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Copyright for Cocktails? Color Me a Contributory Infringer

It's the Friday before Labor Day weekend. I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that some of you readers are going to be doing a little imbibing over the holiday.

I'm not much for fancy mixed drinks (with the exception of anything involving vodka and jalapenos), but I'm enough of a fan of the consumption of alcohol generally to have been offended by the idea of copyright protection for drink recipes, as discussed in this article in The Atlantic. (The Atlantic article, written by a food columnist, was a little light on the legal niceties. See this post at Techdirt for some clarifications and scathing criticism.)

Exclusive rights to the "Long Island Iced Tea," anyone? Sorry, but that's ridiculous. Don't take my word for it. Felix Salmon at Reuters (via Overlawyered) thinks so too. So does Ezra Klein at the Washington Post.

The drink copyright movement appears to be spearheaded by a gent named Eben Freeman, who doesn't think he gets enough recognition for his innovative recipes. In honor of Eben, I say we all make a variation on his American Beauty this weekend. Swap out the orange juice for a dash of self-importance, add a jigger of delusions of grandeur, and voila! We'll call it the "Pretentious Prick." Bottoms up!

Posted by Eric Lipman on September 3, 2010 at 12:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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