This story isn't anything new, but the NY Times has an update on Monsanto's laswuits against those who dare to plant seeds that were genetically modified by Monsanto. Here's what happened: a farmer bought some modified seeds from Monsanto and grew his crops. At the end of the year, he saved some of the seeds from the plants and replanted them the following year. Monsanto claims he's "stealing" from them. They've sued plenty of other farmers and won - but one case has now reached the federal appeals court who (hopefully) will take a more common sense approach to something like this. If you follow patent lawsuits, Monsanto's seed lawsuits are nothing new, but the cases do have some interesting parallels with the music industry's lawsuits against those who share copyrighted music. It's another case where, because someone slaps a "license" agreement on what you buy, you're don't actually own it, any more. While it may seem obvious that you can hang onto the seeds from plants you grow, thanks to a very legalistic "technology agreement" on the bag of seeds, the farmers were supposed to understand that they simply had to ditch the seeds. This seems backwards and wasteful - but makes sense, thanks to our backwards intellectual property rules.
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