Sunday, November 25, 2018

Recipes For Disaster

Contrary to popular belief, a recipe can be copyrighted. The copyrightable part is not the factual list of ingredients, nor is it the information on the process of preparing those ingredients. No, it is the distinct, utterly original, expressive prose around the facts which the author uses to communicate the recipe with his own creativity and distinctive flair, and to describe the context of the recipe.

Authors exploit recipes. The recipe may be bonus material on a website or in a newsletter, or in a guest blog on a promotional blog tour. Recipes might be chapter headers. A murder mystery might hang on a recipe or two.  This author created a truly tasty and healthy recipe involving sardines, from a scene in "Forced Mate", and gave her gynecologist permission to share the recipe (with attribution) to patients who needed to be persuaded to eat more sardines.

The trick is to choose one's own words as carefully and creatively as one chooses the herbs and spices.

Legal blogger Paul D. Swanson writing for the law firm Lane Powell PC  on the Earth And Table Law Reporter blog explains in fascinating detail the potential problem of plagiarism and copyright infringement when one simply transcribes someone else's quirkily worded recipe.

In this author's opinion, this article is a must-read!

In other gastronomical legal news, a Belgian court has ruled that the taste of a food (in this case something cheesy) cannot be copyrighted.

Legally blogging for CMS Belgium , authors Tom Heremans, Lisbeth Depypere, and Eleonore Coucke explain that the taste of cheese is not objective enough or long-lasting enough to merit copyright protection.

Hogan Lovells bloggers  Dr. Nils Rauer and Lea Kaase digest the same cheesy matter on the LimeGreen IP blog.

Quite right. Different people have different distributions of taste buds. How something tastes may depend on what one ate or drank or gargled with prior to eating the cheese spread in question.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry


No comments:

Post a Comment