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June 05, 2007



You've answered your own question. Copyright does not extend to the ideas and methods expressed, but only to the expression.

So the expression of the recipe in a cook book might be subject to copyright, but the use of the recipe -- carrying it out -- is not. Ditto for software. There are other protections that are used to cover the gap for software.

So plagiarism is not about ideas but about words (the Tom Lehrer song notwithstanding).

Of course, "ripping off" the idea of another is a different matter, but not exactly a legal concept.

Ben Hyde

"Norms-Based Intellectual Property Systems: The Case of French Chefs"



Indeed, copyright applies only to a particular expression; that's why I also mentioned patents. Software patents are about algorithms, which are recipes.

Meanwhile, "ripping off" in the sense of plagiarism is enough of a legal concept that people win lawsuits about it frequently. But I agree there are aspects of such idea theft that go beyond the law.

Hm, norms-based; thanks for the tasty buzzword, Ben.



Wylie Dufresne should be thanking Marcel for all the free publicity. He has not been in the press in ages. The last time I ate at WD-50 it was half empty, and I once read that his restaurant barely turns a profit. People think he is so avant-garde, but he's probably the LEAST innovative of America's molecular gastronomy chefs (no match for the likes of Grant Achatz, Homaro Cantu, & Jose Andreas). Plus compared to other NYC chefs serving modern cuisine at similar price points, he's probably the only one that a) has only one restaurant, and b) has never written a cookbook. I hate to say it, but people are not clamoring for his food.

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