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Monday, August 04, 2008

Don't Buy Cook's Illustrated

or Cook's Country or America's Test Kitchen. I was never really a great fan of their recipes (I much prefer Fine Cooking), and now I'm really no fan of theirs. I think I have one of their cookbooks, and I'm thinking of burning it now. I don't use it, and I certainly won't want to pass it on to anyone else.

So, why am I so mad at them? Apparently, they believe that they can create new copyright laws out of thin air, and harass people over these imaginary laws. Melissa posted a modified (by about five changes) potato salad recipe that she made, starting with their recipe. She credited them as her inspiration, though legally she did not have to do so. They responded by demanding she remove her recipe. Her recipe. Why? Because it was based on theirs and they do not allow any modification to their recipes. So, somehow posting her recipe, which began with theirs is now copyright infringement, and even though they acknowledge that it is no longer their recipe, it isn't allowed somehow because their recipes are supposed to be perfect.

warning, the following entry does include vulgar language:
Read about it here.

Her interpretation of copyright is correct. The list of ingredients cannot be copyrighted. Even if it could, hers was no longer their list of ingredients. Only the recipe text, and only if it is somehow written in a way outside of the standard, mix, add, pour, jargon can be copyrighted.

I will never buy another copy of their magazine or one of their books, we already don't watch their show, and now I will never use a recipe that came from them. I hope they get all sorts of bad publicity over this.

ETA: I saw this link to a parody of their method in the comments at Melissa's blog.

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I think my favorite part was when the publicity person wrote that they received "daily updates every day."

Well, yes. That is what daily means.

Fools. Not that I buy much in the way of cookbooks or cooking magazines, but I'll remember the name. Thanks.
I can't believe they are even trying to pull that stunt. I hope your friend has the resources and fights them.

Thanks for stopping by my giveaway recently. I have another one going on this week too!


Jennifer Sabin
My Blog - Family Musings
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