If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(NPR)   Supreme Court agrees to take case on whether Monsanto can forever own our food   (npr.org) divider line 130
    More: Interesting, U.S. Supreme Court, Monsanto, Roundup  
•       •       •

12536 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Oct 2012 at 8:22 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



130 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-10-17 03:40:17 AM

Enemabag Jones: Nrokreffefp
namatad: This could be ever so interesting.
I predict that if Monsanto loses, that they quickly will come out with a sterile hybrid.
BWahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaha
sigh
Won't matter, the farmers will have the current non-sterile seedstocks and will use them endlessly if they can, rather than purchase sterile seeds from a mostly detested company.

My science knowledge is weak, but seeds migrate even if accidently. Would cross-pollenation create a problem making other non-sterile seeds sterile?



I don't think so..... not all of their products are sterile.

But if Monsanto said 'Hey, we can make your next child run like the dickens, he will win the Olympics, and this will have no other affect on him, except that he'll be especially smart!"

So, you scrounge up the $10k and they modify your unborns genetics and 20 years later he's having a child but OOPS Monsanto OWNS your grandchild and takes him away. He has their genetics and you should have studied to be a lawyer so you could understand the contract a little bit better.

They patent life. NOONE patents life in my world. Noone but GOD.
 
2012-10-17 03:59:14 AM
Sily luddites, you can't stop progress
 
2012-10-17 04:05:06 AM
GMO foods breed libertarianism. While the Ds and Rs are arguing about where 4 people dying in an embassy attack in Benghazi technically classifies as "terror," there are monopolistic companies suing farmers out of business or just plain intimidating them into buying their product. Where was the Libertarian Party candidate during the Presidential debate? Not invited and not welcome. Where was the Green Party candidate? Jail.

So Rombama and the bigwigs from multinational corporations like Monsanto can afford to eat all the organically grown heirloom foods they wish, prepared for them by private chefs or expensive restaurants, while the poor people of America are unwittingly buying shiat GMO Kellogg's or General Mills cereal and mass-produced bread with little nutritional value. But it's not just America, because we get to spread our "wealth" to other countries through "foreign aid" and various incentives to plant GMOs. Even if you believe that GMOs are perfectly safe and healthy, you have to admit that the tactics of companies like Monsanto and the complicity of the US government are devious and result in people being uninformed about what they are eating (failure of the US and of states to pass laws regarding GMO labeling) and people having no affordable choice in grocery stores and restaurants about the content of their food.

I'm a Libertarian. I believe that even poor people should have information and choices about the food that they eat. Monsanto does not believe that farmers should even have a choice about which crops they plant, and they don't give a damn whether people have the choice of organic or non-GMO foods. And the government can effectively make that happen through subsidies. How do corn growers make money? They have little choice but to play ball with Monsanto and to take aid and subsidies from the govt and the consumers/taxpayers are getting screwed on the back end.
 
2012-10-17 04:26:28 AM

Coming on a Bicycle: There is no way to sustain this planet full of people without companies like Monsanto. And while I agree that their tactics are questionable, the answer as to why the scientific community is at least ambivalent about them (if not downright positive) and why the Obama administration is in favor of them, is right there. Stop breeding, start building a wall around the West, or live with Monsanto. Those are your options.


You believe these are your only options. Congratulations you have achieved perfect subservience.
 
2012-10-17 04:46:56 AM

untaken_name: tekmo: from my blood: Do not associate with Monsanto employees and associates. Do not allow your children to play with Monsanto employee's children.

Well NOW you tell me!

My ex's father was a Monsanto salesman, and Christ, what an asshole.

The ex turned out to be just as bad.

Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, you know. And if it does, whoever picks it up gets sued.


For whoever cuts down that tree, plausible deniability is in effect.
 
2012-10-17 05:08:55 AM
Just for fun:

Suppose I invent magic beans. Never mind what they do, they're just magic. And I've got a patent on the magic beans, which means I'm the only one allowed to make or sell them.

Patent exhaustion means that if I sell you a bag of magic beans, then -- as of the moment the sale is complete -- my right to control sale of that specific bag of magic beans has ended. You can sell that bag of magic beans to someone else if you decide you don't want them anymore (you still can't manufacture your own magic beans, though, because this only covers the right to control sales, not the right to control making them).

But there's a twist! Patent exhaustion actually happens at an authorized sale. And "authorized" is a tricky term. Suppose I sell you a bag of magic beans, but we do it with a contract that has some extra stuff in it. Like, you agree in the contract not to use the magic beans for purposes of overthrowing the government of Liechtenstein. You sign, I get my money, you get the beans.

And then you go and use the beans to overthrow the government of Liechtenstein. And, having accomplished your purpose, you go to sell the leftover beans. I can now haul your Liechtenstein-overthrowing little butt into court, along with the butts of anybody who bought the beans from you, because by violating the terms of our contract you've turned an authorized sale into an unauthorized sale. And without an authorized sale, there's no patent exhaustion to defend you; you're just on the hook for straight up selling my magic beans in violation of my patents.

This is, very roughly, what's going on in this case. Monsanto is arguing that a violation of the terms it imposes as part of sale of its seeds means that there's no patent exhaustion going on here, and so the folks who were buying and selling the seeds are in violation of the patent. Thus far, the courts have agreed with Monsanto (and it does seem like a pretty open-and-shut case with respect to the law, no matter how you feel about Monsanto or GMO crops or whatever, plus the farmer kinda screwed himself by initially trying to defend himself against Monsanto in court without a freakin' lawyer).

So it may be the Supreme Court wants to clarify exactly when exhaustion does or doesn't happen. There is apparently some confusion on this, especially with respect to older cases which may or may not have been rendered out-of-date by newer Supreme Court decisions, and clearing up that kind of confusion is one big reason why they take cases. They may also just want to smack the lower court around since it seems to've kind of drunkenly wandered off and started inventing new things in parts of its ruling. Or maybe they want to drastically change something about how patents get handled. Right now, nobody knows.

Similarly, the copyright case involving the textbooks centers around exactly whether the initial sale met the requirements to get first-sale protection, and the reasons for the Court to take it may fall into the same sort of spectrum of possibilities.
 
2012-10-17 05:22:39 AM
I am surprised that so far no one has pointed out that Justice Thomas used to actually work for Monsanto. Or that last time he chose to hear a case involving Monsanto he not only refused to recuse himself for conflict of interest, Monsanto actually hired his wife as a 'consultant' for a couple mil. You can guess how that case went. You can guess how the next one will go, too.

/Supreme court justices don't have any rules of ethics pertaining to their conduct. They are considered above reproach, hence why he is not in jail, as any other judge would be for similar behavior.
//As such, he doesn't have to even have to try to keep up appearances of impartiality, so he doesn't bother. He is there for life and he knows it.
 
2012-10-17 05:47:12 AM

OgreMagi: untaken_name: OgreMagi: I think the first sale doctrine perfectly applies here. A book company can control books it sells to bookstores. Once the book is sold to a consumer, however, their control ends and the consumer can do as he pleases. The initial sale of seeds can be controlled by Monsanto, but the crops grown (which includes seeds) are not under their control. The Supreme Court prefers to base their decisions on precedence and this scenario is made to order.

Don't worry. They're going to overturn that next. Later this month, specifically.

Link

That case would only affect foreign sales imported into this country. Monsanto is an American company selling directly to American farmers. I don't see how it would apply in this case even if the courts ruled badly.

Of course, I wouldn't put it past a company like Monsanto to create a post box in another country and shift their "corporate office" over seas if that would give them more control.


They'll just pull a Halliburton. If they haven't already. Link
 
2012-10-17 05:57:43 AM

ubernostrum: Just for fun:

Suppose I invent magic beans. Never mind what they do, they're just magic. And I've got a patent on the magic beans, which means I'm the only one allowed to make or sell them.

Patent exhaustion means that if I sell you a bag of magic beans, then -- as of the moment the sale is complete -- my right to control sale of that specific bag of magic beans has ended. You can sell that bag of magic beans to someone else if you decide you don't want them anymore (you still can't manufacture your own magic beans, though, because this only covers the right to control sales, not the right to control making them).

But there's a twist! Patent exhaustion actually happens at an authorized sale. And "authorized" is a tricky term. Suppose I sell you a bag of magic beans, but we do it with a contract that has some extra stuff in it. Like, you agree in the contract not to use the magic beans for purposes of overthrowing the government of Liechtenstein. You sign, I get my money, you get the beans.

And then you go and use the beans to overthrow the government of Liechtenstein. And, having accomplished your purpose, you go to sell the leftover beans. I can now haul your Liechtenstein-overthrowing little butt into court, along with the butts of anybody who bought the beans from you, because by violating the terms of our contract you've turned an authorized sale into an unauthorized sale. And without an authorized sale, there's no patent exhaustion to defend you; you're just on the hook for straight up selling my magic beans in violation of my patents.

This is, very roughly, what's going on in this case. Monsanto is arguing that a violation of the terms it imposes as part of sale of its seeds means that there's no patent exhaustion going on here, and so the folks who were buying and selling the seeds are in violation of the patent. Thus far, the courts have agreed with Monsanto (and it does seem like a pretty open-and-shut case with respect to the law, no matter ...



After throwing some Magic Beans at your in court, and in the face of the "justice" who is in fact from Liechtenstein and should not have heard the case...

I believe that you have a case. But. You do not own Liechtenstein because of this... I do. And when Liechtenstein goes on to conquer Biechtenstein, using the same Magic Beans, Magic Beans INC does NOT have rights over Biechtenstein, either. Biechtenstein is officially part of Liechtenstein, to everyone's consternation.

The sale terms were violated, and due to the violation of terms, you may have your Magic Beans back, with no refund. Sell them again, if you like.

Thanks.
 
2012-10-17 06:53:14 AM

SquishyLizard: [photo.goodreads.com image 311x475]

//Beware the blister rust


The Windup Girl is a ridiculously good book.

Also, if nobody knows, Humble Bundle (http://www.humblebundle.com/) has a E Book thing going on now, pay what you want - it's worth your money just for Pablo's other book Pump Six and Scalzi's Old Man's War.
 
2012-10-17 07:15:03 AM
Let's say I bought an iPhone. The iPhone is mine: I can do with it what I want, I can sell it, I can give it away, I can take it apart into little pieces, etc.

What I CAN'T do is use that iPhone as a basis to make another iPhone and sell it. It doesn't matter that I put work and money and time into making the other iPhone. That's still intellectual property and I can't sell it. So... Monsanto is perfectly legal. The farmer can't use the seeds to produce more seeds holding the patented DNA, the crops from which he was planning on selling, because it's the same as making knockoff iPhones and selling them.

Is my reasoning correct? IANAL & I feel I've made a mistake in there.

//Please note that I don't agree with this. I find this whole issue ridiculous, but...
 
2012-10-17 07:18:53 AM

ThrobblefootSpectre: I'll disagree. I think it fits a licensing model. Like when I pay for some commercial software, I haven't purchased ownership of the software itself. I have purchased the right to use their software for a set period of time on a single machine. All ownership and rights to the software are retained by the company. And making a copy, or using the software past the time period for which I have a license is illegal.


Except we're not talking about software, we're talking about seeds. And making copies is pretty much the whole damn point behind planting seeds.
 
2012-10-17 07:40:32 AM

sprgrss: dervish16108: Gee, I wonder how Obama appointed Supreme Court Judge Kagan will rule on this. I think she'll just rubber stamp everything in favor of Monsanto as usual. Good ole liberal judges, right?

So you think she should magically create her own law from the bench and not interpret the statutes that are at issue? If she did that, she wouldn't be fit to be a judge.


How do you think Citizens United and Kelo v. New London were made into law?
 
2012-10-17 08:14:11 AM

tekmo: Monsanto owns its seeds until it sells them to you.

Then you own the seeds. When sunshine, your toil, soil, water and fertilizer cause the seeds to grow into crops, you own those crops, not Monsanto. Because you own those crops, you also own any of the seeds of those crops. You, not Monsanto.

However, you may not duplicate Monsanto's work to arrive at a similar or identical product, nor may you represent Monsanto's product as your own.

This seems obvious.

However, since it's the Roberts court, they'll decide that any farmer who has ever sown Monsanto brand seed is now permanently indentured to the Monsanto Corporation, any land where Monsanto seed has been sown should properly escheat to Monsanto Corporation, and any implied contract should be liberally construed to permit Monsanto executives to drop by their serf's farm to fark the farmer's wife and kids.

It's what we owe our corporate betters.


Guess as soon as I buy that DVD I own the movie and can do what I wish with it, even sell it, right?
 
2012-10-17 08:21:09 AM
No one should be eating Soy that has been sprayed with Roundup. Roundup is highly toxic and carcinogenic, and if Monsanto didn't have such an insanely powerful lobby, Roundup would be illegal.
 
2012-10-17 09:11:12 AM
I am pleasantly surprised at the reasonableness of this thread.

A note about terminator seeds. Sterile means sterile. Means it won't interface with anything. The holy grail of selective sterility at the moment though is isolated populations. Say...if you had population X and population Y in the same area, and population X could only produce seed with population X without affecting the plant in any other way. This would be a godsend to anybody who who works with transgenics, as the permits and hassle of working with them mostly stem from the fear of 'genetic pollution'. You wouldn't have to isolate transgenic fields spatially.

Also, I find it amusing that the terminator seeds induce both reactions in the same thread.

'Holy crap they control our seeds and we are utterly dependent on getting new seeds from them next year'
and
'We can't have this GMO stuff getting out anywhere else. We need to make them sterile'

Truly shows that no matter what course you go, you get screwed here.
 
2012-10-17 10:15:31 AM
LewDux: Sily luddites, you can't stop progress

yes cuz 'progress' is cancer and shortened life spans.
 
2012-10-17 10:37:24 AM

ubernostrum: Just for fun:


To refine your excellent magic bean analogy a little further, there's a bit more to the whole thing than that.

Patent exhaustion used to mean that any bullshiat restriction you put on your magic beans ends once I have purchased them. You might tell me not to take over Lichtenstein with them, but that wasn't going to stop me from teaching those fake-Swiss ski-wearing bastards a lesson. And SCOTUS would've backed me up - the general idea is that once the beans were my legal property, any restrictions were null and void.

Now, in 1992, the DC Court of Appeals screwed all that up. They said that any licensor of a patent can put whatever sort of bullshiat restrictions they want on the thing, as long as it's within the "rule of reason" and not a restraint of trade, like price-fixing or tie-ins. This, obviously, is bullshiat, since it did away with the bright line rule and it's what has led to Monsanto's success in roundup-ready bean lawsuits. They basically tossed out all of the prior precedent that says a patented product can be used for whatever purpose after it's been sold to a legitimate buyer.

In 2008, however, SCOTUS finally got around to poking at this issue with a shiat-covered stick, when they looked at microprocessor patents and a 3rd party buyer's supposed infringement of same. Thomas wrote the opinion of a unanimous court that basically was worthless and just confused everybody even more - sidestepping the issue entirely and adding even more uncertainty to how to deal with after-sale restrictions on patented objects and processes.

Now, it looks like they're finally going to get some of the precedent sorted out. Ideally, they'd go back to the long line of cases that existed pre-1992 to say that any restriction placed on a product is invalid once the product is sold to a for-value purchaser. Then we'd get rid of all of this bullshiat about breaking the law by rooting your phone, replanting seeds that you grew and harvested yourself, posting instructions on hacking PS3s, and I can finally establish my icy fortress high in the Alps.
 
2012-10-17 10:39:02 AM

Coming on a Bicycle: why the scientific community is at least ambivalent about them (if not downright positive) and why the Obama administration is in favor of them


Both know on which side their bread is buttered.

The Obama administration is full of Monsanto insiders. (As was every other administration for the last 30 years).

And, if you're a plant biologist, good luck ever getting a penny in grant money if you piss off Monsanto - if they don't control the grant directly they control the people who do.
 
2012-10-17 10:41:37 AM

phyrkrakr: Now, it looks like they're finally going to get some of the precedent sorted out


Yeah, like that's going to happen. You know as well as I do the ruling is going to come down in favor of big corporations.
 
2012-10-17 10:47:08 AM

Ahvren: The farmer can't use the seeds to produce more seeds holding the patented DNA, the crops from which he was planning on selling, because it's the same as making knockoff iPhones and selling them.


But that's what seeds do. The ENTIRE PURPOSE of planting seeds is to make more seeds.

It's like HP selling you a printer and then saying they own everything you print with it.
 
2012-10-17 10:48:14 AM

SuburbanCowboy: No one should be eating Soy that has been sprayed with Roundup.


FTFY.
 
2012-10-17 12:28:44 PM

clyph: Ahvren: The farmer can't use the seeds to produce more seeds holding the patented DNA, the crops from which he was planning on selling, because it's the same as making knockoff iPhones and selling them.

But that's what seeds do. The ENTIRE PURPOSE of planting seeds is to make more seeds.

It's like HP selling you a printer and then saying they own everything you print with it.


Not really, the people who buy the seeds can sell the soybeans. If you took your printer, cloned it and sold the printer would be more apt?
 
2012-10-17 01:36:19 PM

Thunderpipes: Not really, the people who buy the seeds can sell the soybeans. If you took your printer, cloned it and sold the printer would be more apt?


Please. Seeds aren't clones of their parents any more than you are the clone of your mother.

What Monsanto is doing is far more like what those animal "rescue" douchebags do -- attach obnoxious and intrusive restrictions on the dog's ownership, e.g., you can never, ever tie the dog up outside, you can't ever give the dog to anyone else, the adoption group's representatives has some "right" to inspect your home at any time and repossess the dog at their sole discretion if they feel anything's amiss, etc.

If you want to control the dog, maintain possession of the dog. If you want to control the seeds, maintain possession of the seeds.

Yeah, but we don't actually want to maintain possession, just control!

Well of course you do, asshole --- and I want to be Lord of All I Survey. But that's not how shiat has worked since ancient people started trading goods and services. You don't get a special rule because you're you and you and your mom think you're so goddam special. 

The difference between a dog rescue and Monsanto is that, if I reject the dog rescue's terms, I can get a dog from about 50 other places in a 10 mile radius of my house, and none of them are as dickish about the transaction terms as the dog rescue. However, if I'm a soybean farmer who rejects Monsanto's terms, I'm probably out of business. 

Further, what Monsanto is doing is also not unlike exercising the "dead hand" -- an attempt by a controlling asshole with money to structure their estate to ensure perpetual control of what were formerly their assets, long after said asshole has lost actual possession.

Dead hand control and monopolies who structure their businesses to eliminate holdouts have long been viewed very dimly in American law and public policy. 

However, I expect the Supreme Court's conservative majority -- the majority that finds history and tradition so compelling an argument with respect to retarding civil rights and individual liberty -- will ignore all this history and public policy to innovate some justification of Monsanto's restraint of trade as if it's the exercise of a fundamental individual right, while dismissing the farmers being screwed as if they'd simply failed to negotiate more favorable terms.

This Rehnquist/Roberts Court is, after all, Lochner Era v.2
 
2012-10-17 02:17:49 PM

Ahvren: Let's say I bought an iPhone. The iPhone is mine: I can do with it what I want, I can sell it, I can give it away, I can take it apart into little pieces, etc.

What I CAN'T do is use that iPhone as a basis to make another iPhone and sell it. It doesn't matter that I put work and money and time into making the other iPhone. That's still intellectual property and I can't sell it. So... Monsanto is perfectly legal. The farmer can't use the seeds to produce more seeds holding the patented DNA, the crops from which he was planning on selling, because it's the same as making knockoff iPhones and selling them.

Is my reasoning correct? IANAL & I feel I've made a mistake in there.

//Please note that I don't agree with this. I find this whole issue ridiculous, but...


First of all, I bet you agreed you wouldn't disassemble, decompile, or inspect the firmware or software on your iPhone at some point. That aside, the thing that makes plants different is they produce seed as being part of a plant. If all phones had the inherent property that they spawned off little phones a few times a year, I don't think it'd be reasonable to consider it infringing when your iPhone split off a duplicate as per its natural lifecycle.
 
2012-10-17 02:37:15 PM

Dadoo: Why are they trying this case? I don't really see how Monsanto could lose. If you want to use Monsanto's seed, you have to play by their rules.

The case they should be trying is the one where, you're not using Monsanto's seed, but your neighbors are. I've read that Monsanto claims if your neighbor's pollen blows over onto your farm, and you use the seed that results - even unknowingly - you're liable. Sorry, but your neighbor should be responsible for that, not you.


If by read you mean read the legal briefs and cease and desist orders...

Yes, they actually do this.

This should be a major focus of the case: you can't control pollen, so the farmer never knows exactly what he is planting.
 
2012-10-17 02:46:57 PM

sprgrss: all this talk about GMO food being unsafe is laughable. There is zero scientific evidence to support those claims.


Except its effects on genetic diversity that put future cultivation at risk. There's always that.
 
2012-10-17 04:02:29 PM

LewDux: Sily luddites, you can't stop progress


Tell that to American scientists trying to do stem-cell research.
 
2012-10-17 04:22:32 PM
So basically, posession is now only around 3/8 of the law, instead of 9/10.
 
2012-10-17 06:03:41 PM

clyph: phyrkrakr: Now, it looks like they're finally going to get some of the precedent sorted out

Yeah, like that's going to happen. You know as well as I do the ruling is going to come down in favor of big corporations.


No, I'm absolutely sure that by this time next year, the Court will have resolved all of its differences and will be ready to make bold and forward-thinking decisions that clearly resolve...

...ah, I can't do it. They'll just gridlock on the damn thing and punt again, or even worse, completely kill what little common-law protection still exists for the consumer in favor of these huge intellectual property conglomerates.

Although maybe Scalia will have a heart attack by then. Or Kennedy could retire.
 
Displayed 30 of 130 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report