Cupcakes May Have Landed Food Network in Hot Water

Blogger sues, claims network copied recipe video
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2017 11:11 AM CDT
Cupcakes May Have Landed Food Network in Hot Water
Elizabeth LaBau's "snow globe cupcakes."   (

Recipes can't be copyrighted, but videos can, which is why the Food Network may now find itself in a pot of hot water. In a lawsuit filed in California on Thursday, food blogger Elizabeth LaBau of claims the network not only stole her "signature recipe" but made a "shot-for-shot" reproduction of her video showing how to make it, reports the Washington Post. LaBau's recipe for "snow globe cupcakes" with gelatin domes first went viral in 2014 before she revisited it this past December, posting a tutorial video on Facebook that received 5.7 million views. But the Food Network was perhaps a little too sweet on her recipe. LaBau says it copied the video less than three weeks later, using the same camera angles, colors, lighting, and text.

Several commenters demanded the network acknowledge LaBau, who spent "several weeks" crafting the recipe, per the suit. LaBau says she was prompted to file the copyright infringement suit when the network refused. While a recipe usually isn't protected under copyright law, "a description, explanation, or illustration" of a recipe can be, notes the Hollywood Reporter, adding that the suit poses an "interesting legal question" about how-to videos. LaBau argues the Food Network's video, which has received more than 11 million views, stole "business and attention" from her site. In addition to lost advertising revenue, she says she also suffered "severe distress" and damage to her brand. She's seeking up to $150,000 in damages. The Food Network hasn't commented. (This woman is suing over jelly beans.)

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