FEATURE ARTICLE: October 1997 (No. 11.1)

Copyright THIS

a spoof on the legal system!

I decided to copyright my DNAtm. I mentioned this to my parents, upon which, 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. They complained of numerous violations and still claim to be the original authors (despite 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 copyright of 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 by 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 licenses for purposes of cloning genetic research, but I have not been approached yet.

I'm still working out 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. Nevertheless, 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 siblings 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 what to expect if I should decide to co-author a sequel (have a kid). They assure me that it would be less complicated if I just wrote it myself (cloned my 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 (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*. My first lawyer succeeded in securing an injunction on the grounds that there would be severe medical consequences of removing 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.

This Feature Article is intended as a public service.

Your comments or questions are always welcome.

Opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the operator of this network or site.

Scott Bonds, 2560 Bancroft Way -- Suite 72, Berkeley, CA 94704. A bio is available upon request.

Phone: 510-845-8099
E-mail: bonds@kybersys.com

(c) 1997 PANGAEACommunications. All rights reserved. No part of this file may be copied, distributed or disseminated in part or in whole without the express prior written permission of PANGAEACommunications. Reprints are available for US$10.00 per copy, payable to "PANGAEA(R)."

This article is published by PANGAEACommunicationstm - 630 Ninth Avenue 1000 New York, New York 10036 USA. Phone: 212-445-8580 Fax: 212-445-2542 Email: bureaucrat@pangaea.net -- in cooperation with and by permission from Scott Bonds of Berkeley, CA.

Updated 10/6/97