On recipe sharing and media piracy

This is something that’s been on my mind for a while now.

Anyone that I know who has ever spent time creating a recipe in the kitchen or that has a treasured family recipe that has been passed down for generations is always extremely willing to pass it on so that others may enjoy the dish. It takes a certain amount of skill and talent to develop a good recipe as well as many hours spent perfecting it.

This is not to say that these chefs and bakers should never receive monetary reimbursement for their hard work, however those who choose to make a living through cooking are able to in other ways – such as building a restaurant around their own recipes or even selling a book with a large collection of their recipes. Just because they like to share a recipe for free here or there does not mean they do not value their work. Instead I believe the willingness to share causes others to look into the chef in question and support them more.

This is in direct conflict with what we see today in the digital media industry. Certainly the culture of sharing recipes has been around much longer, but today we see a push in the opposite direction. Artists are urged to not share their work to get their name well known but instead sign content deals with large corporations to market the work and make profit of their own.

There are artists and film directors out there that try to succeed through this method of sharing instead attempting to make a living off of live shows and movie viewings. I feel that this is frowned upon because of the industry we have built around the selling of content.

So, what do you think? Are cooks everywhere missing out? Should there be corporations built around marketing and selling recipes or should modern day artists rethink the accepted way to gain success?

This article has been in response to articles like one published on The Guardian’s website this past March. Even though I was directing this article towards artists, it could also apply to content producers who have this same business model.