Biotech companies are doing an end-run around the patentability of DNA sequences by transcoding them as MP3s. Since MP3s, as music, enjoy a 95 year monopoly under the Sonny Bono Anti-Public-Domain Act of 1998, this will give the companies a 95 year "copyright" on the sequences they identify.
"It's taking artistic copyright laws and using them to get around scientific issues," he said. "I think it stinks."
But a copyrighted genetic-based song could serve as a safe way to transfer DNA sequences between scientists, according to Don Pelto, an intellectual property lawyer with Washington firm McKenna Cuneo.