Open Source Seeds

From P2P Foundation
Jump to: navigation, search

= "At present there are no agreed definitions or licenses for Open source seeds. This site has been set up to explore their possibilities".


See also: The Open Source Seeds Initiative


"What are the aims in developing open source seeds?

At present this project has no agreed aims, but they might include:

  • Promoting a culture of sharing amongst growers and breeders
  • Documentation – seed and heritage record
  • Stopping Patent Abuse
  • Fostering and documenting effective breeding programs

What characteristics might open source seeds have?

Open source seeds might come with documentation and a paper licence agreement that grants growers certain rights, may encourage them to share physical seeds, and may even provide certain constraints on how they can share the progeny of seeds developed from the resultant plants.

Why might they be useful?

Applied to seeds, open source principles might encourage improved breeding, better understanding of genealogy and characteristics, and increase the availability of free (no-cost) seeds.

What are the barriers to creating open source seeds?

It is not clear at this stage how licence conditions could be made legally enforceable; they may only amount to a voluntary code of conduct.

The laws covering the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on seeds are very different from software. One of the sticking points concerning Intellectual Property Rights on seeds is stability, the Distinct, Uniform, Stable criteria. This is how all seed IPR is based everywhere in the world, because you need a variety stable enough in order to be able to define it as a variety. Most interesting varieties, are far too unstable to be able to define it this way. However one of the great things about this instability is the way it allows you to adapt it to different growing areas." (

More Information

  • Free Seeds, Free Software and Free Beer Patrick on [3]