Is it legal to post restaurant menus online?

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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drdes
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Is it legal to post restaurant menus online?

Post by drdes » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:35 am

Two questions (relating to UK only):

1. Is it legal to post the menu of a restaunrant online in pdf without haviong first obtained the restaursant owners permission?

2. Similalrly, what if I type out the restaurant menu and put it on my website (again without obtaining the consent of the restaurant owner).

I am trying to find out if I can do the above without obtaining permisiion from owners.

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CopyrightAid
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Post by CopyrightAid » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:12 pm

Yep....

Whether they actually object or not is another matter, but the reproduction and distribution of any literary work is a restricted act and requires the consent of the copyright owner.

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Post by drdes » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:50 pm

I agree but is a restaurant menu copyrighted (unless it expressly states so). For example, a Chicken Tikka Masala cant be a copyright surely?

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Post by CopyrightAid » Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:48 pm

Copyright is an automatic right - a work is subject to copyright from the point that it is 'first fixed in a tangible form'. There is no requirement for the copyright owner to state 'copyright' on the work, copyright is automatic.

Clearly short phrases are not unique enough to be subject to copyright in their own right - saying 'Chicken Tikka Masala' is not a copyright infringement.

Ultimately it is the difference between you saying (in your own words) for example:
"The Dil Raj specialises in cuisine of Northern India, particularly Punjabi, Mughlai and Kashmiri dishes, plus a full range of standard dishes familiar to the English palate like Chicken Tikka Masala, Birianis and Baltis."
- Which is fine

Or copying word for word their menu - which is not....

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Frankly, I don't see the problem. Either write a review of the restaurant in your own words or ask for permission to reproduce their menu. If you ask them, they will probably say yes (particularly if they think it may bring in customers) and they are also likely to let you know when the menu changes.

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