Dear friends:

Please do understand that copyright law extends to what you find on websites.

If you copy something from a website and use it in an article or book you have written, without clearly crediting the individual who originally authored the information, you are stealing.  The crime is “intellectual theft”.

Some folks, particularly those who have more money than the people they steal from, think that it is okay to do this, and nothing will happen to them.

It is true that most authors, particularly Internet authors, do not have enough money to pursue “intellectual theft” through the courts.

Nevertheless, we authors do have one very powerful tool, commonly known as the Internet.

These days, with websites, blogs, Facebook and other social networks, authors have relatively easy ways to expose those who are guilty of theft.

All of my work is mine, copyrighted.  When my work is stolen (i.e., taken without permission), when I discover the theft, I will approach the publisher and ask them to remove the offender.  If that is done, I will only publish the name of the person who has stolen my property, so that others may know of the thief.  If the publishing site does not remove my unauthorized work, then I will also publish the name of that site.

I, personally, have been accused of taking others’ work.  I have never been guilty of such behavior. I am scrupulous in my writing, and I observe copyright law closely.  Copyright law defines plagiarism as “copying an entire sentence or paragraph, or more”.  Even three consecutive words in the same order as the original material would violate copyright law.  Still, lists of ingredients cannot be copyrighted.

When I try a recipe I have seen, I adapt it to my own ways.  I may use all of the ingredients, or I may add or subtract ingredients.  If I choose to save the recipe for my own use, I will write it down in my own words, in grammar I consider proper, in an order I consider easy to follow, with my own considerations included.

Right now, I am in a discussion with an Internet article publisher, regarding a wholesale theft of my Holiday Recipes, taken directly from my Holiday Recipe blog page with no mention of the source (me!).  If the publisher does not respond as a I have asked them to do, then I will begin to publish across the Internet, as far as I can figure out to go, the name of this outfit, as well as the name of the original thief, so that other authors may be aware and take whatever action they feel necessary to protect their material.

This is not to say that you cannot use my recipes for yourself and your family.  I publish my recipes on my blog in order to share them with you.  (Still, they are my recipes, unless I indicate otherwise, and I probably will want to publish them in other ways at some time in the future.  They are copyrighted.)


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