The U.S. Copyright Office registrar has unofficially indicated that DNA sequences are not copyrightable. According to a copyright registrant, a Copyright Office examining official rejected the registrant's attempt to copyright his DNA by submitting his fingernail. The registrant asserted that DNA, represented by his fingernail, constituted a musical work because the chemical compounds inherently found in DNA contain acoustical vibrations. The examiner responded by stating that even if a scientist could excite inert chemical substances into vibration, such acoustic phenomena was not copyrightable because the work was not a product of original human authorship. Among other reasons, the examiner also rejected the registrant's claim that the fingernail represented an original work affixed in a tangible form.
Stephen R. Wilson, Copyright Protection for DNA Sequences: Can the Biotech Industry Harmonize Science With Song?, 44 Jurimetrics J. 409, 451 (2004) (internal footnotes omitted).