Thursday, July 13, 2006

Biopiracy and music piracy

What has biopiracy and music (or internet) piracy in common? Both have to do with the volatility and uncontrollability of their products, a gene and a digital medium respectively.

Once a gene is discovered, its origin can hardly be identified, and derivatives can be produced and sold far beyond the source of its origin. One a piece of music is on the Web, its dissemination can not be controlled. And in both cases, the "owner" fight tough battles to keep control to secure financial returns.

Just the roles of the players is changed. Whilst big industry is trying to fight an all out war against music piracy down to ruining individual students with well publicized court cases, big industry is opposing strenuously the declaration of the sources of genetic material. They even risk to have this as a cause that the current WTO Doha round is failing.


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