from the not-getting-the-point dept
The article linked above, from Eater, talks to a number of different chefs to get their opinion on diners photographing the food that they're served. Most seem to have a grudging acceptance of the practice. The first chef, Sean Brock (from Husk and McCrady's in Charleston, South Carolina) appears to be the most enthusiastic, saying that he actually loves it when diners photograph the menu, because it even helps remind him what they made and also puts more pressure on the cooking staff to make sure the plates look good. However, a couple chefs down, there's RJ Cooper (from Rogue 24 in DC). He admits that they allow (non-flash) photography, mainly because he can't really stop it. But he's certainly not happy about it. After being asked if his opinion about people photographing dinner had changed, he said:
No, I still have the feeling. You're there for the dining experience with your companion, not to take photos of food. They publish food photos without your consent, which is taking intellectual property away from the restaurant. And also, generally, the photographs are terrible.I'm curious how this is "taking intellectual property away from the restaurant." Unfortunately, it seems like yet another sign of the kind of "ownership culture" that is being spread by copyright maximalists these days -- encouraging the world to think they have "ownership" over things they have absolutely no rights to. The restaurant can legally refuse to serve someone, or kick someone out of their restaurant for taking a photograph if they wanted (though, that would likely hurt the restaurant's reputation), but there simply is no serious intellectual property issue in having someone take a photograph of the dinner they were served. Is there a lawyer crazy enough to make an argument that the cooking and plating process creates enough creativity in a "fixed" manner that it deserves copyright? Perhaps, but even then I'd have a hard time believing the photograph was not perfectly legitimate fair use.
All in all, I think it's unfortunate that we keep seeing more and more examples of people believing they "own" aspects of culture and can prevent others from sharing them, and regret that this is what our culture has become in an era where kids are being (incorrectly) taught that copyright is just like "property" for things you create. It leads people into thinking they "own" anything they do.