Your #Instafood and #Foodporn snaps could soon be illegal, which is ridiculous

Your #Instafood and #Foodporn snaps could soon be illegal, which is ridiculous

It’s a familiar situation for most of us these days that someone at our table or near us in the restaurant is going to take a photo of the food. However, this simple act could be deemed illegal soon if other countries are to follow in Germany’s footsteps.

According to German newspaper De Welt, German law states that if a photo of a carefully arranged meal is uploaded to social media sites, it could be breaching copyright laws as it is the work of a chef, not you.

This means that in certain cases, you could have to ask permission to upload an image of the meal to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social network.

I’m aware of a few restaurants outside of Germany that have banned the act like Alexandre Gauthier, chef at La Grenouillere in France who put a picture of a camera with a line through it on his menu to discourage people from taking the snaps.

While it might be understandable for the intricate creations of some Michelin-starred chefs, I think it seems a little odd (and unlikely) that the majority of restaurants would be willing to turn away the compliments and free publicity.

I’m unashamedly a fan of posting #Instafood pictures when it’s warranted and I’ve often received an email or a comment from restaurants or chefs who were always more than pleased with the nod.

Some of us won’t take the best photos, so it’s understandable that finicky chefs may feel slighted. But they are just as guilty of taking terrible food photos as anyone else. Martha Stewart springs to mind…

Taking food photos has never taken away from my experience, nor has it taken so long that the meal has gone cold or lost its appeal. As well as serving as memoirs, I’ve often used the photos for reviews as well, so they act as a guide for other customers who might be considering the restaurant.

And let’s face it, we don’t all dine out in Michelin-starred or high-end restaurants every day of the week, so I think any chefs who are against the snaps need to reconsider their opinions.

Plenty of well-known chefs and popular restaurants are actively interacting with their customers on social networks, so to deny them the right to take a snap of their memorable meals, whether they cost $10 or $100, is unfair in my opinion.

In a time where restaurants are courting food critics and bloggers, shouldn’t they be embracing the publicity and admiration of their paying customers too?

Do you think chefs have a right to ban food photos in their restaurants? Let us know in the comments.

Photographing food could be costly (Das Fotografieren von Essen könnte teuer werden) on De Welt

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