• The Common Good and Access to Remote Sensing Data. The Key to Becoming Information Rich

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Catherine Doldirina, PhD, is a post-doctoral space law research fellow at the Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University and Co-chair of Space Generation Advisory Council. She has been conducting legal research related to space activities since 2005, her expertise being intellectual property law and general issues of international space law.)


The research, using the regulatory examples of the USA and Europe, compares the effectiveness of legal regimes of intellectual property protection (copyright), and of the regulation of public sector information on the other in securing access to and use of remote sensing data. On the basis of this analysis the argument is made, that the unnecessary commodification of remote sensing data through private property‐like protection regimes will adversely influence their use and diminish their value. The principle of sharing, based on the theories of common property and the common good, is proposed as the best and most appropriate solution to avoid development of such a scenario. Its viability and effectiveness lies in the emphasis on the balance between the private interests and the public needs in the achievement of the common good of a better life that today manifests itself inter alia in being information rich. Practical value of the principle of sharing manifests through its role in successful implementation and operations of such projects as the Geographic Earth Observation System of Systems.

MATERIAS: common good, Data Access, GEOSS, Licensing, Remote sensing, Copyright Law