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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: dls5492 on October 16, 2013, 10:40:33 PM

Title: Copyright
Post by: dls5492 on October 16, 2013, 10:40:33 PM
I have a saison recipe that a lot of people love and have asked me for the recipe. Does anyone know a way to copyright it? Thank you for your input.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: BrewArk on October 16, 2013, 10:59:56 PM
You are better keeping it a trade secret.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: kramerog on October 16, 2013, 11:01:22 PM
Copyright essentially provides no protection for recipes beyond the written form of the recipe.  Copyright would make it illegal for someone to reproduce the exact form of the recipe but does not make it illegal for someone to make beer from your recipe.  If you want, you can still put a copyright sign on your recipe and put your name next to it. 

Sincerely, your friendly intellectual property attorney.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 16, 2013, 11:10:07 PM
Beer recipes are a dime a dozen. Recipes in general can't be copyrighted, the legal folks can correct if wrong (looks like they already have weighed in). As said keep it secret, like the Coke Cola recipe if you think it is supper special.

There are recipes for Pliny the Elder on the web, supplied by Vinnie Cilurzo. Now why would he do that? He says the equipment and procedures are hard to duplicate, so you get a similar beer, but not exactly the same. Sort of like Grandma's apple pie recipe.

MY homebrew club did an activity that weighed out the same ingredients in kits - malt, hops and yeast - for club members to brew a home, so water and process were not controlled. When judged there was a 20 point spread. So much for a recipe being special.

 
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: Three on October 16, 2013, 11:17:23 PM
I have a saison recipe that a lot of people love and have asked me for the recipe. Does anyone know a way to copyright it? Thank you for your input.

Are you the owner of the brewery that sells this beer? Or just a home brewer serving friends?  Either way I would be honored they asked and just give it out.  Most probably won't brew it.  And few if any will brew it "just like you".   But, thinking as I type here (dangerous), what could you copyright? The grain bill? The hops used? You mashed at 156.0859 degrees?  I'm curious as to what the legal folks have to say...
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 16, 2013, 11:23:58 PM
Beer recipes are a dime a dozen. Recipes in general can't be copyrighted, the legal folks can correct if wrong (looks like they already have weighed in). As said keep it secret, like the Coke Cola recipe if you think it is supper special.

There are recipes for Pliny the Elder on the web, supplied by Vinnie Cilurzo. Now why would he do that? He says the equipment and procedures are hard to duplicate, so you get a similar beer, but not exactly the same. Sort of like Grandma's apple pie recipe.

MY homebrew club did an activity that weighed out the same ingredients in kits - malt, hops and yeast - for club members to brew a home, so water and process were not controlled. When judged there was a 20 point spread. So much for a recipe being special.

 
+1.  I've tried several other brewers versions of the Pliny recipe aside from mine - most were good, but WIDE variance there.  Heck, water chemistry differences alone (as mentioned) makes a huge difference, aside from inherent differences in systems and methods. I think Denny posted regarding his awesome BVIP recipe that he had tasted many versions of it brewed by other homebrewers, that most were very good, but none were a whole lot like his.  I say do the opposite - give them the recipe and see just how different their versions are.  A yeast driven beer like a saison will change dramatically depending on fermentation temp, ramp up schedule, etc. Our breweries (and exact methods start to finish) really are unique.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: dls5492 on October 16, 2013, 11:25:17 PM
I have a saison recipe that a lot of people love and have asked me for the recipe. Does anyone know a way to copyright it? Thank you for your input.

Are you the owner of the brewery that sells this beer? Or just a home brewer serving friends?  Either way I would be honored they asked and just give it out.  Most probably won't brew it.  And few if any will brew it "just like you".   But, thinking as I type here (dangerous), what could you copyright? The grain bill? The hops used? You mashed at 156.0859 degrees?  I'm curious as to what the legal folks have to say...

I am just a home brewer.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: dls5492 on October 16, 2013, 11:26:28 PM
Thank you all very much. Your posts were very helpful.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 16, 2013, 11:57:59 PM
I have always benefited from the advice and free sharing of recipes that others have given me. I give my recipes out.

Though I have just remembered that I owe a couple of guys a recipe.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: klickitat jim on October 17, 2013, 12:22:55 AM
The only way to totally duplicate it is
Same grain bill
Same hops
Same water
Same yeast
Same equipment
Same brewer

I think all of these play into the finished product.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: dls5492 on October 17, 2013, 12:35:33 AM
I have decided to give them the recipe. I was curious about copyright. "freely ye have received, freely give." Thanks to all of you. Your advise and counsel was very helpful.
"Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety."
Proverbs 11:14
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: Three on October 17, 2013, 01:09:09 AM
I have always benefited from the advice and free sharing of recipes that others have given me. I give my recipes out.

Though I have just remembered that I owe a couple of guys a recipe.

+1  Here here.....
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: Three on October 17, 2013, 01:12:10 AM
I have decided to give them the recipe. I was curious about copyright. "freely ye have received, freely give." Thanks to all of you. Your advise and counsel was very helpful.
"Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety."
Proverbs 11:14

Very nice!

Brew on fellow homebrewer, brew on........

Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: majorvices on October 17, 2013, 01:24:08 AM
I have a very good scrambled egg technique. It has been copyrighted. Ya'll are warned! :)
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: Three on October 17, 2013, 03:04:17 AM
I have a very good scrambled egg technique. It has been copyrighted. Ya'll are warned! :)

Darn it.....  I just bought 18 eggs to scramble.  Now what do I do.  NOT QUICHE. 
NOOOOOOOOOOO........
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: theDarkSide on October 17, 2013, 12:24:29 PM
I have a very good scrambled egg technique. It has been copyrighted. Ya'll are warned! :)
I bet you whisk them counter-clockwise, huh?
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: Jimmy K on October 17, 2013, 12:48:38 PM
Copyright essentially provides no protection for recipes beyond the written form of the recipe.  Copyright would make it illegal for someone to reproduce the exact form of the recipe but does not make it illegal for someone to make beer from your recipe.  If you want, you can still put a copyright sign on your recipe and put your name next to it. 

Sincerely, your friendly intellectual property attorney.
I heard years ago, probably in a similar discussion, that you cannot copyright a single recipe, only a collection of recipes (like a cookbook). Is that true?

Edit: I suppose since a single recipe is a process to make a product, it would fit more with patents than copyright (if the recipe was truely innovative).
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: dak0415 on October 17, 2013, 01:19:05 PM
I have a very good scrambled egg technique. It has been copyrighted. Ya'll are warned! :)
I bet you whisk them counter-clockwise, huh?
I have heard that it is only legal to do that in Australia, New Zealand, etc.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: kramerog on October 17, 2013, 02:22:32 PM

I heard years ago, probably in a similar discussion, that you cannot copyright a single recipe, only a collection of recipes (like a cookbook). Is that true?


You can register a copyright for a recipe and for a cookbook but the protection is very slim.  Copyright on a recipe makes it illegal to photocopy the recipe, but probably doesn't prevent someone from copying the recipe but expressing it in their own words.  The copyright for a cookbook can also protect the selection and order of recipes.  A copyright does not prevent anyone from following the recipe.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: reverseapachemaster on October 17, 2013, 02:34:05 PM
You cannot copyright a recipe from the standpoint of merely copyrighting a set of ingredients and instructions. You can copyright the text of a recipe if the text provides some creative work beyond just the list of ingredients and instructions. The copyright applies to your text and does not prevent people from using the recipe or extracting the ingredients and instructions and replicating them.

I have a very good scrambled egg technique. It has been copyrighted. Ya'll are warned! :)

To combat the frequent statement, even by other lawyers, that one cannot copyright a recipe, an IP attorney registered a copyright for a scrambled egg recipe. I couldn't find his actual recipe but here is a link to his blog where he gives the registration number: http://interactionlaw.com/wordpress/2011/05/29/copyrighted-recipe-for-scrambled-eggs/

Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: punatic on October 17, 2013, 03:48:10 PM
A friend of mine has written a gozillion cookbooks.  They are all copyrighted and sell like crazy.  Every single one of his recipes in those cookbooks are available for free on the internet.  He believes posting them there for free has increased sales of his books.

I cook from his recipes a lot.  They are the starting points for the dishes I like to cook.  I tweak and modify them to my own liking.

Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: tschmidlin on October 17, 2013, 04:13:49 PM
A copyright does not prevent anyone from following the recipe.
This is the main point I think, since this is what people want when they say they want to copyright a recipe.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: bluesman on October 17, 2013, 04:24:41 PM
Even if one could copyright a recipe...there's the issue of policing or "proving" that the recipe has actually been duplicated. It just doesn't work in this sense.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 17, 2013, 04:50:37 PM
The only way to totally duplicate it is
Same grain bill
Same hops
Same water
Same yeast
Same equipment
Same brewer

I think all of these play into the finished product.

Hmmm.  I brew the same recipes over and over.  There are differences between each batch. 

There may be differences in the maltster, although I'm pretty consistent on where/what I buy.  The hops may not be from the same harvest.  Pitching rate is pretty consistent, fermentation temp is pretty consistent.

It is difficult to produce homebrewed beer that does not have some batch to batch variability.  Duplicating someone else's beer I would have to say is nigh impossible.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: klickitat jim on October 17, 2013, 04:54:49 PM
Agreed. That's what I meant by same.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: majorvices on October 20, 2013, 12:32:54 PM
I just copyrighted using 2 row as a basemalt.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: erockrph on October 20, 2013, 01:10:52 PM
I just copyrighted using 2 row as a basemalt.

Dammit, I better grab up Maris Otter before all the good ones are gone.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 20, 2013, 02:00:06 PM
Think I'll try to copyright the use of water in my beer.  That's probably a tough get.  ;D
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: klickitat jim on October 20, 2013, 03:50:46 PM
I just copyrighted using 2 row as a basemalt.

Dammit, I better grab up Maris Otter before all the good ones are gone.
Too late, I think MO uses 2row... so he already beat you to it.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: Jimmy K on October 21, 2013, 01:40:23 AM
I just copyrighted using 2 row as a basemalt.
No, that would be a patent. You could copyright that sentence though.  ;D
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: narvin on October 21, 2013, 02:35:37 PM
They didn't call it "black patent" malt for nothing!  Of course, the patent applied to the process to manufacture it, not brewing with it.
Title: Re: Copyright
Post by: morticaixavier on October 21, 2013, 02:48:09 PM
I just copyrighted using 2 row as a basemalt.
No, that would be a patent. You could copyright that sentence though.  ;D

sure but fair use would make that a pointless copyright. ???