MNT as Common Heritage of Mankind

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Common Heritage of Mankind (CHM) is an appropriation concept found in Moon Treaty, the UNCLOS and Antartic Treaty. Explanation on what CHM is can be found here.


I am proposing to use CHM for MNT’s core technology. But CHM is an appropriation concept for locus, you might ask. That’s true. CHM is an extension of old roman concepts of Res Nullius and Res Communis. They are both, in a sense, a doctrine for locus appropriation and MNT is knowledge, not locus.


But, let’s take a closer look. Both land-related rights and knowledge related-related rights existed at the same branch of law: property. Land rights are categorized as real property and knowledge-related rights are categorized as intellectual property (IP).


IP was developed in the 17th century, after British rulers issued the Statute of Anne. IP concept is –historically – an extension of properiatary doctrines. By taking historical analogy, I find it OK to extend CHM to today’s knowledge related rights toward MNT.


Why not declare it a Public Domain? Good question. Public Domain is not similar to CHM. This is what Public Domain means. CHM is not merely “not getting paid for your knowledge work”. It also means joint management. So, when CHM concept is utilized, MNT will be developed jointly where all earth citizens have a stake, as has been done through ISBA.


The CHM-ISBA concept will enable a single, joint MNT development for all earth’s citizen. This sounds a bit utopian, but I guess this is what’s ethically correct.