Recipe Attribution

You might never think of it, but recipe attribution is a big deal. If you’re just reading food blogs and looking for fun and yummy recipes, it might not seem that way. But it’s an important part of what makes the blogosphere go round, so I thought it was worth bringing up.

So what is recipe attribution anyway? Attribution simply means giving credit where credit is due. If you create a recipe from scratch, completely in a vacuum, it’s yours and you don’t have to give attribution. But if your recipe was adapted from or even inspired by another recipe, you should acknowledge what was adapted or what inspired you.

On this site, I’m trying my best to give proper attribution. Unless I created the recipe completely myself, I will always link to the original recipe whenever possible. If I made no significant changes to the ingredients or instructions, I will not list the recipe or instructions here, and simply link to the original. If I made a bunch of changes, I will still link to the original, but I will spell out my version here.

Like I said, I’m going to try to do my best. If you think I haven’t given proper attribution, or if you think what I’ve written unfairly copies from another recipe (whether it’s yours or someone else’s), please let me know, and I will do my best to rectify the situation.

But why all the fuss about attribution in the first place? Besides the possible legal ramifications of copying someone else’s recipe (I’m not a lawyer and I’m not qualified to go into the legal details), it’s simply the fair and nice thing to do. If someone puts the time, energy, and creativity into making something, they deserve to be recognized for it. It’s easy to recreate what someone else has already made, especially if they show you how, but to create something from scratch is a lot of work, and it rightly belongs to the person who made it. You can stand on the shoulders of giants, you just have to be nice to them.

Besides trying to be respectful of the original creators of recipes, it also benefits everyone when we properly attribute recipes. Some people do this as a hobby, but for some people it’s a job. Their livelihood depends on the advertising revenue they receive from their blog. Their advertising revenue in turn depends on the traffic they receive. If you put up the recipe on your blog, and you don’t link to theirs, you’re getting the traffic, not them. If their traffic goes down, their revenue goes down, and if their revenue goes down, they might not be able to afford to keep their blog going. And when great cooking blogs start disappearing, we all lose out.

So for moral, legal, and selfish reasons, I’m trying to do my best at attribution. If you do a blog as well, I would consider doing the same. And if you don’t, and you just love reading and trying out recipes, I hope you’ll see why it’s in your best interest, too.

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