riaa/mpaa should go talk to monsanto

reading michael polan’s excellent “omnivore’s dillemma” and found this quote fascinating:

“it’s difficult to control the means of production when the product you’re selling can reproduce itself endlessly.”

what he’s talking about is that when two varieties of a crop are crossed to produce an improved hybrid, it’s hard to profit from the hybrid “discovery”, as once you sell a few of these improved hybrid plants, the buyer can collect the seeds by these plants themselves to start next year’s crop. there’s no easy way to monopoly or control over the hybrid design. except, it seems, for one species in the common food corp. for this particular species, the offsprings of two of the hybrid plants produces seeds that are nothing like its parents, making the offspring useless to the farmer. so every year the farmer is forced to go back and buy more seeds. that’s how monsanto makes millions by selling its special hybrid variety seed, which grows into plants that can withstand the weed killer roundup.

it seems that nature is much better at developing rights management than anything that microsoft, apple, real networks, riaa, and mpaa can together conjured up. maybe they should pay a visit to monstanto, or better yet, go directly to the species known as “zea mays”, or what is commonly called corn. for it holds nature’s answer to copy protection.


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