Malaysia Looking To Copyright Food?

from the this-again? dept

Last year, around this time, we noted that the country of Lebanon was trying to claim that it owns hummus and other middle eastern foods, such as falafel, tabouleh and baba gannouj, and that no other country could produce them. It seems that other parts of the world are seeing the same sort of thing, as Malaysia is trying to declare that it owns popular Malaysian dishes, like nasi lemak. It doesn't seem entirely clear what this means, and the article is a bit vague (the title mentions "copyright," but the rest of the article does not). Still, it's certainly yet another sign of the times, when it feels natural to some people to do totally ridiculous things in claiming "ownership" of ideas.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Tim, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 7:33am

    At least no one has tried to copyright the idea of having an idea. There seems to be limits to the ridiculousness.

     

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  2.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 7:46am

    No - wrong tag

    The actual problem here seems to be sloppy reporting by guess who?

    I don't think copyright enters into it, although trademark might, like with Champagne or Stilton. Generally I don't find such things offensive although maybe the Champagne one goes a bit too far since it outlaws "Methode Champenoise" ie you can't even describe a wine as being made the same way.


    In this case though even trademark looks a bit dubious since they aren't protecting local produce but are trying to reserve a recipe. If a top Malaysian chef travels to New York can he not cook Nasi Lemak?


    However, reading the story I don't think that's what they're trying to do. It looks more a cultural advertising offensive to me - combined with a bit of sharp elbowing of their neighbours - a bit like the Greek/Turkish coffee thing.

     

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  3.  
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    JJ, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 7:55am

    I think it's very stupid to claim that you own some kind of food.

     

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  4.  
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    zaven (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 8:08am

    Re:

    Sorry but I make the best Baby Back Ribs. Henceforth, everyone else must pay a licensing fee to me to make them. Also, no one is allowed to make fajitas anymore.

     

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  5.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 8:10am

    Re: No - wrong tag

    once ideas like "Trademark" go global they make no sense. This is why people need to realize that both patents and trademark in their fullest are not going to fit going forward in our society at all. What happens when 2-3 people around the global come up with something at once as Mike has cited before, what happens if two companies call their products anything remotely related to an apple? etc.

     

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  6.  
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    stat_insig (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 8:12am

    European laws..........

    There are many such laws in EU. Eg. Whiskey not produced in scotland may not be labeled "scotch".

     

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  7.  
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    Adam (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 8:30am

    Re: European laws..........

    Champagne, Roquefort cheese, ......

     

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  8.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 8:52am

    Re: European laws..........

    Actually Whiskey (with the e) is (usually) Irish.

    Scotch Whisky doesn't have an e in it.

    I don't see a problem with regional food trademarking - provided it doesn't go beyond what is necessary for clarity.

    No - one is being prevented from making Whisky - you just can't call it "Scotch" if it is in fact made in Mumbai.

    and by the way - don't steal the Budweiser name from the Czechs and then try and claim that you own it and they can't use it!

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re:

    No problem if what you trademark is "Zaven's Baby Back Ribs" - but "Baby Back Ribs" is too generic.

    (ps Are they made from real babies?)

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Champagne

    You mean like Champagne. To be Champagne it has to be produced within the Champagne region of France. Otherwise it is just a sparkling wine.
    Through international treaty, national law or quality-control/consumer protection related local regulations, most countries limit the use of the term to only those wines that come from the Champagne appellation.

    So why not do this to other foods/beverages? Precedence has already been set.

     

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  11.  
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    shawn, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 9:58am

    this thread

    I've copyrighted this thread. Don't post on it. I also copyright cats and dogs, so stop selling them, unless you pay me. wah!

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 10:24am

    What they want is an international AOC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appellation_d%27origine_contr%C3%B4l%C3%A9e
    It might not be a bad idea if implemented properly.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Ian, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Maybe the Brits should claim that "curry" can only be cooked and eaten in the UK w/o a license?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    yes ;)

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 10:48am

    I call dibs on milk!

     

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  16.  
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    Anni, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Copyrighting in maldives

    we are going to copyright Garudhiya and Rihaakuru in the Maldives

     

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  17.  
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    1812lsd, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 11:25am

    I copyright empty space, on earth and in space!

     

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  18.  
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    HolaJohnny (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Hmm what to choose what to choose

    Anyone called dibs on beer yet?

     

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  19.  
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    Jrosen (profile), Sep 21st, 2009 @ 12:26pm

    jesus h christ... now it's official

    Apparently idiocy TRULY IS a disease, and it's become a worldwide epidemic. ...

    Jesus, who the f*** are these morons to even come up with this s***???????

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: European laws..........

    Around here most whiskey, with or without the damned 'e', is from Kentucky. Yeah, Irish and Scotch whisk(e)ys are good, but 'whiskey' isn't always 'Irish.' Or good.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2009 @ 9:28pm

    Here is their tourism minister blog:

    http://blog.drngyenyen.com/?p=531

    She said that "Hainanese Chicken Rice" is Malaysian, while you know, Hainan is part of China. Silly or stupid or both?

     

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  22.  
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    zaven (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm pretty sure I could trademark Zaven's anything and have it be specific enough. I've never even met another Zaven.

     

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  23.  
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    Tsu Dho Nimh (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 8:05am

    Mexico Has Prior Art!

    Their "chili crabs" are cooked in a tomato-chili sauce base. Neither of those ingredients is native to SouthEast Asia. They came from Mexico with the Spanish ships in the 1500s or 1600s.

    Mexico has prior art and IP claims on the concept of cooking with chilis, chocolate, vanilla, avocados, tomatoes, turkeys, and corn. Peru has IP claims on cooking with potatoes.

     

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  24.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re: Champagne

    I remember way back in the 80s, the Champagne control board in France sued Canada Dry ginger ale because they called themselves "The champagne of ginger ales" in marketing.

    They won.

     

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  25.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 11:43am

    The Solution

    Hey, I once lived in Malaysia. Perhaps I can help.

    "like nasi lemak. It doesn't seem entirely clear what this means"

    It means rice cooked in cream.

    Glad I could be of help. ;-)

     

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  26.  
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    jai3340, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 1:15am

    Re:

    hainan is part of china but hainanese chicken rice is not from china. this is because, when the hainanese people mmigrated to malaysia they needed something to survive on and that is when they created chicken rice which is now famous in malaysia as hainanese chicken rice.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    jai3340, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 1:17am

    Re: The Solution

    the direct translation to nasi lemak means rice fats. but it is actually rice cooked with coconut cream and served with traditional sambal, fried anchovies, boiled egg and cucumber.

     

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  28.  
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    Victor, Oct 22nd, 2009 @ 2:34pm

    claim food?

    before this, malaysia trying to claim batik and pendet dance from indonesia. what a stupid thing? malaysia... what do you want?

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Thai Food & Thai Recipes, Jan 23rd, 2010 @ 1:21am

    Amazing Thai Food!

    Thank you very much. The information was very nice and the service was excellent.

    If you enjoy Thai foods or you want to learn more about them, try visiting the website, www.thai-food.in.th.  It is only just beginning but I think you will eventually find it to be a great resource.  It also explores a variety of Thai food facts in general.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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