Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Tue 15th Feb 2011 09:01 UTC, submitted by sawboss
GNU, GPL, Open Source "Manu Sporny, founder and CEO of Digital Bazaar, has decided to use GitHub to store a project of a[n unusual] nature. Rather than a piece of software, he is listing his own genetic data as an open source project. He has released all his rights to the data and made around 1 million of his genetic markers public domain."
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"Open source"???
by Laurence on Tue 15th Feb 2011 09:28 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I would have thought, as it is illegal to patent DNA, you couldn't "open source" it either. You could publish it, but you couldn't attach a license to the DNA - open or otherwise. Or is this guy specifically "open sourcing" the publication rather than the DNA itself?

Is anyone any wiser about this?

Reply Score: 2

RE: "Open source"???
by olefiver on Tue 15th Feb 2011 11:15 in reply to ""Open source"???"
olefiver Member since:
2008-04-04

Whether it's illegal to patent DNA or not, shouldn't anything to say in regard of license or open source.
It's not patent law, it's copyright law, and seeing as it's a persons own DNA sequence I would say that he has copyright on that data and therefore can release it through a license or just drop it as public domain (as he has, if I understand geek.com correctly).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: "Open source"???
by bogomipz on Tue 15th Feb 2011 11:27 in reply to "RE: "Open source"???"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

No! It's his parents that hold the copyright on his DNA. They've just licensed it to him for the duration of one lifetime. He is allowed to distribute modified copies, though. That's usually done through a patch mechanism which is very good at merging two completely different DNA sequences. I think it uses a form of sexps [1], but I'm not sure.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexps

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: "Open source"???
by demetrioussharpe on Tue 15th Feb 2011 15:34 in reply to "RE: "Open source"???"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

Whether it's illegal to patent DNA or not, shouldn't anything to say in regard of license or open source.
It's not patent law, it's copyright law, and seeing as it's a persons own DNA sequence I would say that he has copyright on that data and therefore can release it through a license or just drop it as public domain (as he has, if I understand geek.com correctly).


If that's the case, then if he has living parents, wouldn't they actually be the copyright holders? ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: "Open source"???
by panzi on Tue 15th Feb 2011 21:33 in reply to "RE: "Open source"???"
panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

Funny thing: In Germany and Austria there is no "copyright" as such, but "Urheberrecht" (=authors right). Who would be the author of ones DNA? Your parents (50% each parent, aside from minor mutations)? But their DNA would then be fully copyrighted by their parents (apply recursively). This is a license mess!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: "Open source"???
by bogomipz on Tue 15th Feb 2011 11:20 in reply to ""Open source"???"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

He has released all his rights to the data and made around 1 million of his genetic markers public domain.


I guess it's just journalism getting lost in phrases. The article doesn't mention a license anywhere, but does mention that he made the data public domain.

Another problem with the phrase "open source" here, is that DNA is not regarded as a kind of source code... at least not yet.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: "Open source"???
by Sodapop on Tue 15th Feb 2011 16:11 in reply to ""Open source"???"
Sodapop Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not. Some company's already have patents on Animal DNA. It's even been said some Human Genetic material has been patented.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: "Open source"???
by Laurence on Wed 16th Feb 2011 09:34 in reply to "RE: "Open source"???"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

It's not. Some company's already have patents on Animal DNA. It's even been said some Human Genetic material has been patented.

You can't patent DNA. You can only patent the process to identify or modify DNA parts.
Often that is the only way to identify or modify and thus an indirect patent on DNA is created. However you cannot directly patent DNA.

Reply Parent Score: 2