From a technical legal standpoint, I think that a restaurateur can tell you not to take pictures in their establishment. But I don't think you would need their advance permission and any pictures you take before you are told not to take photographs should be OK. If they post a sign saying no picture taking allowd (like Fuddruckers does) then no photography is permitted and they can throw you out if you violate the policy. After all, it is their private property and they have the right to condition your entrance on any terms they like; by entering the restaurant, you agree to the terms (like opening a box of shrinkwrap software). I don't know if the restaurant has any rights to the likenesses of their dishes. Here is the definition of "copyright" from the copright act:
Thoughts? Can a restaurant tell you that you can't take pictures of food that you've paid for? It's an interesting discussion I think.
I don't know whether food is a work of authorship or whether a plate is a tangible medium of expression. Artwork and sculpture are protected by copyright. (And all of this is fodder for another thread) This issue of copyright goes to the question of whether you can "use" the pictures not whether you can take them.
Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
But at the end of the day, why is Carole Greenwood so worried that pictures of something she cooked would show up on the Internet? Is she worried about imitation (I can see how imitation of the presentation might be a problem but not the taste)? Is she ashamed of the way her dishes look when the product is delivered to the customer? Or is this just another manifestation of her general reputation for orneriness?
My general feeling is that people take pictures of food only when they are impressed with the presentation, not when they think it looks like a plate of shit.
(and the fact that she had to reach down to Fredricksburg to find a lawyer to take the case could speak fo the possible strength of the case)