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There has been various systems of rights in traditional plant breeding, but under the banner of Intellectual Property (which I believe is just a few decades old) and with lots of lobbying those rights has expanded to the power of ten.

I suspect that the term Intellectual Property was constructed to shift debate from "what monopoly rights (or exclusive rights) should we as a society hand hand for the good of the society?" to "why should we allow pirates to steal intellectual property?". And it has been very successful.

So I would say that Intellectual Property are traditional rights to the power of ten. And that the EULAs, the terminology (theft, pirates), the surveilliance needed to stop incursions are not accidentaly similar, but similar because it is part of the same intellectual enclosure.

Seeds and other biological processes are the most worrying arena of this enclosure, as it is hard to see a Creative Commons or Open Source movement in seeds. Or maybe I am just not imaginative enough.

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by A swedish kind of death on Thu Apr 24th, 2008 at 08:47:50 AM EST
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