Channeling Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens and Sonny Bono, Mark Helprin asserts that IP *is* property, and should be treated accordingly — no matter what the price: A Great Idea Lives Forever. Shouldnâ€™t Its Copyright?
Deconstructing his argument will occupy many minds, but I’ll offer up one simple one — he speaks movingly about the features and composition of art without any sort of appreciation of the realities from which it springs — specifically, what injecting perpetual ownership (and consequential litigation) into it will do:
The flow and proportion of the elements of a work of art, its subtle engineering, even its surface glosses, combine substance and style indistinguishably in a creation for which the right of property is natural and becoming.
Ummm – no, not really. At least, not “property” as he appears to be classifying it.
For some less dogmatic comments from some of Mr. Helprin’s colleagues, see Writers Take Out Their Knives; you may also want to read Spider Robinson’s classic short story, Melancholy Elephants; also the Slashdot reaction — The Case For Perpetual Copyright
This will cheer you up: Disney Video Used to Explain Copyright
Also, an interview with chef Marco Pierre White: The man who made Gordon Ramsay cry
I don’t know if you’ve heard about this, but there’s been a little controversy recently involving chef Wylie Dufresne, of WD-50 here in New York, and Marcel Vigneron, who was one of the chefs on “Top Chef,” an American reality show. Basically, Wired magazine asked Vigneron to demonstrate a recipe for a feature, and he closely re-created one of Dufresne’s signature dishes — a “cyber egg” made from carrot-cardamom puree and coconut milk — without any attribution or credit. Do you think a chef’s recipes should be protected as intellectual property?
You can’t reinvent the wheel. Everyone takes from everybody. How many people are serving foie gras on their menu? How many? How many people do a soupe de poisson? Go to France — a pigeon en croute de sel, a loup de mer en croute de sel. We live in a world of refinement, not invention. It’s the greatest compliment he can be given, this guy. If someone takes one of your dishes and does it, it’s flattery. For you to get pissed off because he didn’t acknowledge you is ego. It’s all too political really, isn’t it? I mean, we’re fucking chefs.