Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Intellectual property rights and the commodification of nature: the case of seeds

Gentilucci, Eleonora (2018): Intellectual property rights and the commodification of nature: the case of seeds.

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Abstract

The paper uses the Ostromian analytical framework of CPRs and commons definitions, in order to analyze the effect of the introduction of IPRs on the seeds. The main contribution of this research is twofold. On the one hand it allows to validate the initial hypothesis (H1) namely that, throughout the history, until the introduction of IPRs on the living (S0), seeds were CPRs and commons and, after the introduction of IPRs (S1), seeds became private goods. The analysis carried out shows that seeds are commons of knowledge and natural resource and that the introduction of IPRs has allowed the appropriation of a resource that was previously common. This is the “commodification” process. On the other hand study deeps a specific tool to overcome the enclosure imposed by IPRs, to seeds: namely the application of free software principles to seeds. This enables a return to the reverse process of “commonification”.

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