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Appropriation � and the kingdom did not fall

Jan 26, 2011, 14:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Hillesley)

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

"Linux and open source verteran, Richard Hillesley, wonders if the much-used aphorism that 'information wants to be free' is still prescient in the light of of current events.

"The preliminary work on the sequencing of the human genome was completed on 22 June 2000. The Wellcome Trust had invested £210 million in a public project led by British and American scientists with the purpose of making the data available to all.

"The work, first begun in 1995, was complicated by a bid from a private American company, Celera Genomics, to win the race to assemble and patent the fragments. The public effort won the race by a matter of hours, largely due to the efforts of Jim Kent, a graduate student in biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who wrote the vital 10,000-line program in a month because he didn't want to see the genome data locked up by patents. Celera Genomics was reputed to have procured the most powerful civilian computer in history for its effort."

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