I normally post content that never made it into the various Cracked articles I’ve written, mostly to let people see things that otherwise, would never see the light of day. However, I’ve since realised that most people who find this site, do so because of Cracked. So for those people, here’s a sneak peek at something I’m currently in the middle of writing. It’s on insane things you won’t believe people can do with copyright. Enjoy.
There’s a copyright on your genes.
You’re probably hoping we misspelled the word jeans up there and that our criminally underpaid interns just wanted to fuck with you, but no, you can totally stake a copyright claim on the very thing that defines you as a human being.
Because big business doesn’t control enough shit already.
Image from here: http://www.123rf.com/photo_6637850_picture-of-happy-businessman.html
You may be a little confused how exactly you can patent a gene, since it already exists and technically no one discovers it, well it’s argued that when a gene is removed from the body and isolated it becomes a separate chemical entity that you can totally patent. You know, like how when you steal stuff from some guys house it stops belonging to them and you can sell it back to them for a massively inflated price.
Wait, it gets worse.
The patents Myriad Genetics Inc hold is over a pair fancy little genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Both of which have been intrinsically linked to both ovarian and breast cancer and can actually be used to detect it with the correct test. Now the patent on them is currently being fiercely defended in court, with Myriad Genetics kicking all kinds of ass in court and issuing impressive lawyer beat downs to those who want to challenge their patent.The fact that they also own the patent on the test that detects the genes, which can in turn detect whether a person is likely to get a whole bunch cancer or not, is probably entirely coincidental.
But it’s not just one gene, apparently 20% of all human genes are patented by somebody in an expensive suit. And here’s where it gets terrifying, because once you hold that patent on a gene you can prevent other people from studying it, testing it or even looking at it. Suck on that, scientific progress.
I’m actually just playing Sudoku here, you’re boned.
The thing about being able to patent genes, other than that it’s fucking retarded, is that mapping or studying genes is probably humanity’s best chance to cure cancer. Then again we all know that money talks and bullshit walks the slow trudging walk of a poor person, Myriad Genetics inc is just protecting their assets from nut jobs who think everything should be free for everyone. Oh no wait, they were opposed by the American Medical Association and Dr. James Watson (AKA the co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA) and they still won, yeah, we’re screwed.