Our Mission

Protect, publish, and preserve vulnerable plants, using copyleft, research, and education.

A Community Commons for Vulnerable Plants

We are creating community commons for vulnerable plants. The community commons approach acts as an ecosystem where each part of the community is benefited by the work of the whole, and thereby the community gains protections and resources that would be impossible separately. This approach is fostered by, and it’s users protected by, the nonprofit.

We are creating this community commons system for the planet. Whether you come from the agricultural community, academia, the plant medicine community, conservation and environmental stewardship actions,  or emerging markets, Copyleft Cultivars welcomes you.

Our community is oriented around the protection and promotion of three public goods:

plant genetics, biodiversity, and cultural autonomy.

We view these public goods as intersectionality related, reifying each other and working in concert as foundational pillars to create a resilient ecology. Plant genetics are contested as public goods primarily through the dominant intellectual property system, which allows for the privatization and exclusive ownership of plant genetics under certain circumstances, but are historical public goods across nearly all cultures.

Biodiversity is widely recognized as a public good, but faces a classic tragedy-of-the-commons market failure driven by a centralizing and homogenizing suite of trade rules that can be broadly characterized as neoliberal. We view cultural autonomy as connected to biodiversity, but identify it as a discrete public good because of its connection to other political public goods, such as human rights and freedom.

Our community supports each of these public goods through hacks into the intellectual property system, adopting biomimetic approaches to intellectual property licensing rooted in open-source, copyleft/patentleft, and “ethical IP” practices.