The fact that LIFEFORMS are now becoming an issue for copyright is frankly terrifying. I am not overly religious, so I don't have the "It's the province of God, not man" thing going, but I still find it disquieting that the natural competition that is supposed to be part of nature AND business is slowly being choked out of the system. Now, the only way to survive in a given industry is to be one of the companies that already has a stranglehold on that industry... otherwise, you will almost inevitably be pushed out, or swallowed whole.
Disclaimer: I am not a fan of Monsanto, and I do not support the copyrighting of genetics for profit. I do
think that there needs to be intellectual property rights given to the researchers who often spend quite a bit of time developing these things, or some sort of proprietary system in place to protect those researchers.
That said, it's often not actual life forms that are being copyrighted (or whatever). More often than not, it is a genetic sequence, a procedure, or something like that. Yes, there are some companies that have developed microorganisms which are then copyrighted, but for the most part
, it's just little pieces. The argument against, of course, is that there is nothing new under the sun and the sequence probably already exists somewhere.
The statement that natural competition vis a vis nature itself is being choked out is false. To go back to the Monsanto example, their Roundup herbicide is supposed to kill anything in a field except for crops grown out of their special Roundup Ready brand of seeds. It worked for a while, but now there are so-called super weeds that are resistant to Roundup. Not to go all Jurassic Park on you, but nature finds a way. It's not nature we have to worry about. It's people. Nature will see to herself and be just fine.