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I've seen this image show up on my dash a few times, with replies full of people losing their shit over it. And seriously, the idea of patenting (or even owning) plants enrages me as much as it enrages you. Probably more.

But here's the thing. This is nothing to do with GMOs or late stage capitalism. In the USA, this has been happening since the U.S. Plant Patent Act of 1930.

This is what American capitalism has always been.

The image is originally from Reddit, by the way:
reddit.com/r/Anticonsumption/c

The part in the US plant patent law which really makes my sap boil is the fact that, in America, you can patent a plant which was "discovered in nature." Which appears to mean wild plants.

Though I suppose this isn't too surprising. People finding something which has always been there and deciding that they own it now is also what the US has always been.

Here's a link with a lot more of this depressing information:
upcounsel.com/plant-patent

There's a deep rabbit hole to fall down if you start reading up about plant patents, plant breeders' rights, plants as intellectual property, and so on.

It's all so very... ugh.

@davidbenque @InvaderXan Oh interesting! Thanks for mentioning that book.

I'm fascinated by Luther Burbank's work. I grow one of the plants he developed: sunberry, also known as wonderberry. And who knows what else? Wikipedia says "He developed more than 800 strains and varieties of plants over his 55-year career. "

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_B

#garden #gardening #history #horticulture #LutherBurbank

@chadwasp
I suppose the basic principle seems logical in a way. When plant breeders were just people. Individuals and not huge corporations. Plant breeding is difficult and time consuming work, and those people had families to feed.

As always though, this law now seems to protect huge corporations and not individuals...

@InvaderXan What I find particularly nefarious is that these patents (or at least their warnings) rarely cover ornamentals - they are usually edibles. The corporations intend to make our existence dependent on them.

@ajdunevent
Oh, really? Well that’s awful. Thankfully, we aren’t dependent on them, which is why they will fail.

@ajdunevent @InvaderXan Many people don't realize that there's a massive international industry behind ornamental plants, but plant nurseries, from large behemoths to small ones, tend to grow at least some patented ornamental plants. Plant breeders still exist, they just (mostly) work within these large companies. I get catalogs of patented ornamental & edible plants every year. The issue with a patent is that in the US at least, you have to be willing to defend it in a court of law from patent trolls or anyone who tries to infringe upon your patent, which requires the $$money$$ for lawyers vs a patent which may or may not make you any money. Companies can afford to deal with this, they just have to decide if what their breeders came up with is worth it. It's harder for a small mom'n'npop plant breeders to pull this off. There's nothing in a tag that stops a plant from being cloned though.

@InvaderXan In all the fuckedupedness of intellectual property law, this one gets me more riled up then anything else.

Makes me really want to break into a hopyard, vineyard, or orchard and take a bunch of cuttings.

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Sunbeam City is a anticapitalist, antifascist solarpunk instance that is run collectively.