Headline Of The Future: McDonalds Sued By Man Claiming To Have Invented The Bacon Cheeseburger

from the too-many-lawyers-spoil-the-broth dept

One day in the future we might be able to download pirated versions of real meals from some BitTorrent-like service, and we’ll be right there telling restaurants to emphasize that they’re destinations as opposed just places to buy food. But for the foreseeable future, this is a problem that restaurants can ignore. Yet some top chefs are worried about food piracy, and are clamoring for copyright protection (via BoingBoing) for their meals. Evidently, chefs frequently steal recipes from other chefs, and plant spies in a competitor’s kitchen. While this may be frustrating to those chefs, it’s not clear that the lack of copyright protection for meals is harming innovation or preventing those chefs from profiting. In other words, the market is working fine; why introduce a system whereby chefs would have to consult with lawyers before offering a dish? The story sounds very similar to what’s going on in the fashion industry, another competitive, functioning industry that wants to introduce tighter measures to clamp down on fakes. Proponents of copyrighting food argue that top chefs would innovate more, since they could expect more profits from licensing dishes. But doling out new rights — and taking rights away from others — shouldn’t be about helping a select few make a profit at the expense of everyone else. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like most chefs are too keen on the idea, and certainly not as excited by the prospect as their lawyers are.

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Comments on “Headline Of The Future: McDonalds Sued By Man Claiming To Have Invented The Bacon Cheeseburger”

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RantMax says:

No surprise.

Robert Iger (the new disney CEO) is in fact very forward thinking and smart fellow.

He made it possible to sell series and movies online via iTunes, he’s who “made friends” with Jobs and instead of Disney and Pixar completely abandoning business relationships, Disney acquired Pixar.

In fact, I’m happy he’s in this position as he truly is making a difference and settings trends for the rest of the industry to follow.

Only respect for that guy.

Annoying Bastard says:

Re: Re: R-Tard!

Congratulations on showing the world that you are more of an ass than the ass you made fun of.

Gee, I wonder what that makes me. ๐Ÿ˜›

Back to the topic…

I can wait to see the Scrambled Hackz of downloaded food does.


Beer-battered oven-roasted chicken pistachio noodles with pesto hollandaise sauce anyone?

Cognoscenti says:

Copyrighting recipes won't spur innovation

Assuming this idea is even remotely close to sane, copyrighting dishes or recipes won’t spur innovation. It will, as history has shown, do the opposite: why bother coming up with something new when you don’t have to?

Of the myriad reasons why restaurants fail, “stolen” recipes has never been one of them.

Computra says:

A Reciepe that I would like to see copied everywhe

Here’s a reciepe for running a business.

1 group of good honest workers
add a pinch of good treatment to honest workers
Combine with a fair salary & benefits

Treat customers with a generous sprinking of respect & friendlyness

Stuff customers with a good quality product

Follow this simple reciepe and you don’t have to worry if people copy you because your workers won’t turn against you and leave and neither will your customers because they will WANT to come to your place of business and be helped by your people. Why? Because they will enjoy the experience and return time after time.

WARNING TO Employers that act like “rectums”….your foods you serve may become tainted by eccoli.

Pseudonym says:

Fashion industry

The real problem in the fashion industry, as they see it, is not “fakes”, but “knockoffs”.

Fakes are non-genuine products that are passed off as genuine. That’s fraud, and we already have laws against that, and local customs authorities help with the border protection aspects.

Knockoffs are items which resemble the originals, but the seller makes no secret of the fact that the buyer is buying a look-alike/smell-alike/whatever. This is legal in almost all jurisdictions.

There is a problem with fakes, but we have laws against that already. No further “protection” is needed, though perhaps we do need better law enforcement. What the fashion industry wants is better protection against knockoffs, copies or “alternatives” (as the perfume industry sometimes refers to smell-alikes). This is the thing that’s pointless in such a well-functioning marketplace.

John M (user link) says:

Got it all wrong

Recipes are not copyrightable material, (unless they are shown in a recipe book), and they will not be because they are functional items, and the Constitution limits copyright protection to non-functional aesthetic qualities.

Recipes will not get patent protection either, it has been discussed for years on end, but it will never happen. (Too long and detailed a conversation here, but it is sufficient to say it won’t happen).

What recipes do get is trade secret protection, or the forgotten IP right as I like to call it. The only restaurants complaining that their secrets are leaving are those that were too careless to have their chef’s sign non-disclosure agreements, or did not take reasonable steps to protect their recipes. If they do those things they have adequate protection under the law.

AaronS says:

Anybody for Open Source food?

I can see this sparking a whole new classification of recipes… Creative Commons and Open Source.

Maybe I’ll just copyright the cow and then no one can prepare anything with beef in it without paying me a royalty.

On second thought, I’m going for the chicken first (or maybe the egg?).

($$$ I’m gonna be rich! $$$)

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