Commentary

A general public license for seeds?

“The same multinational corporations that are putting their proprietary, genetically modified plants into the environment and onto our tables are also well on the way to establishing a monopoly …on seeds. They have purchased the majority of commercial seed companies and the choices for farmers to use non-GM seeds are getting fewer and fewer.

So here is a counter-proposal. Following the example of what was done for free and open source software with a “General Public License” (GPL), Jack Kloppenburg is proposing to establish a GPLPG (General Public License for Plant Germplasm) license for seeds and plant varieties that allows free use of the plants by farmers and growers, but prevents any so licensed seeds or plants from being subsequently altered and made commercial.

The license imposes on subsequent users of the Plant Germplasm (the seeds or plants) that any new varieties developed on the basis of those plants be similarly licensed for free use.”

“The specific mechanism Michaels goes on to propose is a “General Public License for Plant Germplasm (GPLPG)” that is explicitly modeled on the GPL developed by the FOSS movement for software. Continue reading …

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