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Basic English

Copyrighting languages


copyrighting genomes


Often, they come up in the context of "biopiracy" — using indigenous medical knowledge to create and patent drugs without informing or compensating the groups behind them.


In 2000, the German company Schwabe made significant profits on Umckaloabo, a product derived from the geranium, without compensating local communities. It then filed patents claiming exclusive rights to the medical use of the plant.


how is ^ copyrighting a medicinal substance found in nature, produced by a plant, and known in indigenous knowledge, different from copyrighting a language? why might the former have been allowed if the indigenous weren't involved, while languages seem to generally not be copyrightable?

In 2010, the international conference on the CBD adopted the Nagoya protocol on access and benefit-sharing. The CBD, which was finalised during the 1992 Earth summit in Rio, said:

  • states have sovereign rights over their biological resources
  • access to genetic resources requires prior informed consent and shall be granted on mutually agreed terms
  • benefits arising from the use of genetic resources shall be shared in a fair and equitable way with the country providing the resources.

"biological resources", "genetic resources"

other examples copyright claim on yt over keyboard typing sounds ioc (?) owns all rights over media related to olympics biometric data