Recipes and U.S. copyright law

Jacob Allred

I often search for recipes online and end up at sites like The recipes I find often have terrific reviews and star ratings. The problem, however, is that people are dumb.

You see, people have a bad habit of writing reviews along the lines of:

Oh my gosh this is the most amazing recipe in the world! My family loves it! My dog loves it! My neighbors love it! Oh by the way I didn’t actually follow the recipe. I made so many changes that my review is completely irrelevant.

Drives me crazy. I follow the 5 star recipe that has 4,000 reviews and it turns out awful because nobody is actually reviewing the recipe.

The solution? Make my own recipe site, Recipe Kabob!

Under U.S. copyright law, recipes can’t be copyrighted. Sure, you can copyright your pictures of your recipe and copyright your substantial descriptions of the recipe, but the recipe itself can’t be copyrighted. This means anyone can copy any recipe and it isn’t actually stealing. Awesome, no?

So I’ve started a recipe site. I don’t want people’s comments or reviews. I don’t care what they did different. The recipes I list are great as-is and don’t require modification. Think of it like a cookbook.

If you see something you like, feel free to take it. :)