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...Magnanimously, Shaw has left classic recipes like French onion soup in the public domain. Anything new, however, could be copyrighted. So if you invent a variant of French onion soup with a few extra ingredients, you could demand a licensing fee from anyone else who serves it. In Shaw's world, restaurants would be billed by collection agencies for the recipes they used, the takings of which would be distributed (after administrative expenses) among the authors of recipes. (It is not clear how this would apply to home cooking; perhaps cookbooks would come with a shrinkwrapped EULA which would give the user the right to use the recipes in their own home, feeding at most N people, as long as they had possession of the book; meanwhile, microwaveable ready meals and jars of sauce would carry a patronising "Don't Steal Recipes / Respect Intellectual Property" sticker.) The sudden influx of financial reward to previously deprived cooks would bring in a new golden age of culinary creativity as never before. The lawyers would allow themselves a moment to bask in the satisfaction of a job well done, though not more than a moment; after all, there are still other domains of human endeavour in need of rescuing from lack of ownership.
Please keep comments on topic and to the point. Inappropriate comments may be deleted.
Note that markup is stripped from comments; URLs will be automatically converted into links.