The Thin Hyperlink Between Sharing and Stealing

I felt less than awesome when I woke up this morning, owing only partially to the pre-dawn rising of my toddler.

I have always loved cooking and feeding my friends and family.  Over the past year I have discovered that I also love creating and sharing recipes. When a reader tells me that tried and enjoyed a recipe that I created is incredibly rewarding.  I am excited to see my recipes going out into the world via Pinterest or Facebook and I cross my fingers that more and more people will discover that healthy food can fit into their busy lives. I love what I do however it is work and can be quite time consuming.  To protect my content I publish it under a Creative Commons license, which allows sharing but asks that my name, Our Lady of Second Helpings, be credited any time a photo or text is republished.

Last night I noticed my blog was getting visits via another site. I was excited to see what the blogger had to say. I found a recipe that I had spent a few weeks creating, published with a perky note boasting, “I made it my own.” She swapped the white sugar for brown, changed a note on another ingredient, and poorly re-wrote a few of the instructions. Unfortunately her only nod to my work was, “I found this recipe.”   In fairness to the blogger the word ‘recipe’ was hyperlinked back to my post and generating some traffic.

I sent a note to the blogger thanking her for sharing my recipe.  I asked her to honor my Creative Commons License and include my site name in her post.  At this point nothing has changed on the post.  I don’t plan to take further action; it seems petty to do anything else.

A huge part of socializing is sharing ideas and the internet provides an amazing avenue engage in that way.  Ideas should be sent out into the world to grow and do good. It bums me out that some feel the need to claim something as their own rather than just giving it a thumbs up and passing it along.  I will continue to share recipes, resources, and encouragement with you and anyone else who happens to find them. It is where my heart is, and sharing from my heart helps me get back to feeling awesome.

Please share any of the content on Our Lady of Second Helpings, and please link it back here when you do. Check out for information on sharing content on-line:

“LINKwithlove is EASY. It is an expansion of what we all aim to do naturally – to act with respect and kindness. We share things. We engage each other. More and more – our daily lives and social networking takes place on the internet. By being mindful when we share – we not only create better content and relationship.” –LINKwithlove, How it Works


2 thoughts on “The Thin Hyperlink Between Sharing and Stealing

  1. The reality is you cannot copyright a recipe sad to say. It is considered a list of ingredients and the recipe directions are not copyright-able as they are a procedure, process, method or system,”. What you can protect is the creative writing part of your blog. if someone copies it word for word is quips etc in your instructions and the pictures. So as sad as it is people do take a recipe and change it there is no infringement. In 1996 the Supreme Court ruled that the a listing of ingredients and their quantity is a statement of facts and one of the most basic principles of copyright is that you can’t copyright a fact. Sad to say it is a reality.We all have had recipes passed on to us through 3 or 4 people by the time we get it have no idea except the person I received it from where it came from. I see recipes all the time I have in cookbooks, seen on TV, read in a blog being claimed by some person. The best I could suggest is you print out your recipe unique discussion of it and your wording if unique to process and send it certified mail to yourself not open it and file so if you ever did end up in a legal situation for your photos and copyright-able parts you have a dated history.. .

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