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Re: [ProgSoc] software and food recipes

James Wan wrote:
> On Thu, 10 May 2001, alister air wrote:
> > Something the non-trolls may already know - it's very unlikely that the
> > chef did not derive his/her recepie from a pre-existing source
> > (sauce?).
> Yeh so what? He obviously didn't reinvent the wheel, but he laboured in
> the trialling and testing of his new recipe.

Consider for a second one of my favourites - the massaman curry. at some
point in time in what we now call thailand, various spices were
introduced by travellers, and the population gradually began to
incorporate them into their day-to-day food. They recipes were obviously
evolving from the ones they used before these particular spices were
introduced, so no re-invention-of-the-wheel argument can be applied to
these cooks. but in time, somehow (by word of mouth and/or reverse
engineering) a vast number of recipes converged to what we now call the
massaman curry. Sure, there are still a huge number of different thai
restaurants I can go to, and except a different tasting massaman curry
in each. But they all share their defining characteristics. I find it
remarkably difficult to imagine a situation where the original massaman
curry was hidden from the rest of the thai population, and still
developed into the wondrous dish it is today.

> > I have eaten at a restaurant before, worked out what I've eaten, then
> > cooked it myself at home.  By your "reasoning" I should be fined by the
> > chef for copyright violations if I give someone else the recepie that I
> > deduced.
> Reverse-engineering the food you just ate so you can make it at home does
> not constitute copyright violation you bafoon. If you somehow managed to
> get the "exact" recipe from remembering what the food tasted like etc and
> being able to cook it at home hours later, that is quite an exquisite
> ability. But say you have this ability, and you got the exact ratios and
> made an identical copy, then yes it would be copyright violation. It is
> irrelevant that you did not steal the recipe in the first place.

This is my main problem with IP. I can invent something which I have
never seen or heard of before, but purely because someone has invented
it before me, I am in violation of their copyright.

> Greed is good, that's why the original chef would want some kind of
> protection from people stealing his recipe. I doubt he could care less if
> someone out there could make his recipe better, out of the goodness of his
> heart so the public at large can benefit from him. He's in it for
> self-interest only. So get off your high horse and face commercial

Here is where a budding lawyer must meet reality. Chefs generally do not
choose to follow down their chosen path just because they were flicking
thru the tafe handbook and happened to read past `bus-driver' and on to
`chef' - `hey - I think I'll become a chef'. They generally have some
interest in food. Often a passion for such. It is the restaurant owner
that is interested in making money. Sometimes the chef is the restaurant
owner, and must balance the love of food for the love of money.
Regardless, the chef wants food to get better, to engage a more
exquisite culinary experience. As mentioned before, if her recipes are
particularly good, she will build a reputation, and tho another chef
across the road might copy the recipe, the original will get the fame
(and fortune)

> reality. This chef probably isn't the greatest chef that ever lived, but
> probably has this one great recipe. If he told everyone about, why would
> anyone return to his place to eat when there are exactly the same options
> everywhere else.

b/c of her reputation. see above.

> Sharing and caring are great ideals, but to convince people to do work and
> not get paid for it is the major problem.

ur missing the point.

While I frevently disagree with James on most issues discussed, I would
like to point out that without him, noone would really be discussing
these ideas and thinking about the issues involved. Criticism of any
ideas is warranted, even necessary as long as it is constructive. Nice
to see that name calling has been kept to a minimum (tho it is fun
sometimes :)

PGP: <http://www.progsoc.org/~vik/pgp.txt>

You should not use your fireplace, because scientists now believe that,
contrary to popular opinion, fireplaces actually remove heat from
Really, that's what scientists believe.  In fact many scientists
use their fireplaces to cool their houses in the summer.  If you visit a
scientist's house on a sultry August day, you'll find a cheerful fire
roaring on the hearth and the scientist sitting nearby, remarking on how
cool he is and drinking heavily.
                -- Dave Barry, "Postpetroleum Guzzler"
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