Musings on Rootwork

The Copyright of Hoodoo Recipes and Formulas

For those who may wonder if recipes can be copyrighted, here is a really great link on it.  http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl122.html

Admittedly, when we think of recipes, the first thing that comes to mind is food recipes. Your gramma’s lasagna that tasted like no other lasagna. Your mom’s soup that she gave you when you were sick.  In my case, my mom made soft boiled eggs, put on toast and salt and peppered it with just the right amount. Every time I was sick or upset, I asked her to make it.  She tried to get me to learn how to make it, but frankly it didn’t taste the same at all.  My son says that no one can make Cream of Wheat like I can.  Which is weird, because how to do it is right there on the box. 😀

So what about hoodoo recipes? Can they be copyrighted?

The page I linked above says NO. A recipe or formula that is just a list of ingredients cannot be copyrighted. What may be copyrighted is the expression or the description or the explanation of how it is made.

If I wrote out a bath recipe telling a person to put kosher salt, some Florida water and a teaspoon of basil, that is not copyrightable. It’s just a list of ingredients. If I write out several paragraphs detailing the amount and a specific way of making and using the bath, well my description is copyrighted.

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