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Our Stand on Copyrights

Secret Recipe Club takes copyright infringement very seriously. If an SRC member uses another blog’s photo and copy/pastes that blog’s recipe onto their own blog, even if they give credit, they are infringing on that blog/site’s copyright. “Fair use” will allow you to use a photo for the purposes of a review or reporting, provided you give proper credit to the source. Fair use does not allow you to copy and paste the entire recipe and photo to your blog.

If a member of the Secret Recipe Club is acting in violation of someone’s copyright, that blog will be notified and given two days to adjust their posts and become compliant. If after two days the posts in question have not been corrected, the infringing member’s blog will be suspended for the current/active month and their assignment given to someone else. If by the end of that assignment month the corrections have still not been made, the violating member will be removed from the club permanently.

What you cannot do:
Take another website or blog’s photo, even if you link to them and quote the source, in addition to copying and pasting their recipe on your site. You must have permission from the owner of the material.

What you can do:
You can feature someone’s recipe by using one of their photos, writing in your own words why you like it or why you are mentioning it, then link directly to that site’s post for your readers to get the recipe. This falls under the ‘fair use’ clause in copyright law. However, if the owner of the photo wants it removed, they have that right and it outweighs fair use so you must remove it.

What you should do:
If you wish to feature a recipe it’s best to ask permission. Many bloggers will be open to you using one photo providing it is for a feature and you are linking directly to them. If you want to post the recipe in full AND their photo (in other words, you made the recipe but did not take any of your own photos but want to share with your readers) you would have to ask permission from the owner of the material. If questioned you must be able to produce said permission.

The right way:
When you find a recipe online or in a cookbook then make it and take pictures, naturally you will want to share that result with your readers. It is a commonly accepted practice for a blogger to post their own photos and post the recipe that they made, giving credit to where they found the recipe. If it was in a cookbook and you are listing the recipe without changes, it’s best to contact the publisher and ask permission to reprint the recipe. With very old cookbooks this isn’t always possible, so be sure to credit your source and if you can, link to the book on Amazon or other book site. If you have changed 3 or more ingredients then it has been adapted enough to call your own and permission is technically no longer needed. However, it is still good etiquette to credit your source by saying “adapted from ABC Cookbook or Blog” and linking to them.  If you didn’t change the recipe, it’s best to note in your post what helped you, any tips you might have, or things you may have noticed. Again, give credit where you found the recipe. There is still some controversy as to whether or not you should post a recipe that you made word for word without changing anything. Some believe it’s acceptable as long as you link back while others think that you should simply steer your readers to that source for the recipe. Many bloggers adapt and change recipes, so listing them as adapted has become common practice, AGAIN with proper live linking credit given.

An example of fair use as it pertains to features can be seen here. This site asked the blog owners permission to use the photo and wrote up their own blurb about it. They then linked directly to the original post, directing their readers to the recipe on the original blog.

It’s important that everyone respect the copyrights of others. People work hard to create, photograph and present recipes to their audience. Taking things without permission is unethical and won’t be tolerated by this club.  If one of our member’s is violating a copyright, please let us know so that we can address the issue