The Consequences of Copying

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It seems as of late a lot of people are copying recipes, ideas and classes etc.  It has been sad to watch people battle things out, pointing fingers at people, right or wrong. What happened to our ethics?  Inventors of products spend enormous amounts of time and money to properly and safely creating products for us.  Money is spent on copyrights, as well as patents, and having products tested to comply with food safe regulations.  What is scary, however, besides people copying things and the legal battles that will arise from them, are the dangers of using those copycat products.

decogelFor example, in speaking to the inventor of DECOgel®  I pointed out to her people are attempting to copy her recipe and publish it for the public to use.  She informed me of the dangers that go beyond the risk of being sued for copyright infringement.  When it comes to certain, specialty foods that are stable at room temperature, there are preservatives added to keep people safe when consuming them.  People who copy recipes and share them publicly not only run the risk of a huge legal battle, but more importantly, and quite frightening, they run the risk of poisoning people. Food items that stay at room temperature have specific preservatives to keep the product stable.  Without the proper ingredients, they run the risk of making people sick.  I imagine when people try to save a few pennies the risks can be high.  The cost of a product includes so many things that are not immediately obvious.  People complain when they feel a price is higher than they believe it should be and they think that they can replicate it cheaper. But there is more involved than meets the eye and if it’s too good to be true when a copy is available cheaper, there is a reason it is cheaper, because it is not an exact copy and it shouldn’t be expected to behave or perform the same way as the original.

So if ethics don’t stop the copycats from doing what is right, perhaps one should be deterred from copying peoples; hard work in consideration of the risk being sued, or the fact that it’s one of the Ten Commandments, “Though shall not steal.” But, if all that doesn’t stop people from copying things, then one should seriously consider the dangers inflicted upon other people in not really understanding what food scientists develop in their food safe products.

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