If you see a facebook group or website that posts my photos and writing onto his or her page instead of linking to SouthernPlate.com directly, they are in violation of both the Federal DMCA Act and Copyright Law.
The reason why this is bad is because it costs a great deal of money to operate SouthernPlate.com and other websites where content is illegally taken from, my server bill alone is more than most people’s mortgage payment each month. When people take content that others have written and developed and put it on their sites, it makes it harder for those offering the content to pay the light bill, for services that they provide free of charge to you.
Hours, sometimes days, are put into creating one post, that all the offender’s do is copy and paste in order to drive traffic to and promote their site and/or facebook page. Once our content is stolen, we are also penalized for having duplicate content on the internet, and our recipes receive lower priority in search engines as well.
Often when this happens, it isn’t meant as a violation of a federal law and is just someone who wants to share a recipe that they really liked. But sometimes, this is done by people and even companies who repeatedly copy and paste content from those who have worked hard to develop it, willingly and knowingly.
Often, these people say “You can’t copyright recipes”. While you can’t copyright a random list of ingredients, our writing (descriptions, introductions, instructions, etc) and photographs are copyrighted – and each post represents hours of work that these folks steal in under a minute and use as a platform to build their sites on.
However, just about everyone reading this who shares recipes do so with no malicious intent, and bloggers realize that. This is intended for those who willingly violate federal law despite having received complaints, and having been reported, by knowingly and repeatedly stealing content from sites to place on their own.
If you see a site or facebook page with repeated complaints, a blogger who has to build new sites because their old ones are taken down, these are clues that such sites and pages are being run by repeat offenders who fully understand that what they are doing is illegal. A lot of people don’t realize that the websites we enjoy free of charge cost a great deal of money to operate. These sites and pages that run primarily off of stealing content from other sites take all food bloggers one step closer to not being able to afford to continue.
It’s easy for us to share a recipe. While photos are copyrighted, all of the bloggers I know welcome sharing photos as long as a link to the recipe is given to the recipe rather than the entire recipe reposted.
See my examples of how to legally share a recipe and photo below:
I love Stacey Little’s Sweet Cornbread Muffins! Here is a link if y’all wanna check out the recipe! http://southernbite.com/2013/01/09/sweet-cornbread-muffins/
Made this Stuffed French Toast last night. You have to try it. So easy! Here is where I found the recipe! http://www.southernplate.com/2012/02/overnight-stuffed-french-toast.html
Thank you so much for helping all of the bloggers who provide free sites around the web for all of us to enjoy and special thanks to all of the Southern Plate Family members who have emailed and messaged me to make me aware of this growing problem. Without all of you, there wouldn’t be a Southern Plate!
*If you are a food blogger who would like to repost the above statement, changing out your url for SouthernPlate.com, please feel free to do so. Let me know in the comments if you have and I’ll be happy to add a link to your blog below so that others can enjoy you recipes, too! Thank you!
Special thanks to the following friends from the blog world for all of their hard work and dedication in helping educate folks around the web on content theft. Please leave a comment below if you would like to add this to your blog (it’s not required though!) so I can add your link to this list.
For a great article explaining a little more about the abuse food bloggers are dealing with right now, please click here.