re: Ethanol from Biomass Hint #1 - when you read about a new technology that's going to change everything - start looking for patents.
http://ipbiz.blogspot.com/2008/01/gm-aligns-with-coskata-on-cellulosic.html The author of this blog actually understands the science and the intellectual property issues.
Elsewhere on "chaos" (by jerry pournelle) was a comment that seemed to touch on the issue of self-plagiarism:
I'm not sure that "self piracy" is a legitimate term of art. It is not possible, in the legal sense, to steal from yourself. If you own a copyright then you may do as you please with it, including giving it away selectively or entirely by putting it in the public domain. There was a writer at WesterCon last year who did podcast readings from his novels and got so many hits that he managed to acquire not one, but two book contracts from a regular publisher. Of course Science Fiction and Fantasy is one place where good fiction still rules and is considered an acceptable risk.
which seemed to relate to an earlier comment
My concern has always been this: when ebooks become a large part of book publishing, then when a potential reader uses a search engine to find that book on line, it is important that the first hits not be pirated free copies; that the first hits be a legitimate copy sold at a reasonable price and easily obtained and easily paid for. Given those conditions I think most readers will simply pay the man the five dollars or whatever is the price, rather than search further to find the pirated copy. The second concern I have is web sites that use free books as a means to draw viewers, and derive their income from advertising; they will have money to publicize their pirate web sites.
When books are free, or make only modest sums from first publication, then the temptation will be for authors to indulge in journalism, not in putting in years to build large novels.
**In passing, going back to the SIU/Wendler issue, a key here can be "who owns the copyright." In the copyright business, there is the concept of "work for hire." In the Wendler case, Texas A&M employed Wendler, so it's not obvious that Wendler owned the copyright to the work in question. Thus, "self-plagiarism" could be a copyright violation. The Fleming/Thunderball saga is a different variation.
***UPDATE on Coskata***
IPBiz ran across a 25 Jan 08 post on treehugger titled GM's Partner, Coskata, Using "Non-GM" Organism To Make Ethanol which included:
Looking at the publication listing of Dr. Tanner (pictured fishin' below), it seems pretty clear the anaerobe in question is a Clostridium, possibly C. ljungdahlii or variant. BIOwaste Blog reports that as far back as 1991, a BRI Energy pilot plant located outside the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas was using a Clostridium bacteria in a manner similar to that outlined in Jeremy's Coskata post.
IPBiz suggests John Laumer look at the 13 Jan 08 post of IPBiz which includes
Note published US application 20070275447 the first claim of which states: A biologically pure culture of the microorganism Clostridium carboxidivorans having all of the identifying characteristics of ATCC No. BAA-624.