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Why buy a cookbook if Google makes it free?


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Why buy a book if you can easily scrape the contents from Google Print?

I work with computers all day. The very last thing that I want to do when I get home is turn on another computer. I sincerely hope that we never go to electronics books in my lifetime or, god forbid, online cookbooks. I wouldn't be able to do it. Physically. But I love my paper cookbooks and scanning their pages for recipes is restful after a long work day.

I also agree. An older used copy of Larousse Gastronomique is on the coffee table at my house. The question was really rhetorical. But honesly I am finding that being able to search within book for certain ingredients and not others etc etc is pretty useful. Another tip for those skimming through books. The page numbers are also indexed so if you get to page 30 and you can no longer arrow forward you can search for "31" and usually get the next few pages. I've found Google print very useful in finding info on "sous vide". Not much on the web but there is a good amount in books in Google Print. These books mainly cover many topics and aren't geared toward leisure (food safety and industrial techniques) so just getting the bits I need quickly is pretty useful.

Edited by pounce (log)

My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

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English Cheese and Onion Pie..................................r915 Recipegullet

While pissaldiere is excellent, an English cheese and onion pie is the other way up, with the pastry on top. Sometimes a plate pie with pastry and bottom, or even a cheese and onion pastie, with the pastry folded round the filling and crimped

I often wish I had a complete listing of all recipes in my cookbook library ("where did I see that recipe for green tomato ketchup?")

How about this for a community project eG?

YES! I am willing to do that with my collection. Believe me it has crossed my mind more than once, but as a community project it seems somehow less crazy, and more likely that I would finish.

P.S. What I thought when I looked at Google Print: "Wait...someone actually scanned in every page...?!?" That could have been me at some very unlucky temp job.

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

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I really do not care about printing recipes from the web. It is really not the same as having the book. It can be of use for having an idea of what is in a book (the equivalent of looking at a book in a store). If I like even only 1 recipe, I want to have the book. It is like having friends around you. Every book reflects the personality of the author.

Sure you can get a lot of free stuff on the web, just like it would be so easy to steal a book from most store. Or to go in the store and copy (or photocopy) the recipe - or the whole book. It is just not for me. If I want something, I will pay for it!!!

(I must admit that once, I asked for someone on eGullet for a recipe, not knowing she was a book author- Paula Wolfert of all people, shame on me!- She kindly sent me the recipe by PM. I felt so bad. It was the best canelle recipe I had ever tried! I rushed to go buy the book. That single recipe was well worth the price of the book! As a bonus I got all the other recipes in the book!!!) Thank you Paula, can't wait for your new book to came out, should be within the next few weeks...

On the other end, I do not care much about buying food mags. Often not reliable and not of much use. They end up in the garbage after a few months. At the end, they end up being more expensive than a book that I will keep for years to come!

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...

(I must admit that once, I asked for someone on eGullet for a recipe, not knowing she was a book author- Paula Wolfert of all people, shame on me!-  She kindly sent me the recipe by PM.  I felt so bad.  It was the best canelle recipe I had ever tried!  I rushed to go buy the book. That single recipe was well worth the price of the book! ...

Yes, I agree. Very nice recipe. I have made it myself. You can also find it here: Wolfert's Canele recipe

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine is useful in finding old content.

My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

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b) The library service has two parts. The part you are using, where the whole page is displayed is explicitly opt-in; the publishers have to give permission. That is not contreversial since the copyright owners (for example the publishers of Trotter's book) have given permission.

Actually, Google acts on the direction of the publisher, not the copyright holder. So if some temp hands out a DVD full of books and they weren't supposed to, oh well.

In at least one case I know of, when it was pointed out to them that they do not, in fact, have the permission of the copyright holder since the holder was never asked and is not the publisher--as they could easily see if they read the copyright page they have linked into the content they are giving away--they were dismissive and refused to discuss it with anyone other than the publisher. Which is pretty odd since the publisher didn't own the rights in question and the copyright holder was telling them in writing that they wanted the book in question removed. Wouldn't. Even. Discuss. It.

But that's just my experience. :angry::sad::huh:

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Why buy a book if you can easily scrape the contents from Google Print?

I work with computers all day. The very last thing that I want to do when I get home is turn on another computer. I sincerely hope that we never go to electronics books in my lifetime or, god forbid, online cookbooks. I wouldn't be able to do it. Physically. But I love my paper cookbooks and scanning their pages for recipes is restful after a long work day.

God forbid there already is an online cookbook. My Algerian cuisine blog is just that. I try to add recipes with photos at least every other day, sometimes everyday.

I discussed it a bit with some of my food writing mentors. So far it's an "experiment" that I am not regretting at all. I'm having a fantastic time doing it and there are benefits to it.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Well, I know that in the case of cookbooks, you can't search inside (at least, every cookbook I have looked up on Amazon).

I have never bought anything from amazon.com (I use .ca) but my book's listing allows you to search for any word - then you can select the page that the word appears on - then I get stopped because I've never purchased anything. Maybe somebody else knows - I think it will show you the page.. any page. Maybe not :wink:

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I often wish I had a complete listing of all recipes in my cookbook library ("where did I see that recipe for green tomato ketchup?")

How about this for a community project eG?

Count me in. I had cooked up a similar idea recently.

I think the best way for this to work is something along the lines of the CDDB model. For those who aren't familiar with it, the basic idea is that if you have a new CD that no one's entered into the database yet, you can type in the artist, song titles, and other information. When you use a CD with a music player program on a computer, it looks up that information based on the length and number of the tracks on the disc.

My proposed model, then, is like a cookbook database. Trusty eGullet volunteers enter information for the cookbooks which they own, including recipe titles, applicable page numbers, main ingredients, maybe, and other details. This information could be housed on a publically-accessible website. Each user can have an account which stores their preferences. The most important bit of that, of course, is the list of cookbooks on the site which they own. The users can then search the books which they own.

Copyright, etc., shouldn't be a problem since the recipes themselves won't be stored, just indexing information. And lots of people probably have the same cookbooks, so if each person volunteers to index just one or two from their collection, the site should be pretty useful to everyone.

I don't know of a ready-made software solution to host this type of a website but it shouldn't be too horrible to bash something together. I am an unemployed coder/sysadmin (due to visa limitations), so if people are interested in having a go at a project like this, either in terms of code or contributing data, it would be a fun thing for me to work on. If there's sufficient interest, it would be good to start a separate thread to discuss design and other issues.

I think this would be an excellent resource for both the eGullet community and the general internet public.

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I have never bought anything from amazon.com (I use .ca) but my book's listing allows you to search for any word - then you can select the page that the word appears on - then I get stopped because I've never purchased anything.  Maybe somebody else knows - I think it will show you the page.. any page.  Maybe not  :wink:

Pam, Yes, your book can be read cover to cover on amazon.com using the "search inside" functionality.

There is a slight difference between what Amazon does and what Google does. Amazon sells your book and your Publisher opted in before your book was even scanned. Google does not sell books, but makes money off your content by selling ads that will be presented to the person viewing your book, if it was on Google. It's not. Google also may scan your book and index it without your or your publishers permission and will make money off your content by selling ads. If you do opt into the Google Print project after they begin scanning books again you can have a link to the locations where your book is for sale and you can restrict how many pages etc are available to the public.

It's interesting to point out that on Amazon you or your publisher cannot specify that some pages would not be available so in some ways Amazon is giving out more than Google might. I am sure my viewing is tracked on Amazon, but I could not find anything on Amazon telling me I couldn't print your content or save it to my computer. (I haven't).

Edited by pounce (log)

My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

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Nothing will ever replace the happiness that comes from a large shelf overflowing with cookbooks. When I peruse one on-line that I like, I order a hard copy of it. And frequently I order cookbooks online just from descriptions or endorsements I have read of them elsewhere. I am sure that this is the case with most food lovers, cooks, and such. But this is of course not a legal argument.

The problem of course would be someone who downloaded the contents of a cookbook (or any book) electronically and published and sold copies from which the author did not receive compensation.

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I will probably use this feature the same way I used Napster back in the good ol' days: I'll take one recipe, and if I like it, I'll try another. Then I'll more than likely buy the book because I like the artwork, and I prefer the tactile sensation of holding a book over reading a screen.

I was the Napster user the record industry loved (and since I work in a field that CD and book buying keeps me employed) because even if I downloaded the whole CD, I'd still buy the disc.

So, those of you who buy cookbooks a lot? I sure wish you all bought them at my store. :biggrin:

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It just doesn't seem right to get recipes or other artistic material for free when it was intended to be purchased. If you bought these materials and share it with GOOD friends is one thing, but to publish it on the net without the creators consent is another.

If we want to continue to see original publications and great recipes from authors, they have to have an incentive to do so. If they know that once they release a book that no one will buy it because it's on the net, will they continue to do so?

It's kind of like if I opened a restaurant specializing in Spam, then someone comes in, takes my recipes and opens a stand right in front of my restaurant... They are using my materials, taking my business without consent and benfitting from all of my hard work.

If we really enjoy something whether it is art or music, we should reward these artists with something that would motivate them to continue their craft (in most cases this is $$), not take the fruits of their labor and give it away for free.

Just so you know, I'm a normal nine to fiver with no affiliation to the recording industry or a law firm, but I do have friends that are sacrificing everything to pursue careers in the arts (food, art, music) and deserve every penny for their dedication to their craft.

Just my two cents :smile:

Edited by dougery (log)

"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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Why buy a book if you can easily scrape the contents from Google Print?

I work with computers all day. The very last thing that I want to do when I get home is turn on another computer. I sincerely hope that we never go to electronics books in my lifetime or, god forbid, online cookbooks. I wouldn't be able to do it. Physically. But I love my paper cookbooks and scanning their pages for recipes is restful after a long work day.

God forbid there already is an online cookbook. My Algerian cuisine blog is just that. I try to add recipes with photos at least every other day, sometimes everyday.

I discussed it a bit with some of my food writing mentors. So far it's an "experiment" that I am not regretting at all. I'm having a fantastic time doing it and there are benefits to it.

I didn't mean that there shouldn't be online cookbooks. I meant, god forbid if online or ebooks replace printed cookbooks. Then, alas, I will buy no more cookbooks.

M. Thomas

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It just doesn't seem right to get recipes or other artistic material for free when it was intended to be purchased.  If you bought these materials and share it with GOOD friends is one thing, but to publish it on the net without the creators consent is another. 

If we want to continue to see original publications and great recipes from authors, they have to have an incentive to do so.  If they know that once they release a book that no one will buy it because it's on the net, will they continue to do so? 

It's kind of like if I opened a restaurant specializing in Spam, then someone comes in, takes my recipes and opens a stand right in front of my restaurant...  They are using my materials, taking my business without consent and benfitting from all of my hard work. 

If we really enjoy something whether it is art or music, we should reward these artists with something that would motivate them to continue their craft (in most cases this is $$), not take the fruits of their labor and give it away for free.

Just so you know, I'm a normal nine to fiver with no affiliation to the recording industry or a law firm, but I do have friends that are sacrificing everything to pursue careers in the arts (food, art, music) and deserve every penny for their dedication to their craft. 

Just my two cents :smile:

I don't disagree with your sentiment that we support the arts, but disagree that "artistic material [shouldn't be] ...free when it was intended to be purchased." Culture is not a commodity like coffee. Both the fine and applied arts, as the texture of our society, give richness, substance, nuance. For some it even becomes central to life. It's not intended to be bought and sold even if we support the writers and artists who enrich it by paying for some form of their work when we can. For most writers and artists I know, money is the fuel that allows them to work and the work and the pleasure it brings to themselves and others is their greatest reward. They above all know that some of their most enthusiastic supporters are often least able to give much material support. The rest of us who can do so should do it without grudging those who cannot.

Many of us donate to museums, libraries, schools, mainstream & alternative performance spaces just to be sure they remain open to everyone. Not being able to pay to participate in our culture today should not disqualify anyone from participating in it. Many who write books today were not able to afford them when young. When I was a child playing hooky from school, the art museum (then free) was my favorite destination. As a child I was too poor to "own" books, but not too poor to use the library. reading several books a week. Today I have a small art collection and many books. It pains me that museums are no longer open access. I believe access to the arts should be available to everyone. As a painter, I'm delighted when someone buys a painting, but if a copy pulled off the web by someone who can't afford it gives them pleaure today, so be it.

With respect to cookbook writers in particular: Rather than feeling they are diminished by giving away the goods, many cookbook writers go out of their way to have websites that include recipes. To take just two among many examples of people who post at eG, Paula Wolfert and Clifford Wright both maintain websites with recipes and send out newsletter notifications of updates. They and other professional writers post tips and recipes here at eG. Yet I and many others at eG own books by many of them bought both before and after finding them online. Is it, dumb me when I can have it free?

First. Many people who enjoy art, whether fine arts or applied arts will not be satisfied with it online only. Most of us will continue to BUY cookbooks, CD's, paintings, etc., using the web for research and sampling. Those too poor to buy these things should not be excluded from the culture of our society. Artists and writers are not damaged when people share in art or books in libraries, museums, free concerts, or online.

Second. The web gives many access to material that they may not have available where they live and lead ultimately to their ordering books and recordings they might not have known about.

Third. Not everyone can afford to buy paintings, books, records. Creative people want people to have access to their work. And many of them do not want money to be the gatekeeper to their work. Many artists do free readings and have free shows. Success for them is not just selling their work, but having their work displayed to the public at the Dia Foundation, the Walker, The Painted Bride, or their local community center. Some who have achieved great financial success literally give their work away to be enjoyed by the public. At the end of his life, Matisse, then financially secure, spent 4 of his final years on the Vence chapel (which I believe he may even have helped pay for). Monet's great paintings at the Orangerie were a gift to France.

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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hi fat guy

I just bought your book, the missus is reading it now, and loving it. she say`s thanks. i`ll read it when she`s done.

i`m reading that doug psaltis book at the mo`.

Both ( along with that book about top chef`s mistakes ) were purchased from my local, cookery book emporium. Not online. ( where they would be cheaper. hmmm )

I don`t think i would use the google print feature myself, but i remember asking one of the lads at work if he had a recipe for a rustic country style bread that would work well with a terrine we were doing. He handed me just the recipe i was looking for the next day. printed from an online source.

I`ll admit that was kinda handy.

But as to the moral / legal debate on this issue. I see ( as alot of you do also ) huge gray areas.

I agree with Mottmotts coments to a degree, that art and culture shouldn`t be linked to your wage cheque.

but artist`s, authors and musicians need wage cheques too. For Monet to give france a picture , france had to buy a fair few off him first. Monet had rent to pay too at one point.

But hell i aint keeping 50 cent in a new pair of sneakers everyday ! thats just wrong .

I just bought your book, this missus is reading it now, and loving it. she say`s thanks. i`ll read it when she`s done.

Whats the legality in the above quote ?

In this instance, i`m the google print service pimping your labour.

Also, i could ( but please believe me, i aint gonna ) scan your book into my robot and have it online for any one to read by later on tonight. My respect for you and my morals ( yes, i got me some ) obiviously preventing me from doing this.

editted cos i clicked the wrong button, doh !

Edited by transfattyacid (log)
tt
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The way I look at it is if someone is going to make a profit off of the artist, then the artist should get a fair portion of that money. A nonprofit library and a nonprofit museum are one thing; the for-profit Google is another.

Yet when a book is donated to a library for people to borrow, someone paid for that book. When a museum opens one day a week for free, a corporation typically pays those entrance fees. But Google, a large and profitable company, expects to get those books not only for free but also without following proper procedure for obtaining permissions. (Some books are there with the publisher's permission; I am referring to those that do not have the permission of the copyright holder.)

In other words, I agree that people should have access to art even if they do not have the money to pay for it. But if someone is using that art in a money-making capacity, I do not believe they should be exempt from obtaining and/or paying for permissions to use copyrighted works.

Tammy Olson aka "TPO"

The Practical Pantry

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excellent points TPO

I have this on my Algerian cuisine site

Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
unless of course I okay it in writing.

On Ya Rayi Our Rai nothing can be reproduced in any manner without the permission of the respective contributor.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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The New York Public Library now allows you to borrow ebooks and eAudio. There is only a limited number of books available, but it is out there. Unlike Google, I'm sure the NYPL has permission to do this. There's a project called the Gutenberg Project that has the full text of books that are on the public domain. You can download them for free.

I’ve borrowed cookbooks from the library, and I’ve printed recipes from the internet. That said, this isn't going to dissuade me from buying cookbooks, or any books for the matter. Ditto to you egulleters out there who say that there is nothing to replace the joy of having books on your shelves or holding a book in your hands. I love to go through my cookbooks looking for a certain recipe only to be distracted by another one. A copy off my home (or work) printer is just not the same.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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The way I look at it is if someone is going to make a profit off of the artist, then the artist should get a fair portion of that money. A nonprofit library and a nonprofit museum are one thing; the for-profit Google is another.

Yet when a book is donated to a library for people to borrow, someone paid for that book. When a museum opens one day a week for free, a corporation typically pays those entrance fees. But Google, a large and profitable company, expects to get those books not only for free but also without following proper procedure for obtaining permissions. (Some books are there with the publisher's permission; I am referring to those that do not have the permission of the copyright holder.)

In other words, I agree that people should have access to art even if they do not have the money to pay for it. But if someone is using that art in a money-making capacity, I do not believe they should be exempt from obtaining and/or paying for permissions to use copyrighted works.

TPO, you bring up a very interesting point. I agree completely that creative people should reap rewards from their activity. Often, however, it is the dealer, middleman, recording company, or large corporations that reaps the greatest benefit, not the artist. How much does the artist make from his work is not the same as how much does the copyright holder make. In the latter case, is the profiteer the end user who finds a recipe or piece of music on the web, or is it Google, Napster, or whoever else may be running the website or selling software. The thorny question of who should profit? can be teased out: what about the reviewer paid to review a book? the newspaper or magazine the review appears in? what about Julia/Julie Project? What about art historians and curators who make their livings by critiquing, judging, and organizing exhibitions of both living and dead artists. Many people make money or fame secondary to the effort of creative people. How and where are the lines to be drawn? It's a question with uncertain answer.

Without doing all the research to give you lots of examples, I recall reading of many famous jazz and other artists have received small fixed sums for their work which has made relatively large sums for many. This was particularly true in the past. In other cases where royalties were supposed to have been paid, they weren't. Becasue of their poor treatment at the hands of the recording industry some jazz and other artists have chosen to open their own labels.

I believe the case is similar for other kinds of musicians, photographers, actors, etc. where they are paid for doing a set or particular job and receive no royalties from future revenues.

And in the case of the visual arts, some painters all but lived on dirt while they were making the paintings, selling them off for small sums only to later see them resold with hugh profits made by those who had first bought them. The art world is replete with tales of dealers who'd buy artists' paintings wholesale, hoard them them til the artist became better known and then sell them. Or found other ways to rip off those who created the work.

The artist who may or may not have been adequately compensated is not nececessarily the holder of the copyright. I'm sure the lawyers here can give you chapter and verse on this difference and have all sorts of tales to tell.

Edited by Mottmott (log)

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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On Ya Rayi Our Rai nothing can be reproduced in any manner without the permission of the respective contributor.

How sad - that means that no one can ever read it.

Strictly speaking, if I view that web page, I'm reproducing it. If I were to dare to print a page for later reference, I risk being hauled off in irons. Evidence of my criminality would be readily preserved, as a copy of the forbidden material would be 'reproduced' and preserved for an indefinite time on my hard drive in the web cache. View a web page, go to jail.

You may think I'm exaggerating, but that's what your words above mean, in a paranoid legal sense. And when dealing with lawyers, the only way to be is paranoid.

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The artist who may or may not have been adequately compensated is not nececessarily the holder of the copyright.

I do know this, and probably should not have used the terms together in my post. Let me see if I can clarify what I meant.

First, I am not saying that Google Print should have to pay artists or copyright holders. I am only saying I believe they should not be exempt from following the same procedures for obtaining permissions that any other individual or corporation has to follow.

I have books on Google Print. My publisher owns the copyright, and my publisher gave permission to Google. I don't have a problem with that. But if my publisher did not give permission, I would have a problem with that. Same thing if I did own the copyright -- I would expect to have the right to accept or reject any requests for permissions to reproduce it for commercial use.

IMO, if an artist does not directly hold a copyright this does not exempt Google (or anyone else) from following the proper procedures. If it did, then bootlegging movies or albums where the actors or musicians are not receiving royalty payments would be perfectly acceptable.

In other words, if there is a problem with the entire process of asking permission before copying a book or a portion of a book, then the process should be fixed. I just don't feel as though Google is entitled to any special exemption from these rules just because they are Google. And I don't feel as though copyright holders should be denied protection from this because writers consider themselves cultural artists rather than commercial artists.

Tammy Olson aka "TPO"

The Practical Pantry

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On Ya Rayi Our Rai nothing can be reproduced in any manner without the permission of the respective contributor.

How sad - that means that no one can ever read it.

Strictly speaking, if I view that web page, I'm reproducing it. If I were to dare to print a page for later reference, I risk being hauled off in irons. Evidence of my criminality would be readily preserved, as a copy of the forbidden material would be 'reproduced' and preserved for an indefinite time on my hard drive in the web cache. View a web page, go to jail.

You may think I'm exaggerating, but that's what your words above mean, in a paranoid legal sense. And when dealing with lawyers, the only way to be is paranoid.

:blink:

Nevermind, not worth it.

Edited by chefzadi (log)

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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