As a blogger, knowing how to share a recipe properly from somebody’s blog or website is critical.
As a food blogger, tracking down stolen content can sometimes become a full-time job if you pursue it actively. In this easy online world where a simple click of the mouse will copy an entire piece of content, plagiarism is just a mouse click away. But there IS a safe way to share the work of others. Here are step-by-step instructions for how to share a recipe properly.
How To Share A Recipe Properly
Photos are the property of the person who took them. Simple as that. That is the law and it does not have any wiggle room.
That being said, many bloggers do not mind if you use their photos PROVIDING their watermark remains in the photo and you do not alter the photo at all. HOWEVER, each blogger will have their own policy on this, so if you can’t find a copyright link on their website which states their photo use policy, the best way to find out is simply to email them and ask if you can have permission to use their photo.
Also, please note that it is NEVER okay to edit somebody’s photo unless you have express permission to do so. Using another person’s photo and putting your text all over it breaks copyright law, and most bloggers, unless they know what’s going on and give you permission to do so, will not appreciate it in the slightest. I don’t know anybody that takes a photo for somebody else to plaster their own stuff all over unless they are paid first. Simple as that.
Write YOUR OWN WORDS here introducing the recipe.
Share only the ingredient list if you must copy something. This is the ONLY part of a recipe you are legally allowed to copy and paste. It is the only part of a recipe that is not protected under copyright law. The blogger you are sharing from may not particularly appreciate that you did it, but legally, it’s allowed. Use your conscience here, and keep in mind that the blogging world is very, very small.
DO NOT COPY AND PASTE THIS SECTION OF ANY RECIPE.
While not all instructions will fall under copyright law, it’s better to be safe than sorry. This is where you place a link in your blog post that says something like, “Get the directions here“. This link should lead back to the original source of the recipe where people can actually read the directions from the original source.
There is one caveat here. Copying the ingredient list and then rewording the instructions may get you by legally on a technicality, but you will tick people off really fast. And if you do it often enough, you can still get into trouble. Particularly if you are also using the blogger’s photos. Please use some integrity here. Bloggers work hard on their content. You swooping in and copy/pasting and then just changing a few words to escape legal issues will still get you into hot water ethically. Be a better person. Do what’s right. Nobody wants to read a blog with a ton of regurgitated content anyway. At least not if that’s all you do. Once in a while, if done properly and with proper credit, is usually okay. But use discretion.
If you “adapt” a recipe, please be sure you do more than just change 1 ingredient or 1 measurement. Changing a recipe to use honey instead of maple syrup is not an adaptation. It’s a substitution. That being said, if you do adapt a recipe, please still give credit where credit is due and be sure you write the directions in your own words or give a link back to the original source to follow directions there.
Under no circumstances should you ever upload a photo to a social media account as your own if you did not take the photo or pay for its use.
And PLEASE, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER post a full recipe with instructions on your social media accounts. EVER. This not only breaks copyright law as well as the rules of most social media sites but also really makes the blogger mad when they find it. And they will find it. The blogging world is very small. Word gets around fast. Simply share a link to or from the original source. Easy as that and less typing for you!
What you SHOULD DO on social media, is share links. Links are always a great way to share other people’s content. And unless you have actual permission to do otherwise, it’s really the only thing you are absolutely, always allowed to share on social media, or anywhere online.
The Gracious Pantry Recipes
If you are interested in sharing some of my recipes, here is my copyright information.
Please keep in mind that blogging is all about what YOU have to say. If you don’t have something unique to say, why say it? Why rehash somebody else’s stuff? Blogging can be really fun. But not at the expense of somebody else’s hard work. Make sure your blog is unique to you. Use your own words, share your own thoughts and photos and connect with the online world in a genuine tone and a singular voice… yours.
I wish you much success!
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