Is this mine or yours?

I am the person that goes to Pinterest for many ideas when it comes to making something out of nothing, or when I found a good natural way to make something, like deodorant. About a year ago I started blogging about my findings of recipies that I had found for natural, homemade product that I had created. I got the inspiration from pins on Pinterest, which typically lead you to a blog or website where you can find the step and ingredients to get to the end product. I would always try to give credit where it was due, at least acknowledge the person who came up with the idea, on my blog. I ended up deleting the blog because I didn’t have time to update it as a first year teacher, and I wasn’t sure I felt comfortable with how I was taking ideas, modifying them, but still feeling like I was taking someone’s idea and calling it my own.

As I watched this video on Creative Commons, I realized I had no idea whether the bloggers/websites had Creative Commons licenses. I was, maybe would one say, gasp, stealing their intellectual property? I didn’t use their ideas and then go around and sell them, but I was posting about them.

I’d like to take a second and compare this to something I thought of… my mother has a recipe that is called Grandma Stewart’s Cheesy Potatoes–yes, they are the best potatoes in the world. Bless my sweet grandma that is no longer with us, but she made the best damn potatoes and they were named after her.(Also, funny story, this is not my mom’s mother, it’s my dad’s, and my mother and her were never bff. I don’t think they would both be afraid to admit it.) Getting to my point… We make my Grandma Stewart’s Cheesy Potatoes for almost every holiday. Are we stealing her intellectual property? She for sure did not have a little Creative Commons license icon on her filthy, sticky recipe card. Clearly I am not making them and selling them every weekend at the market, but you get my point.

The definition of IP, according to the WIPO website is, “Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.” When I read this definition I think about my own literary works that I have created. No, I do not want my works to be duplicate and used for someone else’s profit. However, I do want others to read and experience it. At the same time, I would want to share information, like a homemade deodorant recipe that stops sweating, because many people could benefit from that. Just because I came up with the recipe, I wouldn’t be heart if other people used it. Once again, however, I would not want someone else to profit from my own intellectual property. So, my Creative Commons license would be Attribution- Noncommercail 4.0 International, a non Free Culture License.


2 thoughts on “Is this mine or yours?

  1. Brilliant to use a personal anecdote to think through what IP is about. Recipes are interesting because they need to be used to be valued, and, socially, if we value a recipe, we want to share it rather than hoard it. Recipe blogs abound, and what makes the blog post valuable and interesting is not so much the recipe itself as the story of it’s preparation and how that is told. The IP isn’t the recipe but the way it is presented. And that IP is preserved by sharing the link to the post so that more people will see it.

    Liked by 1 person

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