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Lack Of Food Copyright Helps Restaurant and Fashion Innovation Thrive

Lack Of Food Copyright Helps Restaurant Innovation Thrive Fashion industry also benefits from NO copyright.

Simply put, if the arguments of those in the entertainment industries were true, then there would be no innovation in restaurants or fashion because of the lack of copyright. (You can’t copyright a garment design or a food dish.) These industries thrive because of the lack of copyright.

When there is strong copyright protection – as the RIAA and MPAA have fought for over the years – the creators tend to sit on their hands and collect royalties (or those who actually own the copyright, rarely the actual creator) rather than go out and create more. The original intent of Copyright – grudgingly included in the US Constitution by the Founder – was to promote the creation of new works, by providing a limited time of exclusive rights before all creative works would fall into the Public Domain.

BTW, there’s actually a reasonable argument that since the US Constitution specifically:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

Music, film and Television are not “Science” and “useful Arts” is correctly interpreted as those that make things –  like Carpentry. Note that our favorite “big copyright” claimers may not even have a Constitutional leg to stand on.

Anyhow, the article on how and why food and fashion thrive outside of copyright, is well worth the read.

Reader Ephraim points us to a recent post at the Freakonomics blog that highlights how the restaurant business absolutely thrives creatively, despite a lack of copyright protection. The main example: the rise of Korean taco trucks in LA. As you may or may not know (and trust me, you’re better off if you are familiar with this trend), a few years back, some enterprising folks set up a Korean taco truck in LA called Kogi. It quickly became a huge sensation, in part because the food is awesome and in part through smart marketing, including being one of the first food establishments to actively embrace Twitter. 

But what happened next is quite interesting. Throughout LA (and now around the country) there’s been an explosion of Korean taco trucks. And, it’s not just limited to trucks. As the article notes, the large chain Baja Fresh is now offering Korean tacos as well. Believers in strong copyright have trouble explaining why this happens. According to them, without copyright as an “incentive to create” people won’t innovate because they can’t be rewarded, but that’s not what’s happening at all: