Recipe Thieves!! BLAST!!!
Some days I struggle to find something to post about, but today, my post actually came to me via Facebook. Actually, I probably should rely on Facebook more for topics. Considering the topic I am writing on today, I can’t say that is actually a “good” thing. Recipe thieves!!
One of my favorite food blogs brought to my attention that this happens, and how the rightful owner feels about it. I Am Baker touches on this very topic in one of her articles Why You Should Never Start a Food Blog. My heart just broke for her as I read these words, “People copy you. They steal your recipes, your pictures, your ideas. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. When I saw one of my original cake designs in a VERY famous bakers book, I cried myself to sleep. For a week.”
Something similar happened to a new friend on mine of Facebook RoseBakes. Rose had an order for candied apples made from scratch. She had never made them from scratch before, so she did her research, photographed the entire process, shared her process with everyone (along with her beautiful photo), and next thing I know, she is posting that someone has stolen her photo and is passing it off for theirs on their FB page. It was a page that posted only recipes, and it had thousands of followers. Many of us went to the post on their page and made sure to alert anyone who is interested in that particular item that it had been stolen, and where they could find the true owner.
Now that you have the back story on why this particular topic really got me, I’ll get on to writing my post. I noticed a recipe on Facebook today. You couldn’t miss it. It was a gorgeous Red Velvet Cheesecake fusion cake. If you have read my past posts, you know that I do a lot of recipe reading. I learned early on not to take for granted that the recipe is a good one.
I read the recipe, and something seemed odd to me. The cake in the photo (left) has red velvet crumb sides and appears to be one (1) layer split in two, but the written recipe mentions baking the recipe in two (2) 9″ cake pans (there’s definitely NOT that much cake here), and a cream cheese icing crumb coat plus fully iced top and sides with the cream cheese icing, and as you see from this photo, avoiding crumbs was not the goal.
I decided these two were wrongly put together. Someone found the recipe and decided to pair it with this photo. Now, it’s showing up all over FB and Pinterest. The problem is that if you actually bake the recipe as written, your cake would NOT look like Juniors photo. Not at all! This recipe was initially intentionally taken because I found the original, and the owner of the recipe was clearly marked. She also gave credit to others whose recipe’s she adapted to make her creation.
I personally don’t have a problem with someone not giving credit if they have adapted something considerably, but unless something brand new comes out of it, then I believe credit should be given to the original owner. I searched the web and found approximately 10 different occasions of this photo/recipe. I posted a comment on each of them stating they weren’t meant to be together, and I shared RecipeGirl’s link where the cake could actually be found. Unfortunately, that won’t happen for most bakers. This will no doubt happen again and again. Update: I notice there is a link back to RecipeGirl at the very bottom of the page. The post was made by a third party who apparently found the recipe with the wrong photos from somewhere else and posted them together. I feel a little better that the link is there, although I think it should immediately follow the recipe.
The ultimate goal of this article is to two fold. The first is to make consumers aware that what you see online isn’t always what you’re going to get. It’s really easy to just “Share” a post, and you may not want to go to the effort to read it over and try to determine if it’s from the original owner or not. Just keep in mind, one day it might be your work out there stolen, OR it could be the work of your son or daughter. Be aware that these thieves are out there, and hey, sometimes, if a recipe isn’t well documented, it is unintentional. When you review the original recipe here, you’ll see for yourself that this one was. It was intentional.
Secondly, I want to make bakers aware that this can happen. Some readers may think, big deal…it’s just a recipe, but you have to realize that some of these end up in a high price cookbook that someone (not the rightful owner) will be making money on. So yeah…it’s a big deal, and should be even if only for ethical reasons.
Look at these cakes…would you confuse one for the other??
Posted on July 28, 2013, in Food and tagged baking, ethics in food blogging, facebook, I am baker, photo doesn't match recipe, Pinterest, plagiarism, Recipe thieves, RecipeGirl, recipes, red velvet cheesecake cake, RoseBakes. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.