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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11757
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am planning to publish a cookbook but am unsure about ownership/

Resolved Question:

I am planning to publish a cookbook but am unsure about ownership/ copyright of recipes. I have taken some recipes from published sources, adjusted the ingredients and changed the wording of the method so that it is my own version. Will this infringe copyright legislation?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I am a lawyer in Scotlamd and can help you with this.
A recipe doesnt fall within the definition of something that can be subject to copyright. That's why some recipes are kept secret, eg, the recipe for KFC, Coca Cola, Barrs Irn Bru etc.
The words of a book and photographs are subject to copyright so you couldn't paraphrase or copy those from other copyright publications. You are right to change the recipes to your own design and can proceed on that basis. That will ensure that no one can accuse you of plagiarism.
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much. That was the answer I was hoping for. I take it that the same applies throughout the UK even though you were relating it to Scots law?

It would therefore be OK for me to produce a recipe for Spaghetti bolognese and as long as it did not have the same text as one in say Good Food magazine, If I use my own words I would not be breaching their copyright, as there is no copyright on a recipe.

Can you please just clarify the difference between paraphrasing and using my own words.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Yes, intellectual property law applies throught out the UK.
If you use your own words, you can't breach anyone's copyright even if the recipe is substantially the same.
To paraphrase is normally to reword something for clarification purposes.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for this. I am reassured by your information. I can now get back to work. Smiley face coming your way! Smile