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Copyright This!

By Scott Bonds

I decided to copyright my DNA(TM). I mentioned this to my parents, and they produced a copy of the End User License Agreement (EULA) that I signed for my DNA when I was just a few seconds old, and complained of numerous violations (they still claim to be the original authors, with all visible evidence to the contrary). But, reading legal newsgroups has kept me abreast of the latest, and I knew that a contract with a minor is non-binding. Besides, it doesn't even look like my digital signature. Nevertheless, they sued me for the copyrights my DNA and for the emotional trauma caused by my alleged abuse of their DNA during my alleged childhood, in what appeared to be a clear alleged violation of our alleged agreement.

My legal expertise proved sound, and I was able to convince my parents to settle out of court signing over the rights to my DNA (with a statement which guarantees their right to make such an assignment) in return for the movie rights to our story and a small royalty for the first 5 years on published and derivative works based upon my DNA. All of our lawyers are living quite well on an island they bought in the MS Ocean (if you haven't heard, Microsoft recently acquired stock in the Pacific ocean in exchange for their pledge to continue to write software which supports the shipping industry).

I haven't figured out all the details of what to do with my DNA in the immediate future...I may be willing to grant limited non-exclusive license for purposes of cloning genetic research, but I have not been approached yet.

I'm still working the details of porting my DNA to other media (maybe MP3 for the Patrick Steward audio-book version) so that I can sue all the random researchers out there who might upload and download my DNA all over the internet for who knows what evil purposes, but I have high hopes that DNA sequencers will become more affordable, reliable, and speedy within the next few gigaseconds. My agent (a.k.a. WebSnake) has been hard at work locating perspective publishers, and I think I have a few who are interested in a work that consists entirely of billions of four letter words. A couple of the publishers I've talked to want to make a 'multi-player' version for play on the internet, but I'm still skeptical about how my DNA will translate into a game. However, they assure me that the technology is there (DVD may yet become a standard, and they would be able to fit a lot of compressed text!), and that the whole concept alone is so impressive that game play is not a significant concern.

I've already sent PGP signed notices to my sibling that they are in violation of my copyright because they are using a work which is almost identical. Unfortunately, my younger brother proceeded to post my email address to all the newsletters on the internet, so I can no longer correspond via e-mail. My sister still maintains that I am from another planet, and therefore may not claim protection under 'local' copyright laws, but she has not produced any evidence other than my weird articles.

I've asked my lawyers about what to expect if I should decide to co-author a sequel (have a kid), and they assure me that it would be less complicated if I just wrote it myself (have a clone kid). They are still working out the implications of revoking a descendant's license to use my DNA, which is currently legal only before they are published (they are born). I recall my parents trying to revoke my license early in my childhood, but by then I was already big enough to have My First Lawyer*. He succeeded in securing a injunction on the grounds that the severe medical consequences of removing of part or all of my DNA, especially considering the short period of time in which I would have needed to find a suitable replacement. Bob (my lawyer), soon went on to indisputably prove that publications have innate, inalienable rights and proceeded to liberate all the CDs from the local Tower Records store. Before he could do too much damage, congress passed a law making it illegal to liberate CDs without FDA approval. Bob plead insanity to charges of contempt of most people, and is now serving 17 years in the new Hawaiian 'virtual prison' complex for acting insane without a license.

Needless to say, I had to find a new lawyer.

Copyright 1997, Scott Bonds, All Rights Reserved


Scott Bonds is the CIO for BridgePath.com, a free job and career service for students. Scott co-founded Kyber Systems (now Human Ingenuity), a web consulting firm based out of Berkeley in 1995 and worked as an independent technology and IS consultant prior to his engagement at Kyber Systems (since 1991).

21st, The VXM Network, http://www.vxm.com

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