Friday, June 13, 2008

What happened to Tastespotting?

Does anyone know the story behind the message on the Tastespotting site? It says:

"Thanks for a great 18 months! In light of recent legal complications, NOTCOT will no longer be operating tastespotting.com"


This Post was written by Ann from Redacted Recipes

28 comments:

deb said...

Considering that the whole of their content was original photos used without permission of the photographer, I'm actually surprised this didn't happen sooner.

That said, I did enjoy finding new food blogs that way, even if the legality of it piqued my curiosity.

Dave said...

Although that might have contributed, there were a great many of us who submitted our own photos. Tastespotting was an excellent resource to show off one's skills and bring visitors to one's blog.

Cybele said...

I know one of the complaints was that the photos then appeared on Google or Yahoo Image Search, which is a prime way to get your images swiped without attribution.

Some other images were showing up as bloggers blogged about other blog posts. (So not fully attributed.)

NOTCOT focuses on consumer items or services - sites that want to be picked up.

Bloggers are an uneven lot when it comes to stuff like that - some think they're doing others a favor or honoring them when they repost things, others think that they're stealing. As far as I know, Tastespotting made no effort to honor blanket requests that a particular site not be posted. (You had to take it one by one.)

There's a discussion over at Serious Eats & Chowhound and of course several sites that are itching to take their place (though at least one post was already removed):

http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2008/06/tastespotting-what-happened.html

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/528624

Ann said...

Thanks, cybele, for the link to Chowhoud-- I'd seen the conversation at SE already. I'm just very curious to know what caused them to remove the site.

Cybele said...

Ann - I think it's going to be interesting to see what the straw was that broke the camel's back.

I think it's very easy for readers of these aggregation sites to be angry with the individuals who complained, portraying them as petty and ungracious. I think there are two sides of the story (possibly more) and hope that some actual statements will come from the Notcot group. (Especially since it was the community who was generating their content for them.)

Cybele said...

One other note, while Tastespotting says they're shut down, all their files are still available via Google Image Search:

http://images.google.com/images?gbv=2&hl=en&suggon=0&safe=off&q=tart+n+tiny+goodbye+tastespotting&btnG=Search+Images

http://www.notempire.com/images/uploads/traderjoesespresso.jpg
http://www.notempire.com/images/uploads/DB_cheesecake_pops_1.jpg
http://www.notempire.com/images/uploads/varietalhoneys.jpg

Which I see as an even bigger issue right now (you can click through but there's no context).

Anonymous said...

.... it has nothing to do with images.

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

I actually liked the site. Loads of good foodie photos in one place, and I sure like to choose my food by how it looks.

Users submitted pictures. That might not be entirely foolproof from a legal perspective but is no different from Youtube, flickr, or similar. Is it?

Anonymous said...

From a Notcot source: They can't talk about it, but it's not about copyright. They're hoping to get the legal issues sorted... which at least leaves the door open to a return.

chanit said...

Thank you all for the information.

I tried the 'take me back' at the Internet Archive.org, found there only last year ..

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.tastespotting.com/

some links work fine.

chanit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lauren said...

Legal or not, I miss tastespotting. It was a major source of traffic to my site - I can see clearly in my stats when tastespotting picked up one of my images. :(

Andrew said...

I'm migrating to

http://foodgawker.com/

see you there!

Sam said...

Food Gawker's version has a much more professional/responsible attitude to copyright theft than Taste Spotting ever did.

kittie said...

I've signed up for FoodGawker too! Very similar - went live within an hour of tastespotting going down, though they are still working on some of the features! Clear rules about what can be posted - hopefully they will ensure the only people who are posted are those who want to be.

I wonder that they don't make it so that only the blogger can submit their work?!

Another site to try is Recipe Muncher. I've just been added to their list, so no comments to make as yet!

Sam said...

I just went to check out food gawker and it looks like something is up there too now?

I got taken to a blank page with no links which says...

"Food Gawker
Sorry, our Pantry is Private!

Our pantry is a complete mess, so no peeking!
"

Amy Sherman said...

FoodGawker is showing up fine for me. Maybe it was a temporary glitch.

Rachel said...

The latest information shown on the Tastespotting site indicates that it may return with new ownership. That would be lovely. My food porn needs must be met!

Rachel, the Crispy Cook

BFW (Tammy) said...

Food Gawker actually contacted me via Twitter. I'm pretty impressed with it so far. I definitely miss Tastespotting... but hopefully Food Gawker will fill it's shoes.

Ann said...

TS is back - but without any info, as far as I can tell, about current ownership. No "about" page or anything.

Cybele said...

Read through the new Terms & Conditions:

http://tastespotting.com/terms

Submitting means releasing your photo into the public domain.

So it appears that you can only self submit, as I doubt that people can relicense photos they don't actually own.

Sarah Gim is the new owner. (She was the editor before.)

kitchenmage said...

"Submitting means releasing your photo into the public domain. "

I guess I won't be using it...

cybele said...

kitchenmage - I've kept an eye on the terms since Sarah and I emailed yesterday morning. There is no licensing agreement on there now, but I understand things are a work in progress.

I think being clear about who is doing the uploading, if they have rights or permission to grant rights to TS to display, but I would be concerned about it becoming a blanket relicense of anything submitted.

kitchenmage said...

Hmmm. I see the language now says nothing about public domain. I think I will withhold judgement until she decides on terms and sticks to them for a while. (public domain v. not is a HUGE deal for me...)

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