Author Topic: To protect and serve ?  (Read 3159 times)

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buceriasdon

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2011, 10:51:37 AM »
While doing research on Victory Pig pizza I ran across this email to a blogger:      http://k0lee.com/vp.htm
The recipe will go his grave!
Don


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2011, 11:37:28 AM »
Is anyone else turned off by Mr. Richard Cecolli's response?  As if the secret is in the recipe...

I understand that he doesn't appreciate people wanting to copy his pizza, but this is the real world and he should take it as a compliment. 

Chau

buceriasdon

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2011, 12:30:14 PM »
I believe a business owner is entitled to proprietary rights: items manufactured, created and sold only by the owner of a patent, formula, brand name, or trademark associated with the product or to those a license has been granted. That said I also believe that an individual has a right to copy the previous as long as there is no financial gain and is for private use only and no copyright infrigement has occured.
Don
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 03:44:19 PM by buceriasdon »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2011, 02:45:12 PM »
Is anyone else turned off by Mr. Richard Cecolli's response? 


Chau,

I agree that maybe he went over the top. However, it looks like the Ceccoli family goes to great lengths to protect its recipe and sources. Judging from what I found at http://books.google.com/books?id=_5XtSYhLHSsC&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&dq=victory+pig,+Ceccoli,+pizza&source=bl&ots=BXMGaEmH1J&sig=ehXf9vD6qiKYydf8hNhmsmaJyug&hl=en&ei=IqegTan1NouO0QHfoIGWBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=victory%20pig%2C%20Ceccoli%2C%20pizza&f=false, it appears that Victory Pig purchases its dough from someone else, and would use a commissary model if they were to expand their business beyond the one store. These methods are like what some of the big chains use to protect their proprietary information and sources from unwanted disclosure, as discussed earlier in this thread. It also helps to have family members involved in these types of businesses since they will be more protective of the assets of the business.

Peter

buceriasdon

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2011, 03:03:18 PM »
Peter, Nice find! An illuminating read into a mom and pop business and the lengths they are willing to go to to protect the family recipe. Secret oven modifications even, great stuff!

buceriasdon

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2011, 05:32:43 PM »
Did some more research on copyrighting a recipe. Turns out one cannot copyright a listing of ingredients:
Copyright law does not protect recipes that are mere listings of ingredients. Nor does it protect other mere listings of ingredients such as those found in formulas, compounds, or prescriptions. Copyright protection may, however, extend to substantial literary expression—a description, explanation, or illustration, for example—that accompanies a recipe or formula or to a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook. A Catch 22 if ever there was one.

 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2011, 06:17:51 PM »
Yes, very nice find Peter.  It was very interesting to read the article about all the trouble they go through to keep their process and secrets protected.  That definitely explains why he feels so strongly about those wanting to duplicate the recipe.  I have to say that I have a lot of respect for the family for being very strict about the process and the high quality products they make.

Chau

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2011, 07:41:12 PM »
I remembered today a case where one of our members that I helped years ago with his dough formulation and sauce asked me via PM for some advice after one of his employees--a very loyal and trusted employee--told him that she had been approached by one of his competitors and offered money for information on the member's business. My recollection is that is was the pizza sauce but it could have gone beyond that. I suggested several things that he could do. First, I told him to control his trash so that it was not accessible to dumpster divers. Second, I told him to maintain tight control over his dough formulation and his sauce recipe so that they couldn't be easily reproduced (he eventually put his dough recipe and his sauce recipe under lock and key). Third, I told him do break down functions and routines and, as much as possible, assign different ones of his workers to them. Fourth, I told him to keep work areas, such as where the dough and sauces were to be made, out of the view of customers and non-employees. Fifth, I stressed that he educate his employees on the need to protect his business, otherwise he could go out of business and they would lose their jobs.

Another one of our members, Thompson Ly, who now has three pizza delcos in China, told me when we last talked that he controls the herb and spice blends that go into his sauce. I don't recall if he makes the actual blend himself or just purchases it from others and controls its use so that his employees aren't able to reveal the contents or the source. I believe he maintains publicly that his dough recipe is a secret, but I view that as puffery although he has made some minor changes to the recipe I originally devised for him. China is not noted for respecting intellectual property rights, so I assume that Thompson feels that he has to take these kinds of measures to protect his business. 

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2011, 07:45:08 PM »
Cool, Peter. I'd throw in a bit disinformation just for fun: plant bogus recipes in the trash, prominently display a few cans of tomatoes and sacks of flour that aren't part of the secret formula....  >:D  

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2011, 07:54:57 PM »
I definitely understand the need to keep secrets when your livelihood depends on it.  It's a bit amusing to me that some members who depend on the free help of other members to learn how to make pizza turn around and are suddenly secretive when they feel they have something valuable or $ is at stake.

I guess it's human nature to want to learn secrets but not share them.   :-D

Chau


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2011, 08:00:45 PM »
It was very interesting to read the article about all the trouble they go through to keep their process and secrets protected.  That definitely explains why he feels so strongly about those wanting to duplicate the recipe.  I have to say that I have a lot of respect for the family for being very strict about the process and the high quality products they make.

Chau,

What I find interesting is that, as an approach contrary to that taken by Victory Pig, Brian Spangler was willing to disclose to us his complete dough formulation, the way his dough is made, the ingredients (even to three decimal places on the amount of yeast), suppliers, etc. That is a gutsy thing to do. Maybe it doesn't concern him that a few fanatical home pizza hobbyists might be able to come up with a credible copy of his pizzas, or that a pizza operator thousands of miles away might start a business based on his dough formulation. Or maybe he knows how hard and how much knowledge and experience are required to make a poolish-based dough using minuscule amounts of yeast in a room-temperature environment over a period of about a day and using a specially adapted oven to bake the pizzas. I think only another artisan-minded pizza operator would be likely to give it a go.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2011, 08:04:25 PM »
Cool, Peter. I'd throw in a bit disinformation just for fun: plant bogus recipes in the trash, prominently display a few cans of tomatoes and sacks of flour that aren't part of the secret formula....  >:D  

Bill,

I like it  :-D. That's the kind of thinking you need.

Peter

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2011, 08:13:41 PM »
Peter, I like Brian's approach.  Roberto is the same way.  I appreciate how comfortable he is with his business and skill that he doesn't mind sharing his knowledge to those who are interested.  My opinion is that even if one has the right ingredients/recipe but doesn't know the process or have the proper knowledge or techniques, the recipe is useless.

And even if the recipes and techniques become public knowledge, there are many more people that would rather just pay for the product than there are those who are willing to put in the effort to reproduce it.  

Chau

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2011, 08:41:20 PM »
Don alluded earlier to the non-copyrightability of recipes, which confirms what I learned several years ago when I last researched the subject. However, that usually isn't a big problem for cookbook authors because they usually have many other recipes in their books and copyright attaches to the books even if not to individual recipes. Even when there is actual copyright violation, which I have seen many times on the Internet (people copy things lock stock and barrel), and even when a recipe from a cookbook goes viral on forums and blogs and the like, the actual harm to the cookbook author usually isn't that great. In fact, the books can receive such great acceptance and publicity at no cost to the book author that people go out and buy the book and actually help increase sales. It is when one has just one recipe that needs protecting that the biggest problems arise. And, in such a case, I would opt for protecting the recipe by trade secret.

I might add that there are some companies who do police their copyrighted works. As Bill/SFNM will recall, Steve received a complaint from Cook's Illustrated that one of its copyrighted articles was reproduced on our forum. It is even possible that it was something I posted. The first time I did this was after I had sent an email to CI requesting permission to reproduce one of its articles on the forum. When weeks passed without getting a response, I took CI's silence for such a long period as permission to post the article. You will note that this sort of thing has declined over the past year or so. It is appropriate to post a link to a copyrighted article, and even to quote parts of an article for scholarly or academic or commentary purposes, but wholesale copying is not appropriate.

Peter

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2011, 10:44:42 AM »
.... I took CI's silence for such a long period as permission to post the article...

Peter

I love that part.


As may be clear from my first post in response to the OP, the whole premise of copying is not something I consider worthwhile.     

The entire premis of the forum is to copy something.  And until I have enough skills to do better than that, I will have to continue to copy to the best of my ability.  For me, it continues to be worthwhile.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2011, 11:19:50 AM »
I agree Gene.  There aren't many original ideas anymore.  Much of everything is a copy or version of something similar.  

To follow another person's recipe be it another member or an author is a copy of their work.  That's how we learn and there's nothing wrong with it.  I have changed my opinion of recipes entirely.  They provide a specific and valuable purpose.  Not every member coming to this forum is interested in investing time and money into finding their own recipe.  They are content with using someone else's recipe as long as the results are better than what they've made before.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Chau

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2011, 02:08:43 PM »
I agree Gene.  There aren't many original ideas anymore.  Much of everything is a copy or version of something similar.  

Chau,

Plenty of original ideas emerge from those sufficiently motivated. I think the Tartine bread method is the perfect example. Of course we learn the basics by emulating those with superior knowledge. My point is: do we set our sights on "better results" or the "best results"? To me it is an essential distinction that informs everything I do. Perhaps that is my problem.  :D 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2011, 02:27:57 PM »
Bill that is one of the distinctions that I admire about you.  I was just agreeing with Gene that we all have to start somewhere and if that is to copy then that is okay for now.   But what and where we are content with is a distinction.  Though I like to keep pushing the boundaries of what is perfect and not when it comes to pizza, I guess I can't blame the guy that does not.   We just merely have different priorities.

Hell I can't blame the guy that likes a totino's pizza from time to time b/c sometimes I am that guy.   :-D

Chau   

Offline GotRocks

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2011, 12:43:00 PM »
I bet I could give accomplished 10 cooks all the exact same ingredients, do a demonstration of what I want the finished product to be, tell them all to duplicate exactly what I had shown them, and I would still get 10 different pizzas placed in front of me.
It is more than the just the sum of ingredients, it is style, it is the little differences in preparation that make a huge difference in the finished product.
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Offline SinoChef

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Re: To protect and serve ?
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2011, 10:55:42 PM »

Another one of our members, Thompson Ly, who now has three pizza delcos in China, told me when we last talked that he controls the herb and spice blends that go into his sauce. I don't recall if he makes the actual blend himself or just purchases it from others and controls its use so that his employees aren't able to reveal the contents or the source. I believe he maintains publicly that his dough recipe is a secret, but I view that as puffery although he has made some minor changes to the recipe I originally devised for him. China is not noted for respecting intellectual property rights, so I assume that Thompson feels that he has to take these kinds of measures to protect his business. 

Peter


 :-D He is right! I hired this kid last year from the place down the street. 6 months later he thanks me and says he is going to move back home. This last March, I meet some friends at that place down the street. And there is that same kid back in their kitchen. And the pizza they are serving has gone from this dry tough nasty disc, to some thing remarkable close to mine. Ha! They just haven't figured out they need an oven with a stone in it. But it is a real improvement on what they were serving. "Clavin Kleen" jeans, or a real Rolex for about 40$ US. "Copy Copy", as they say here.


 

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