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Foodista: CC-Powered Cooking Encyclopedia

Cameron Parkins, January 23rd, 2009

foodistaFoodista is a new online destination for those interested in all things culinary-related. The site is divided into four sections – recipes, foods, tools and techniques – and is based around the idea that community knowledge and sharing can result in a better resource than one built by a restricted and closed group. As such, the folks behind Foodista have “developed a system to let everyone edit content to make it better rather than have multiple versions of the same recipe.” At its core, this system is based around a site-wide CC BY license.

By using our most permissive license, Foodista has laid the ground work for a site that is purely focused on collaboration and the growth of knowledge. A few months ago we posted about an article that articulates why using a CC BY license for recipes is a sound choice (recipes can’t be copyrighted while the expression of recipes can). It is a mindset Foodista has embraced and while the site is still in a nascent stage it is already showing great promise. Part of the fun about cooking is the inherent experimentation and reiterations recipes can go through. Being able to document that sort of exchange through the use of open tools is a welcomed resource.

4 Responses to “Foodista: CC-Powered Cooking Encyclopedia”

  1. Thanks for the mention! It’s still very early for us at Foodista and so far the results are very encouraging. We invite you all to come share your cooking knowledge and to re-use the content you find on Foodista as you see fit. We’re working on a number of ways to make that even easier.

  2. Peter says:

    hmmm … interesting — I always was under the impression that you could not copyright recipes … and thus CC licences would not apply or only to the graphical representation of the recipe … so I guess that’s what you’re doing, right, CCing the the site?

  3. Peter, yup you are correct that recipes cannot be copyrighted in general. However, we feel the CC license is important for 3 reasons:

    1. Unique expressions, e.g. in the about description, as well as non-obvious organization of recipes can be copyrighted.

    2. We plan on adding a lot more than just recipes to the site.

    3. A lot of people claim copyrights on recipes, in fact most published recipes seem to, even though many are not eligible for that protection.

    So, in order to both encourage contribution and broad sharing of knowledge, we adopted the CC-Atribution license…plus we think it’s a cool evolution in intellectual property thinking.

  4. Ruth Howard says:

    Hi I’m wondering about the copyright involved with a school kitchen garden that is connected to a larger non profit organisation, founded by a well known person who sells cookbooks etc. I like the idea of getting the young cooks involved in a wiki like community food site and in creative commons and also in selling their own recipes at some point as a fundraiser. We wish to start our own blog next year. We’ve only been up and running as a teaching/learning resource for less than 3 months. Im interested in partnerships with sites such as yours I wonder how that might best work?