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    Download Aborted: Open Source Life
    Submitted by Marcos Oliveira de Carvalho; posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2004


    ``What happens when a bio-cracker unleashes a plant virus on all the wheat in North America, and the genetic code to `Wheat 2.0' is closed-source, patented code owned by a corporation? Should life be Open Source?

    ``Lately there's been a lot of debate about the virtues and perils of genetically modified life. A few weeks ago, Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser lost an epic David vs. Goliath legal battle against Monsanto, the maker of seeds with a patented gene. The court narrowly sided with Monsanto, which sued Schmeiser in 1997 after company agents found a patented gene in canola plants [at] Schmeiser's farm. The farmer argued that the seed had blown into his field from a neighboring farm.

    ``One of the central issues to this case is whether a corporation (or other person) has the right to patent the blueprints to life. It's a highly controversial issue, and it ultimately touches on the meaning of life and the course of humanity through the centuries.''

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