Familiarizing Open Source Seed Concept in India

OpenSourceSeedsThe GNU/Linux, the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movements around the globe and Creative Commons had influenced people to share their creations openly and freely. The BiOS is such kind of initiative which is sharing all its biological innovations openly. Now the same concept of sharing the biological materials openly for public good.

In Agriculture, the seed is the fundamental input and access to quality seed is becoming restricted to people by financially, technically and legally. To overcome this, the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) was formed and it aims to free the seed. The OSSI had pledged to make the seed free and is permitting the buyers/consumers to use in any ways they want but asks them not to restrict the others use with patents or by any other legal means.

In order to familiarize/popularize the philosophy of Open Source Seed/Free the Seed concept, the Open Access India and IndiaSeeds.in jointly took an attempt to seeds which are almost free of any legal IPR rights. For this as a test crop, Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) has been selected and the excess seeds which were purchased from a farmer by name Undavalli Trimurthulu in West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh for cultivation are being distributed to people for general cultivation or for research purpose.

These Qunioa seeds are being sent to the recipients under Open Source Seeds MTA (material transfer agreement) incorporating the text adopted from The OSSI Pledge. The MTA says “You have the freedom to use these Open Source Seeds in anyway you choose, In return, you pledge not to restrict other’s use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this Open Source Seeds MTA with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives. If anyone are interested to join the OSSI or share their seeds through The OSSI Pledge in India, they may contact Open Access India, IndiaSeeds.in or the OSSI collaborator in India, the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture.

Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Association of India adopts CC-BY

Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Association of India

The Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Association of India (MAPAI) had adopted creative commons CC-BY license for its official publication Open Access Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (OAJMAP). The recent announcement about this on its journals web page mentions that to fully realize the potential of open access to research literature, barriers to reuse need to be removed and it uses CC-BY and also recommends it as the preferred license for open access publications. It also adds that with the adoption of CC-BY license all those players would be encouraged who wish to develop new knowledge tools and services for making the research discovered and produce new knowledge. The Chief Commons Officer, John Wilbanks in the latest special issue of Nature on ‘The Future of Publishing‘ says that “A licence that is designed just for publishers might feel safer, but it is a fool’s errand”. He also mentions that CC-BY is widely used by scholarly publishers viz., BioMed Central, Hindawi and the Public Library of Science and it fulfills the community definitions of openness.