I’ve just finished Sir John Sulston’s inspiring book about the Human Genome Project, The Common Thread, in which he discusses how he found himself on one front line of the battle between intellectual ‘property’ maximalism attempting to grab ‘property rights’ over the human genome, and the common good, preserving such rights for all humanity and unfettered research. (Thankfully, he — and therefore the latter side — won.)
I’ve been meaning to post a few choice quotes here about it at some stage, but haven’t had the time — I’ve had to just limit myself to correcting the Wikipedia entry for the Human Genome Project instead. ;)
Anyway, Sir John is in the news again, as part of a new international initiative — the Adelphi Charter:
Called the Adelphi charter, it is an attempt to lay out those principles. Central among them are the ideas that policy should be evidence-based and that it should respect the balance between property and the public domain, not eliminate the latter to maximise the former.
Very encouraging to see something taking off at this level. I hope it does well, and I hope Ireland and the EU’s lawmakers take note, since I’ve been hearing a lot of IP maximalist party-line from there recently…