Saturday, May 11, 2013

DNA databases

In his article in 78 U. Chi. L. Rev. 139, Mark Lemley mentions DNA databases

Scholars vigorously debate whether open-source software represents a fundamental new means of collaborative production potentially extendable to other forms of human endeavor n2 or an altruistic fringe [*140] to the dominant market-based model of production. n3 For economists in particular, this debate is intimately bound up with questions about the motivations of those who participate in open-source production. If the classic theory of IP holds--if people are rational economic actors who will create only if the expected rewards exceed the costs--then open-source production is likely to be limited to the creation of relatively low-cost or small-scale products, primarily by those who do it in their spare time out of altruism or intellectual curiosity or who are otherwise subsidized (perhaps by a government or university) to create software without being paid for it. n4 By contrast, if people are collectively motivated to create by nonfinancial incentives, or if there is a sustainable market for the provision of services ancillary to open-source products, n5 the open-source model could conceivably displace proprietary software and even extend to products other than software, such as DNA databases. n6

with footnote 6 stating:

See Andrew W. Torrance, Open Source Human Evolution, 30 Wash U J L & Pol 93, 125-28 (2009); Stephen M. Maurer, Arti Rai, and Andrej Sali, Finding Cures for Tropical Diseases: Is Open Source an Answer?, 6 Minn J L, Sci, & Tech 169, 171 (2004).

One cross-references the article by CANDICE ROMAN-SANTOS titled Concerns Associated with Expanding DNA Databases
which appears in 2 Hastings Sci. & Tech. L.J. 267



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