Mother's Day was never a big deal in the Cod's family, but the run-up to the first such holiday w/o requisite mother has been a little bumpy. I mention that by way of acknowledging the grinchyness that may or may not inform this post. Friday, there was a tweet from Food52, thus:
A way of recognizing Mom for all that hard work she put in feeding your sorry ass? Sure. And yet, if Mom reads the food52 TOS:You have the ability to add content, including but not limited to recipes, to food52.com. We do not guarantee the accuracy, integrity or quality of the content you provide and do not have any obligation to monitor this. You agree that you, and not Burnt Toast, its affiliates or licensers, are solely responsible and liable for any submissions you upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available to food52.com; including any loss or damage to Burnt Toast, LLC or others who may suffer as a result of or in connection with any such submission to food52.com. You shall not submit any content protected by any intellectual property or other third party right without the express permission of the owner. You represent, warrant and covenant that you own or otherwise control all rights to any content you submit to food52.com or Burnt Toast, LLC, and have all rights, power and authority required to provide such content to food52.com and to assign your rights in the submission to Burnt Toast, LLC. Any and all such submissions by you are and will be true, current and accurate. No use of your submissions will violate or infringe any rights of, or cause any injury to, any person or entity.
By submitting any content to food52.com or Burnt Toast, you simultaneously and automatically grant or warrant that the owner has expressly granted us a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, fully sublicensable and transferable right and license to use, record, sell, lease, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works based upon, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, publish and otherwise exploit the submitted content as we, in our sole discretion, deem appropriate. We may exercise this grant in any format, media or technology now known or later developed for the full term of any copyright that may exist in the submitted content. You additionally grant other users permission to access your submitted content for personal, non-commercial use as permitted by the functionality of the website and these Terms of Service.
Hey mom -- those snickerdoodles you used to make? The recipe belongs to Amanda Hesser now! Happy Mother's Day!
Hesser/food52 are not the only people using this model -- I'm on the record for admiring the This is Why You're Fat's model of getting paid to have other people write books for you quickly, as opposed to my personal approach of not getting paid to write books by myself, and slowly. If you can get people to do your work for you, for free, then bless your fence-painting, Web 2.0 heart!
And yet. Sending a picture of your dog in a Richie Tennenbaum headband a and a funny caption off to Hipster Puppies, or a picture of a wheelbarrow full of nacho cheese off to TIWYF seems like one kind of thing, and sending your mom's recipe to food52 seems like another:
1) For these Tumblrs, you are creating new content for the purpose of submitting to these sites, for whatever joy might come from having your vision publicized. A recipe, particularly one worth submitting to a contest, existed previously, and represents some portion of you/your mom's intellectual equity.
2) Volition. Presumably, for this to make much of a present, it would have to be a surprise. Thus, the "gift" would be "Congratulations, Mom, you are now a published author! But don't give your Green Goddess recipe to that cookbook fundraiser they are doing at the middle school, or Hesser's lawyers will be here faster than you can say 'Mr. Latte.' Another mimosa?"
As a rule it's a good idea to ask someone if they want their work published before it's published. Just ask noted involuntary author (and mom) Anne Bradstreet. So think twice before you press submit, and consider breaking off a day at an Aveda spa, or a nice (ie non-brunch) meal for mom instead. Play us off, Ms. Bradstreet:
|The Author to Her Book|
Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain,