Patrick Lichty on 21 Aug 2000 21:44:30 -0000

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In an age where corporations are copyrighting potions of the Human Genome,
what is to stop commercial interests from licensing your genetic code? 

Not much. 

In a response to these commercial pressures, Artist Larry Miller offers
you methods to copyright YOUR DNA at the following site:

As Larry Writes on the site: 

There may never be another YOU. 

But if there ever should be, would you have any legal rights to the
original design? As you go through life, you leave your DNA behind. . . It
can be copied and 'read' like a genetic software program detailing your
exact construction. What if someone decides to decode your DNA to get
information on you or patent some of your genes because they might have a
market value? What action can you take? At this point, it seems YOU DO NOT
OWN YOUR GENES. That is to say you have no personal authority to prevent
your genome (your unique DNA sequence spelled out in genetic code) from
being replicated by others for a variety of potential uses. DNA is
becoming merchandise. Since the Supreme Court opened the door to the
patenting of animals in the early 1980's, industries, institutions and
government agencies have granted patents on the genetic cell lines of life
forms progressing from bacterium to human beings. Hundreds of patents on
human cell lines have already been issued and with the completion of the
Human Genome Project, a new wave of patent applications can be expected.
There are many good legal and ethical questions to be raised about the
Genetic Revolution, so if prudence (or merely a love of novelty) is one of
YOUR inherited biological traits, take advantage of the first means
available to stake a claim on your genes. Download the Genetic Code
Copyright certificate (PDF-Acrobat Plug-in Required). This simple fill-in
form offers you a means to proclaim ownership of your individual genetic
identity. It is a symbolic gesture of your claim to rights that is not a
legally recognized act at this time. Become a Certified Original Human.


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