Saturday, December 10, 2005

Whose property?

"The more our resources, needs, pleasures, and experiences are socially and legally defined as "property," the more the state is authorized to infiltrate our lives and regulate disputes of ownership. This is happening in the realms of leisure, work and, as stated earlier, international relations. Current consumer technologies of music and image make reproduction inevitable so, as we see when high school kids are busted to make an example, legal and repressive measures are the only way to enforce ownership. In the case of transgenic seeds, farmers sign contracts foregoing the right to reproduce, save, sell, share or give away any of a product which, if used as directed, will reproduce itself. The leading holder of patents in agriculture, Monsanto, has investigated and harassed over 500 farmers in the U.S. for breach of this property agreement which is very similar to an MTA but with much more draconian consequences.[12] A fundamental tenet of membership in the WTO and of all U.S. and E.U. trade agreements with developing nations insists that the trading partner establish and enforce intellectual property regimes consistent with those in the global north. One of the reasons that the U.S. is so eager to help multinationals get transgenic agriculture rooted in the extensively rural global south is that it is practically a one-step process to drive patents and IP into the most basic register of their life and economy."
from
http://www.caedefensefund.org/reflections.html

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