ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Cook's Illustrated Brouhaha
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cook's Illustrated Brouhaha

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Has anyone heard about this brouhaha with Cook's Illustrated?

Alosha's Kitchen: illegal or not?

Any comments?

shel
post #2 of 16
Think someone else posted that also. All she has to do is drop the reference to CI and post the recipe and they can't do anything. Potato salad recipes are a dime a dozen. Not giving free access to the wen site for subscribers is one of the reasons I dropped my subscription. The other is to many of the recipes do something to save time and I think the quality of the food isn't what it should be.
post #3 of 16
I completely agree with Mary regarding everything she said about CI. Also, I read through most of the correspondence thread on the blog Shel posted, and am astounded at how many posters got the law right -- as did the blogger -- as did Mary.

I'm not quite ready to give up on CI altogether. Sometimes the organization comes up with some good information. They are not the first institution to attempt to control what has passed beyond their ownership. The worst thing would be if some bloggers, re-posters, and/or writers might be too intimidated to advance the recipe process while giving CI its due credit. Either or both would be unfortunate.

BDL
post #4 of 16
Gee, I feel a little sheepish. I had started to comment on this issue, and was going to say that it has been a LONG time since I actually followed a recipe to the letter. The truth is, it was only about 12 hours ago. As part of this morning's brunch I made some pancakes, exactly following the basic recipe in my trusty old Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.

Oh oh, I hope I don't get in trouble for mentioning their name!

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #5 of 16
With or without the reference, CI can't do anything. The ingredient list is not protected, the bare instructions are not protected; and since both were altered they aren't even CI's creation. The worst you can say is that the blogger gave CI credit for providing inspiration. I can understand CI's desire to protect their brand by preventing unauthorized bad-tasting versions of recipes being attributed to them, but ... that's life in the food biz. There's always some joker who wants to put cinnamon on the salmon, or whatever. CI has the same rights as a shoe manufacturer who doesn't like the clashing shoelaces a customer added. The legal expression is "bupkis"

CI's communications with the blogger were more problematic than anything the blogger posted. CI's rep's messages might be construed as extortionate -- with an implied threat of legal action unless the blogger bent to their will. In other words: "Stop doing what we don't like, or else we'll sue." Although the rep never directly expressed the threat, it was clear enough between the lines that Mary and many other readers jumped to the same conclusion. My guess is that is CI's intention. Kind of scummy if it is. In similar circumstances I would have asked CI's representative directly what, if anything, CI planned to do about it.

BDL
post #6 of 16
Have you noticed how many times they will say in the narrative that they "reviewed umpteen other recipes," were "looking at other recipes," then plotted their course of action to create the CI recipe.

So, were the other recipes inspiration or modified?
post #7 of 16
Yeah, I gotta admit that I'm a little confused. :confused: The copyright for recipes reads in part, "Protection under the copyright law (title 17 of the United States Code, section 102) extends only to “original works of authorship” that are fixed in a tangible form (a copy). “Original” means merely that the author produced the work by his own intellectual effort, as distinguished from copying an existing work..." I really don't think someone can claim potato salad (for crying out loud!) as an original concept. I can't think of too many recipes that can make that claim except, of course, for my famous Mandarin Orange-Cinnamon Pickled Pigs Feet with Kalamata Olives and served with a warm Kohlrabi/Mango/Wheatberry/Grapefruit Chutney with just a hint a tuna fish. Mmmmmmm....

I better not see that in your upcoming book, BDL!!! (shaking fist and making litigious noises)
post #8 of 16
No worries.

Mmmmmmm,
BDL
post #9 of 16
(shaking finger threateningly) Well, you just better not!

I just popped an email over to CI informing them why I won't be subscribing to their magazine. About the best thing I ever got out of an issue was their lemon bar recipe. A couple of other things that sounded good and I tried...meh.
post #10 of 16
"Mmmmmmm,
BDL"


Well, then, I don't suppose there's any chance you would share that recipe with us?

Dang...

Mike
travelling gourmand
Reply
travelling gourmand
Reply
post #11 of 16
Me? It's Praties' recipe. I would never presume to attempt it. In fact, it's my understanding that far better cooks than I have ripped their eyeballs out after merely seeing the back of the famous 5X7 recipe card. The food stains alone are so delicious as to cause brave men to abandon their will to live.

BDL
post #12 of 16
On the up side, the card itself can be boiled to produce a pretty decent stock. The secret is in the extra-chunky peanut butter and just a pinch of...well. Enough said. Wonder if I should submit it to CI? :crazy:
post #13 of 16
If I find out that your version of MY dish includes habaneros in a balsamic saurkraut sauce you WILL be heariong from my lawyers. Harumph.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #14 of 16
Man, you guys SLAY me!:lol:

Seems a poor marketing decision on the part of the CI's rep.
What....she didn't think this would get around?

The whole exchange makes it appear that they think they own the only decent way to make potato salad--sheesh! As if there was only one!:rolleyes:

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply
post #15 of 16
So this nonsense has hit the food bloggers, I see. We've been dealing with threats like this from the "big guys" for years in handcrafted toiletries and soaps. The "big guys" would target a handcrafter with threats such as law suits if the crafter did not cease and desist using the formulation/product that the "big guys" found objectionable. The homecrafter is usually found by the "big guy" who uses a web search program that target key words. I'm assuming that's how this food blogger was found by CI.

We've always intrepreted the law as that, if a formulation or recipe is altered by at least 10% (ingredients or process), then it becomes a new "original" formulation/recipe. Like cooking, certain things are basic common knowledge - fat + lyewater = soap, oil + water + emulsifer = lotion etc. But its the use of unique ingredients, the change of percentage of ingredients or the way they are combined that makes your formulation unique.

And we learned the hard way over the years, if you want your formulation/recipe to stay proprietary, do not publish it on the internet or give it to inquiring minds! I know if I do a web search for "bohunk's #13 self emulsifying body scrub" I'd get a gazillion hits and find a gazillion recipes that use my original but are modified to be "unique" to the new author (exeragation of course). There are some recipes I'll never share because of the work that went into them and they were the backbone of my little business such as my oil-free body wash and lotion formulations. Nor do I share my oil percentages for my bar soaps. But on other occasions I have shared formulations like my self-emulsifying body scrub because we were all trying to crack that nut and I happened to put together one of the first decent ones and I wanted to give back to all who helped me with input and I knew crafters would take the basics and fly with it and make their own changes to make their own unique scrub.

The upshot is, yeah for this blogger standing up to CI and shame on CI. Bully tactics should never be tolerated.
post #16 of 16
Pffffft. That's so totally derivative of the classic habaneros in balsamic kimchee sauce. (waves hand airily) ;)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Cook's Illustrated Brouhaha