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The common goose

Jan 13, 2012, 18:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Hillesley)

[ Thanks to Linux User & Developer magazine for this link. ]

"Free software and the web have challenged conventional concepts of ownership – and, not surprisingly, the content and software industries have tended towards an opposite understanding of ownership, which extends from the appropriation of things as disparate as human genes and species of plants to the ownership of artistic concepts and ideas.

"The means for extending ownership over everything and anything has been a judicial bending of patent and copyright law. A not untypical example was the patenting in 1986 of the Amazonian hallucinogenic plant ayahuasca, which led to a South American tribal council, representing more than 400 tribes and indigenous groups, visiting the US ten years later to protest against the decision. Antonio Jacanamijoy, a spokesmen for the Indians, observed that "our ancestors learned the knowledge of this medicine and we are the owners of this knowledge…" and this is not an isolated case. Many more such patents have passed unnoticed and have gone unchallenged because the cost is prohibitive and the protesters have no sentimental appeal."

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