Recipe and Copyright

Recently in Japan, lots of men participate in cooking classes and develep their cooking skill.

Today we would like to cover legal protection of recipes.

At first, let's look at the recipe of "How to make (Japanese) dashi (broth) from kombu(kelp)" as an example.

  1. Put 4 cups of water in a deep pot and soak the 8 inch kombu (cut in half),  for about 30 minutes.
  2. Place pot over low heat.
  3. Just before the water comes to a boil, remove the kombu.

This is the simplest recipe, however, generally recipes consist of explanation of cooking methods (procedure) and ingredients and their quantities.  

By the way, are recipes protected by copyright?

Copyright covers original works of authorship that the author fixes in a tangible form.
In other words, all creative expressions of original thoughts or sentiments of the creator which are not copies of others are protected by copyright law. 

However, as you can see from the recipe "How to make dashi from kombu", recipes are basically just an explanation of the cooking methos (procedure) and listing of ingredients.  Therefore creator's original thoughts or sentiments are not stated in recipes. 

For that reason, recipes basically are not subject to copyright protection.



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