Re: Cloning is Here

Michelle Welcks (
Sun, 23 Feb 1997 17:22:38 -0500

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> Sound reasonable. But once the clone is accepted as a person, he can
> justly claim the ownership of his own genome and making any clones of
> himself is his decision, not the original clone (hmm, I have to watch
> Multiplicity, I think).

An interesting point. There shouldn't be any problems with owning your
own genetic code in its entirety, but what about smaller portions? It's
been a while since I've studied genetics, but I believe there are
tremendous amounts of reoccurring patterns in our exon DNA. I'm not
sure about the intron material. It would be interesting trying to use
introns as a type of PGP signature or copyright mark, but I'm afraid it
would be too easily circumvented. Any 'current' geneticists out there?

Backtracking a bit, I wonder if it could be well argued for the parent's
ownership of a child's code? (Another factor for divorce court. . .)
If the code is owned by each individual, would it be illegal for the
parents to manufacture twins?

Regarding ownership of one's one code: If a clone was made by the owner
(in this example one's self) and now two individuals owned rights to the
code, as you've suggested, the legalities of one clone selling genetic
information to another party might be interesting. Also, what happens
if an illegal (as defined by this example) clone were made? Clearly it
could not be denied its rights, could it?

Finally, how long would one's genetic material remain under copyright?
How long after death? Depending on that answer, who owns the currently
deceased? If it is public domain, do we have the right to exhume their
bodies and claim our property?

It is unfortunate that these questions will have to be answered very
soon and probably without much deliberation.

Michelle Welcks