Is it legal to copyright a recipe book?

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Ettie Kozey asked a question: Is it legal to copyright a recipe book?
Asked By: Ettie Kozey
Date created: Sat, Feb 6, 2021 8:11 PM
Date updated: Sat, Sep 17, 2022 12:59 AM

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Top best answers to the question «Is it legal to copyright a recipe book»

  • Likewise, courts have generally ruled that recipes are functional and therefore not able to be copyrighted. The most definitive case on this issue was Publications International, Ltd. v. Meredith Corp. (88 F.3d 473 (7th Cir. 1996)). This case involves the fascinating subject of a book of Dannon yogurt recipes.

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The duration of copyright in the U.S. is until 70 years after the author’s death; whether or not the restaurant still exists is immaterial. The legal route in this situation is to make every effort to locate the restaurant owner, or the recipe author if you know who they are, for permission to use the recipes.

Cookbooks that contain some writing apart from just the recipes, such as personal stories, are more likely to enjoy copyright protection. While recipes themselves may not have copyright protection, it is clear that you cannot copy photos or drawings accompanying a recipe .

"Although recipes can contain a lot of text and information, in principle they can’t be protected by copyright since a recipe only contains the name of the ingredients with the right proportions of for example sugar, flour and butter and then some instructions how to make a cake.

Copyright Protection in Recipes. Similar to ideas, facts and history, there isn’t copyright protection in recipes as mere lists of ingredients. This is clearly stated by the U.S. Copyright Office. Most recipes, however, include content beyond the ingredient list.

Are Recipes Protected by Copyright Law? In general, No, with exceptions (wow, it’s amazing how law school teaches you how to never give a straight answer!). The Copyright Act has a whole list of things that are protected by copyright. Recipes are not on the list. Still, the list isn’t exclusive, meaning that things not on the list could be protected.

The entire law regarding the copyright of recipes is very short. As stated by the U.S. Copyright Office: “Copyright law does not protect recipes that are mere listings of ingredients. Nor does it protect other mere listings of ingredients such as those found in formulas, compounds, or prescriptions.

While all of us here at The Cookbook People don’t profess to be legal experts, generally speaking, individual recipes are not typically considered creative works and are not usually protected under copyright law. However, if you put recipes into a cookbook collection with narrative and photos that are unique to your own life, that distinctive cookbook collection would be considered a creative work and could be copyrighted as a whole.

Like the recipie for my mom's bread.How do I copyright my recipe book? Your publisher will arrange that if you ask them. It would pay to retain the original but I get the impression you are doing it on line so to e-mail it to your self you would have proof that what you sent to the publisher is real and hasn't been made up at a later date

Copyright protection may, however, extend to substantial literary expression—a description, explanation, or illustration, for example—that accompanies a recipe or formula or to a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook. Only original works of authorship are protected by copyright.

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