Food blogger Elizabeth LaBau, who runs the website SugarHero.com, posted a recipe in 2014 for edible snow globe cupcakes. She made the globes using gelatin sheets hardened on balloons, which seems extremely complicated and time-consuming but, hey, the cupcakes are cute!
According to the Hollywood Reporter, after LaBau posted the recipe it went viral due to a Facebook post and ended up crashing her website. She decided to make a video of the tutorial, which she posted last year. But a few weeks later, the Food Network posted a similar video on its Facebook page.
Now, LaBau is suing the Food Network over the video for copyright infringement. And while copyright law does not protect recipes themselves, it does protect videos, illustrations, and explanations of recipes; the lawsuit alleges that Food Network mimicked her video too closely.
“In copying her work shot-for-shot,” the filing states, “Defendants willfully and intentionally sought to appropriate Defendant’s hard work for their own profit without bearing the cost thereof. The time commitment of recipe development and the cost of ingredients, coupled with the time cost of photographing and videoing the cupcakes, was a substantial investment for Plaintiff, an individual who runs a website based solely on her own work. Defendants sought to realize the same profit without investing the same amount of time, money, and creative thought, and to take away profits from Plaintiff that she would have realized but for their wrongful acts.”
Food Network has not yet issued a comment.