Thursday, February 17, 2005

Australian Seed Piracy

You thought the piracy in the music business was rampant? Read this article on piracy in the Australian seed market and think again. According to a CEO of the Australian Seed Federation:
"It is no different to the situation the music industry found itself in 12 months ago, when it took a stand to try and stamp out piracy and the illegal activities regarding copyright material."
Australian farmers are paying levies and royalties on everything ranging from cereal seed, pasture seed, forage, horticulture to vegetable seed and flower seed. Not everyone is happy with this, in a land where there traditionally was a public plant breeding culture:
"There was a culture that seed could be grown and handed over the fence to the next-door neighbour. Times have changed. Even public breeders are, in most cases, part of a breeding company, maybe funded by the states. But they are in the business of now charging royalties to keep the programs going."
A literal privatization of public culture, pushing up the fences and enclosing the seeds, with a common reaction: piracy.
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Related US IP Order Tragets Iraqi Seed Savers


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