License infringements exist when open-source material is used for the development of a variety that is to be covered by patent or plant variety rights.
Infringements can be proven by a combination of several methods:
- an inspection and analysis of the documentation on the pedigree and the breeding process of the new variety; since 2016 a detailed documentation for every breeding process is mandatory;
- a comparison of phenotypes and other varietal characteristics,
- a comparison of gene mapping data between original material and new developments.
Such a proof of infringements can be fairly simple in some cases and quite elaborate in others, but generally, license violations can be proven conclusively.
But we are not Big Brother. We consider it a common task and the responsibility of all users to ensure that open source remains open source, as unpunished licensing offenses could have negative repercussions for everyone. Our idea is also to initiate a social process in which everyone is responsible and everyone takes part in exchanging observations.