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Tastespotting... oh noes!

From the homepage of TS today:

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

Dude. Duuuuuuuude. I haven't been this upset about a website since Bravo took over Television Without Pity.

Anyone have dirt? So sad!

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  1. I KNOW! I just went to upload an entry and *poof* - TS is gone. Going to email someone and see if I can find anything out. Really weird....and depressing.

    1. I'm really upset too! It was my favorite site....

      1. I am crushed. I use to visit that site AT LEAST once a day.

        I had been wondering this morning why it hadn't uploaded anything new since yesterday.

        1. This is a joke, right??

          A nasty, evil joke??

          Please tell me it isn't so??

          1. That's really too bad; and with no warning, too.... There were so many links that there must have been some which were not original and perhaps that's what was the downfall.

            1. I noticed its dated 6-13-08 and it posted today, 6/12/08. Friday the 13th horror show anyone? I've searched news sites and food news sites and I've found nothing about strife, lawsuits or the like. I'm sure it will come out (what happened) if it's true.

              4 Replies
              1. re: marcellamissy

                It's the 13th here in OZ..

                I wonder if the Tastespotting Stalker finally won out?

                1. re: purple goddess

                  chiffOnade? Oh hells naw. I don't care if her boyfriend is named Big Bear and weighs 450lbs or whatever.

                  1. re: purple goddess

                    Jean didn't even know about the tastespotting stalker until I emailed her after our "incident" on PiEcon!!!

                2. Very sad, if true. I 'd like to hope it would resolve itself eventually without diluting the content.

                  Certainly enough for me to de-lurk here!

                  sfg

                  1. Bummer city. I'm glad I've got others to mourn with, though.

                    1. thats it. the last year of my life living tastespotting. i read it from the time i send my kids off to school until i tuck them in at night. what am i supposed to do? this has ruined my life. i dont know what to do with myself now. someone needs to pick up the ashes. maybe i should. would anyone want to help? this HAS TO HAPPEN so many people relied on this for inspiration. this is... i dont even have words to describe how i feel right now.
                      :-(

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: meatwad3030

                          Yes meatwad3030, I want to help! vive la inspiracion!

                        2. Serious bad news....that was my favorite new-to-me food website...I kept saying "oohh! look at THAT! Must try it soon...oh! Look at this...god, that looks awesome! Wait, that looks even better!" on and on. Hope someone can figure out a way to revive it.

                            1. aaaaahhhhh! NOOOOOO! I just saw this too! First thing I check every day.

                              1. This is terrible! What legal issues are they talking about? How can a recipe/food photography site be threatened with legal issues? And more importantly the hell am I going to do at work all day????? This is extremely vexing.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: walkercme

                                  Count me in as extremely disappointed. I would assume there are some copyright issues at stake. But I say it is free advertising for you blog/website. I almost always clikc to go to the websites when I find the pic interesting. Shortsighted I think on the part of folks with the copyrighted material if that is the case.

                                  1. re: jsaimd

                                    Free advertising?

                                    For whom?

                                    How is it shortsighted?

                                    If the photo is stolen, the photo is stolen. (Often they would NOT be attributed properly and it would be incumbent upon the photographer to pursue Tastespotting.) I didn't have this happen, but I know that was one of the grumbles I heard behind the scenes.

                                    1. re: typetive

                                      In this case it was free advertising for the sites the photos came from as each photo (at least the ones I checked) was linked to the original source.
                                      It is iffy that the photos were collected and hosted on a single server.
                                      Now if the "original sites" stole the photo from somewhere else.....

                                      1. re: hannaone

                                        The main point is there are people "advertising" their blogs by using pictures taken from other blogs.

                                        I'm sure these people rationalize their conduct by using the "public domain" argument, but if you didn't create the image then you shouldn't really use it.

                                        1. re: dave_c

                                          Unless it's criticism/commentary, or if they claim fair use because they're only using a small piece of the work. Which was generally the case with Tastespotting--nobody viewed it as a place for original work, it's a site that is intended to lead you to original content, by displaying pieces of images and attaching short comments. I think we're fairly certain that copyright was not the issue with Tastespotting.

                                          If, of course, the "original" content actually copied photos from *other* sites (I guess this is what you are saying dave_c) then they are asking for trouble, but that's not really Tastespotting's problem, right? especially since they're still only using small pieces of images. Of course, I'm not a lawyer and all that.

                                2. I literally gasped out loud when I read this. I'm really upset! What am I going to do at work? Where am I going to go drool over food pics...I found some great, beautiful blogs to read from tastespotting. I had checked tastespotting the other day and saw that there weren't any updates, which I found odd, because there is always a new posting no matter what I time i check in during the day. :( squared.

                                  1. I only wish this was an April Fool's joke! I'm SO upset! Where else am I going to find my daily fix of food porn!?

                                    1. I'm so saddened by this. I mean, I know there are lots of other sites out there to find recipes and great pictures, but Tastespotting was my main source of inspiration when it came to cooking endeavors.

                                      1. I share everyone's pain. Every day I would check out what was new and learned about a lot of great blogs that I now check on regularly as well. How unfortunate. Maybe some day it will make a comeback.

                                        1. Ugh!!! Our beautiful little world of inspiration and ideas - vaporized! How could they? And a legal thing?? Maybe it's the name, maybe someone else had "tastespotting" first??

                                          It's just not FAIR!!

                                          1. I'm also really interested in finding out why the site got taken down. Tastespotting not only provided constant entertainment but was educational as well. Why would anyone want to take down what's basically a portal of free advertising? Very confusing.

                                            1. I don't know anything from the inside, but I've seen a bunch of posts going back into 2007 about complaints. Apparently people were posting pics that weren't theirs, and linking back to their own sites. None of the complaints were about pics that linked to the *correct* site. The people whose pics were stolen had a legit gripe, though I wish they didn't knock down the entire site to fix it.

                                              So it looks like scammers and lowlifes have killed another great resource.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: DrewKime

                                                Yeah, I did notice a lot of times the link to the person who submitted the entry didn't go back to the actual post. But there has to be a way to fix that! Didn't the tastespotting crew review posts before they went up? They must have, or there would have been a lot more spam/crap entries. Or a rule that entries must be submitted by the author of the post. Maybe there would be fewer entries, but there would still be some.

                                                1. re: elizabells

                                                  I see. I never really had a problem going to the wrong site, only my work firewall blocking some of the links. It's sad that people would stoop to false links (this isn't a Rickroll http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickroll for goodness sake) just to bump up traffic on their site and end up ruining it for everyone.

                                                  It's a sad day, either way. Tastespotting was one of my favorite websites I encountered while exploring the innernit's food culture forum. It led me to a number of blogs which I RSS or check daily and opened my eyes to a number of things I had no idea existed.

                                                  1. re: MeAndroo

                                                    I had a few of my better flickr pics of food porn submitted to Tastespotting by random third parties who never linked back to my blog or flickr stream. Annoying (and something I'd like fixed---I don't like it when my stuff is appropriated, and I don't like it when content producers are dissed for what is a legit gripe), but I don't think that was the problem.

                                                    This could be something as simple as a name dispute. It'll sort itself out, the web community wants a site like this.

                                              2. I am so incredibly heartbroken by this. I visit this site at least once a day for inspiration, and to keep challenging myself as a new pastry chef. Where am i going to go now to find things and say "OOOH i'm going to have to try that!" ..... i can't believe it's gone, i don't even know what else to say.. i feel like a little bit of me died with the site :(

                                                1. I think it has something to do with copyrighted pictures. Yesterday Canada implemented new copyright laws to update our 98 year old copyright laws that did not refer to any kind of shared digital media.

                                                  What a disappointment I only discovered it a couple of months ago and enjoyed my ritual of checking it everyone morning.

                                                  Perhaps someone else could reincarnate it?

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: kriederer

                                                    I am in serious food-porn withdrawal! If anyone hears anything, please post an update! RIP TasteSpotting. You will be missed.

                                                    1. re: kriederer

                                                      I don't believe it's a law yet, it's just a Bill at this point.

                                                      I'm going to have to find more food porn. That just makes me damned sad.

                                                    2. Facebook is telling me that "no. it had nothing to do with images/copyright." on Jean's profile. So I guess uh..guess we're all wrong.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Larryzorz

                                                        I saw another anon comment that said the same thing.

                                                        It seems that when you take down a site without much of an explanation we're all just gonna sit around like pundits and spin it any old way.

                                                        To continue doing that ... I wonder what other legal issues there would be besides copyright? (All the text was so complimentary, so it couldn't be defamation. Some sort of dispute over hosting ... someone contesting ownership of the idea?)

                                                      2. I saw an indication that copyright was not the issue. Then I saw some stuff about a Tastespotting troll who apparently followed the links to harass and disparage the food bloggers. If that's true, perhaps the troll did something or said something that led a blogger to blame (as in, legally) TS for the harassment? I'm just guessing as well, but that thought crossed my mind. I'm gonna miss that site!!

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: k_d

                                                          hmmmm....i have seen a couple food bloggers complain about sudden increase in spam comments....maybe that is a possibility.

                                                          1. re: k_d

                                                            I know who you're referring to - she came to my site, as well as many others. While her comment was...odd...she didn't stick around too long, but I did feel a bit strange about the situation bc of what her profile said.

                                                            The whole situation is terribly disappointing.

                                                            1. re: AnnVL

                                                              She's at it again. I saw her comments on two different blogs today and she set up a new profile. Truly bizarre.

                                                              1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                Can't bloggers set it up that you have to "register" for that particular blog before making comments? Or are they set up that way and this troll is still getting through by faking who they are? Isn't there a way to figure out the IP address of the sender of the Email to be able to block them that way? (Don't know a lot about this, obviously. <g>)

                                                          2. @ k_d: "If that's true, perhaps the troll did something or said something that led a blogger to blame (as in, legally) TS for the harassment?"

                                                            If THAT'S true, that's the dumbest damn thing I ever heard. Might as well blame AG Bell, seeing as how he invented telephones, which led to the internet, which led to tastespotting, which led to you *choosing* to have a blog, which ...

                                                            Sigh. I guess I'm onto the "anger" stage of the grieving process.

                                                            ps: I don't mean your theory is dumb, I mean that I can totally believe it, because people are dumb.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: elizabells

                                                              I'm with you, Eliza. People are just dumb.

                                                            2. Okay, I feel like the oxygen has gone out of the room. Where will I go when I want tried-and-true foodie recipes? With pictures? Where will I go for inspiration, or just for cheering up? I have read tastespotting at home, in doctors' offices, hospital, everywhere.

                                                              Boo-hoo!!!

                                                              1. So sad! I found so many great new blogs from there. It made such a pretty way to find new recipes.

                                                                1. Anyone have a replacement for my addiction?
                                                                  Luckily, Google cache still has it all.
                                                                  Search google for this:
                                                                  www.tastespotting.com/page/343/
                                                                  343 is the page, just replace that number with whatever page you want to see.
                                                                  Click on the cached link and you can see it all again. Scroll over the images to get the links to the blogs. Painful but better than nothing!

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Pablo

                                                                    Genius! I was just kicking myself for not having bookmarked a few of the blogs I'd discovered thru Tastespotting...thanks for solving my dilemma. I definitely wouldn't have thought that one up on my own.

                                                                    And if anyone has a replacement, I was addicted as well and would happily take up another addiction. I mean, I'm not actually supposed to be working while at work, am I??

                                                                    1. re: Pablo

                                                                      Hey, I just tried your suggestion, but it keeps taking me back to the "hand-written note". :(
                                                                      I was hoping for a work-around, too.

                                                                      1. re: jewel4352

                                                                        Do a google search like this:

                                                                        site:tastespotting.com salmon

                                                                        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                                                        Then click on "cached" in the search results. You'll get the info, though without a lot of the formatting.

                                                                        Do it quick, because you never know when Notcot will cut off the image access.

                                                                        1. re: jewel4352

                                                                          I had no problems looking at the last 40 pages or so. Make sure you click the cached link. Also make sure you are clicking on the right search result, it needs to match your search term. If not you will get "the note".

                                                                          http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                                                          Click the 2nd cached link!

                                                                      2. Tastespotting.com allowed me to visit so many amazing foodie blogs! The pictures were so beautiful and inspired me to make quite a few dishes. Who needs those cooking magazines when you have Tastespotting.com?

                                                                        Damn it! *shakes fist angrily*

                                                                        1. Okay, I've done some poking around and it looks like a good number of bloggers were having pics ganked off their sites and linking to bogus recipes by one particular poster, who I'd actually noticed before as posting way more than was healthy. TS would remove these links on request, but maybe it just got too much to keep up with.

                                                                          So thanks, gingerbreadgirl03. Hope the traffic you got was worth it.

                                                                          1. I have it on very good authority that this has nothing to do with copyright or evil users, and that -- please, god! -- there's a chance that Tastespotting will be back if and when the legal issues are resolved.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Scorched Palate

                                                                              You know, I keep reading this, but it would be super if someone had actual info to back it up. I realize that if you're friends with Jean or whatever you might not want to tell a story you feel to be hers to tell, but some... crumble? Of something?

                                                                              1. re: elizabells

                                                                                I totally feel the same way, but I suppose if there are legal issues it's best if they don't say anything in case the wrong thing gets said and it screws up their chances or makes somebody mad or something?

                                                                            2. ack no !!! I just went to have a goggle at the pics....and just....nothing...that was one beautiful site.....

                                                                              1. You guys are so enthusiastic about a site that I've NEVER heard about and I'm here and on eGullet pretty frequently...

                                                                                Mysteries of life...

                                                                                ---and now it's too late...

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Mild Bill

                                                                                  Ditto, Mild Bill. How did I not know about this site? I like food porn!

                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                2. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

                                                                                  i wonder what it is, and what that means for its sister sites notcot and notcouture? they're my three daily musts!

                                                                                  1. maybe shutting down is all just a big marketing ploy - if so - brilliant!

                                                                                    1. it was such an awesome site.......and one i had only discovered about two weeks ago. what site comes close?

                                                                                      1. Here is a link to some info about TS. If you scroll down, a link is provided to an earlier post written about the TS stalker.

                                                                                        http://deepdishdreams.blogspot.com/

                                                                                        Also, there is a new site taking up the slack until (hopefully) Tastespotting returns.

                                                                                        http://foodgawker.com/

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: wlee

                                                                                          I think you will find my previous post covers it! The "stalker" visited PiEcon (comment entries since deleted).

                                                                                          The correspondence between Jean Aw and I over that incident have been documented on the link wlee refers to and now here for your reference...

                                                                                          "Thanks for the heads up~ that's SO bizarre! I'm so sorry to hear there's a crazy commenter going for food blogs,

                                                                                          I wonder if there's anything that can be done, other than a mass IP banning (but that would assume they stick to one static IP)... i guess moderated commenting is still the safest way, and just consider it like spam?"

                                                                                          I think from this, it's fair to say Jean had little idea about the "TS stalker" and had little intention of becoming involved.

                                                                                          1. re: wlee

                                                                                            I was DEEPLY SADDENED when I visited Tastespotting today. I went there to bring traffic to my blog as well as take in the beautiful photography and recipes that the photos lead to.

                                                                                            Food Gawker looks very promising! I hope it catches on quickly. Thank you, wlee, for posting the link.

                                                                                            Meryl
                                                                                            http://mylittleworldoffood.blogspot.com

                                                                                            1. re: wlee

                                                                                              Many thanks for the FoodGawker link. It will have to do till that other mess gets worked out.

                                                                                              1. re: wlee

                                                                                                just started checking out foodgawker and it's wonderful!

                                                                                                1. re: wlee

                                                                                                  Just to clarify, I wrote the post on The Tastespotting Stalker

                                                                                                  http://deepdishdreams.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                                                  after he - Charles Treuter a convicted felon, stalker and internet troll, suffering multiple personality disorder spammed the Pie blog I write with Purple Goddess and KMH. Banned from a number of forums he began to use Tastespotting to leave rude, violent, bigoted and lewd remarks. We deleted his comments once we realised what was going on, he offended a few readers and I became suspicious. I researched him online and confirmed my suspicions.

                                                                                                  Since the closure of Tastespotting I have noticed that all information about him has disappeared from the internet making me wonder if legal action or charges have finally been taken against him.

                                                                                                  I subseqently wrote Tastespotting is dead...

                                                                                                  http://deepdishdreams.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                                                  ...and in the comments section, I have listed some of the sites popping up in Tastespotting's wake.

                                                                                                2. Here's a good site that I got the link for on Serious Eats: http://fpdaily.net/

                                                                                                  Meryl
                                                                                                  http://mylittleworldoffood.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                  1. Tastespotting was one of those rare sites that consistently inspired me. I always wanted them to add a clipping feature so that I could keep track of the things I wanted to make and I'm terribly sad to see it close.

                                                                                                    Last night I scraped all of the pages in the Google cache, downloaded all the photos, and have a working copy of the Tastespotting archive sitting on my comptuer. I'm going to hold off on distributing it until I know more about what happened, not wanting to run into copyright issues or anger the friendly NOTCOTers.

                                                                                                    1. I just found this site: www.recipemuncher.com. Not as good as tastespotting but at least my morning routine is safe ;-)

                                                                                                      1. Waaaaaa! I LOVED Tastespotting. I never cry over sites being shut down, but today, I actually felt like getting a tissue. Can't wait to hear the back story on this one

                                                                                                        1. Ack! I was so disappointed this weekend when I went to check it out. I only started visiting TS a few months ago, but was admittedly addicted. Hopefully any issues will get resolved and it will eventually get back up and running *fingers crossed*

                                                                                                          1. A new "sticky note" is posted on the original tastespotting site, saying that neither copyright, image, nor stalker issues are the culprit. I may be overly optimistic, but the tone of the note seems to say that Jean is trying hard to come back.

                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: k_d

                                                                                                              My initial reaction besides shock and sadness was "someone forgot to pay their power bill". In other words, the issue is about money and bandwidth. Cost and bandwidth always seems to be a major issue when a website becomes phenomenally popular, but that's a guess too.

                                                                                                              1. re: k_d

                                                                                                                and now there's a second sticky note with a link to http://www.liqurious.com/ which on first glance looks like tastespotting for beverages, so maybe they really will be coming back

                                                                                                                1. re: kkbriggs

                                                                                                                  Liqurious is equally as awesome as TS!

                                                                                                                  1. re: kkbriggs

                                                                                                                    Looks like liquirous is hosed by NOTCOT... so that shoots my cost/bandwidth theory down.

                                                                                                                    So... is name "Tastespotting" a trademarked/copyrighted name?

                                                                                                                    1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                      I did a quick search at the US Patent and Trademark Office online and no record of "Tastespotting" came up. It may therefore be unprotected.

                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                    ...which (at least on the first page) all link to tastespotting and so I get to see those sticky notes again. :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: Pincus

                                                                                                                      Another update today says it will have a new owner and be back shortly.

                                                                                                                      1. re: JackieChiles

                                                                                                                        So not a legal problem with the site itself, but rather NotCot. Hmmm...

                                                                                                                        Okay, I'm calling it. Jean's a secret agent, and has to go into witness protection. What? Those are "legal complications"!

                                                                                                                      2. re: Pincus

                                                                                                                        looks like TS is holding its own! It's incredible how quickly word spread about the site being down..how fast new blogs appeared...how rapid the "what happened to TS" buzz circulated....now we'll all have plenty of food blogs to enjoy!

                                                                                                                    2. Update on the homepage:

                                                                                                                      "just marinating a bit longer, but tastespotting will be back shortly..."

                                                                                                                      1. Here is another site I found that is very similar to tastespotting. I am glad to hear the good news re: the return of tastespotting.

                                                                                                                        http://www.opensourcefood.com/recipes

                                                                                                                        1. As for FoodGawker, I can't, for the life of me, understand what are the criteria for getting a submission posted. My submits have been rejected most of the time. I felt that they looked good, with good composition, good lighting, and good color. I've gotten very frustrated and am at the verge of giving up.

                                                                                                                          Meryl
                                                                                                                          http://inspiredbites.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: puppymomma

                                                                                                                            I feel the same way! Not one of mine has been picked up. I am frustrated as well.

                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                              you know what's weird, I don't think I like it anymore...and I used to be addicted to it! I think the break in between broke me of the habit and I just can't get back into it. That break plus the slight changes they made make it weirdly unappealing now.

                                                                                                                              1. re: jpmcd

                                                                                                                                jp, what I found outstanding was how quickly new tastespotting-like blogs/sites appeared in the relatively short period of time the TS blog/site was down. Last count, I have six new food blog choices with a similar TS format. Many with the same recipes/photos. Nothing beats an original...not even an original re-invention.

                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                  I agree. I looked at a few of the spinoffs while TS was down and just couldn't get into any of them, especially since most of them have the same pictures and links. Now that TS is back, I'm not as in to it as I was before it went down...weird. Although, probably very good for my productivity!

                                                                                                                                2. re: jpmcd

                                                                                                                                  I agree there is something missing. Maybe they haven't brought everything back yet.

                                                                                                                                1. re: choctastic

                                                                                                                                  Tastespotting going down and then coming back up was terrible because now my foodporn habit has effectively doubled with the addition of photograzing. Just so my husband doesn't know how much time I spend on it, I hide under the sheets with my laptop. My family would be so ashamed...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                    And don't forget foodgawker. I am going to have to install a timer.....ugh!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                      I've been thinking the exact same thing. And now when I go to post and get traffic, I go to seven different places (or so it feels like seven). I'm a big fan of:

                                                                                                                                      Serious Eats Photograzing, Food Porn Daily (http://fpdaily.net/

                                                                                                                                      )

                                                                                                                                      recipes2share (http://www.recipes2share.com/index.ph...)
                                                                                                                                      and I like Newtastings (http://www.recipes2share.com/index.ph...

                                                                                                                                      )

                                                                                                                                      Meryl
                                                                                                                                      http://inspiredbites.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                                      1. re: puppymomma

                                                                                                                                        And now I have to check out every site you posted. The addiction continues to grow...

                                                                                                                                        Arika

                                                                                                                                  2. it appears to be back up again - except it is not linked to any of the notcot sites like it used to be...

                                                                                                                                    1. For those of you who post on tastespotting-do you find that some submitions take a really long time to post to the site? I mean...days? About two times now I have submitted great food porn (if I do say so myself ...) and it didn't post even though the site tells me I uploaded correctly.
                                                                                                                                      Hmm....

                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                        They posted my salmon yesterday and I was totally surprised because I had given up hope of it being posted. It had been about 3-4 days. I had gotten a comment from someone who signed "love, tastespotting", but since my post didn't appear, I thought it was someone's idea of a joke.

                                                                                                                                        I was thrilled to see it appear, though. I hope they post the one I submitted last night.

                                                                                                                                        Meryl
                                                                                                                                        http://inspiredbites.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                      2. While I'm beyond happy that Tastespotting is back up, I'm STILL having a hard time getting my photos shown (and they're good!). Anyone else not getting their photos posted? Like, not at all?
                                                                                                                                        Thanks!
                                                                                                                                        www.houndstoothgourmet.com

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                          I have been going to photograzing.com and getting my photos uploaded there. I haven't had any luck at tastespotting.