A friend tossed this tidbit of news my way. Meg Hourihan of megnut.com responds to the Food & Wine article where Steve Shaw from eGullet.com proposes copyrighting recipes as a response to copycat chefs plagarizing recipes from other top chefs.
Says Pete Wells of Food & Wine: "Shaw told me he hoped to convene a summit meeting with some of the smartest people in the food world to hammer out a workable model for copyrighting food. First, he’d propose changing the copyright code, possibly by making cuisine a subdivision of the existing category for sculpture or acknowledging recipes as a form of literary expression. For enforcement, Shaw leans toward creating a system like ASCAP, an association that collects composers’ royalties for public performances of songs—on the radio, in nightclubs and so on."
Although this is not meant to copyright grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, I do hope this will pass as an interesting thought-experiment but not actually implemented. (Even Steve Shaw admits it's unlikely to work.) As Meg at megnut.com wrote, "Copyright goes against the whole spirit of what we all do and love. Cooking is all about giving so others feel good!"
Check out the complete Food & Wine article for the full scoop.