Cupcake wars: blogger sues Food Network over recipe video
ELIZABETH LaBau’s holiday cupcake recipe was so popular it crashed her food blog.
LaBau, who runs SugarHero.com, had figured out a way to make edible snow globe cupcakes by coating small balloons in sheets of gelatin and letting them harden into translucent domes.
After lots of trial and error, she posted the recipe to her website in late 2014. It went viral, garnering about 740 000 shares on Facebook – the traffic caused her blog to go dark temporarily – and tripling her site’s income that month. She would go on to describe it as her “signature recipe”.
LaBau continued to ride the recipe’s success last Christmas, posting a tutorial video showing how to make the cupcakes. The video was a major success for the do-it-yourself dessert queen, drawing millions of views in December alone.
Then along came Food Network with its video, LaBau says in a new lawsuit filed in federal court in California.
About three weeks after she published her tutorial, LaBau alleges, Food Network produced a how-to video on snow globe cupcakes that was so similar that it constituted copyright infringement.
LaBau’s lawsuit calls the minute- long, made- for- Facebook video a “shot- for- shot” theft of her own. The camera angles are the same, she says, along with the colours, lighting, text and other elements.
Food Network “willfully and intentionally sought to appropriate” LaBau’s work “for their own profit without bearing the cost,” the lawsuit reads.
A Food Network spokesperson didn’t respond to a message seeking comment. – Washington Post