The Point Of Intellectual Property Is Not So You Get A Piece Of Everything
from the let's-try-this-again dept
One of the main problems that seems to crop up again and again when it comes to debates over intellectual property is that many people seem to assume that the main purpose of intellectual property is to give complete control to the originator of the IP. That's not the case. The main purpose is to encourage the generation of intellectual property. Sometimes those things are aligned, but quite frequently, they're not. Still, that doesn't stop plenty of ridiculous intellectual property moves from people who seem to think they have a right to things they don't. The latest example comes courtesy of BoingBoing and apparently discusses a chef in Europe who is asking for a special law in Italy that would allow him to copyright recipes, making sure that anyone else who made one of his recipes had to give him credit (he's not asking for money, which is a nice change). Obviously, a written down recipe, including the instructions, can be covered by copyright. However, just the concept of the recipe should not be. The real question, though, is what is this encouraging? Obviously, there's been no shortage of new recipes recently due to a lack of intellectual property protection for those recipes. The added incentive seems minimal -- and the overall harm to society by introducing an additional "cost" (even if it's just giving credit) seems much higher than the benefit for a few celebrity chefs. The source of this story is a bit unclear -- so we hope that it's not actually true, and perhaps it's a bit of satire aimed at those who are still believers in things like software patents.