By Melony Roy
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For some, ‘Instagramming’ a meal is pretty much an expected step when dining out, but a new ruling in Germany could put an end to so-called “Food Porn.”
Germany’s Federal Court of Justice has expanded copyright protections to include “elaborately arranged food,” making it the “artistic property of the creator.”
Intellectual property lawyer Richard Pierce says this type of legal protection is not likely to pass in the U.S.
“It’s probably almost impossible to make any type of copyright claim in the arrangement of an edible food dish,” Pierce said. “And therefore, there is no copyright violation for taking a photograph of it.”
Pierce says in the U.S. copyright has to be in a fixed format.
“Food not only is it unlikely to remain fixed because it’s going to be eaten, but secondly even if it’s not eaten, food can wither and can change color over time, and so it’s not going to hold the same format over time.”
In Germany, the law only really applies to plates with an “advanced level” of design. So Instagramming your ice cream sundae or a salad is most likely okay.
There haven’t been any cases recorded or official complaints yet, but social media sites like, Instagram can serve as free marketing and advertising for restaurants and filing charges against may not be a good business decision.