To better understand what a new Common Good and more particularly a digital good is, the best example to illustrate this point is to talk about the Internet. A COMMON is something that benefits, fairly (see point 3 below), those who can access it. In the past, COMMONS were more or less limited to local areas. And mainly to the exploitation of natural resources.
Today, when a Common Good, a COMMONS, is by itself, Universal, it can, potentially, benefit everyone. This is the great strength of the Digital Commons. By their nature, they can be profitable and enjoyable for the greatest number of people. And the INTERNET is a new COMMON GOOD. We must be aware of this. We must realize and understand that by setting and sharing universally accepted Standards, we create not only a much larger one, but new Goods / Services and Enterprises (The Internet Eco-System with GAFA and BATX). These norms (and not only standards), which have generated digital codings and vice versa, are the result of years of work and research carried out by people, mainly funded (see French Cyclades initiative), initially by the American Administration (through public funds distributed via the Army and then to universities). This Administrative entity has given time and resources to create these new COMMON Assets. It required human energy, inventiveness. It was difficult. It was a pioneering process. But, in the end, she succeeded. And now, any human can enjoy the Internet. What an evolution compared to previous years!
It is the strength of COMMONS to have both the collective level of the Community in which it is exercised developed. And also, directly, the level of prosperity of the individuals who are in this Community.
Then we can remember that:
COMMUNICATIONS are capable of creating and bringing an incredible source of prosperity to Humanity.
Let us become aware of “wealth” in all its forms, human, social, technological, financial etc…. brought by the Digital COMMONS that is the Internet through the gigantic Eco-System that it represents (From Developer- Local Website Designer to GAFAM and BATX).
What will be the next great Digital (or physical) COMMON Goods that we will create together?
What new Eco-Systems can we create? Both gigantic in economic size and on a human scale?
COMMUNICATIONS are based on equity of access. This does not mean equality. Potentially, we can find this quite simply in the so-called developed countries, with access to the Internet. Potentially, any individual with access to the Internet can access it as much as they wish. That’s the fair game. The potentials are the same for all. However, in addition to the fact that each person can spend as much time as they want, from 0 to, in theory, 24 hours a day; and that some can therefore spend more time than others; it is especially how they will use the Internet Resource that will make the difference. Some will choose to watch Cat Videos all day long[Grumpy Cat ==> Digital Regrets], others will prefer to learn about the latest science hypotheses. But at the beginning everyone has the same potential. This is what also characterizes COMMONS, or at least the New COMMONS. It is the individual action of each Member of the Community that creates for itself its own harvest, proportional to the exploitation of the Common Resource.
The Internet COMMONS, like all Digital COMMONS, has absolutely (or almost no) shortage problems. The “consumption” of a good from the COMMONS Internet Resource, unlike the consumption of a fish in a Common Lake, does not lead to its disappearance. Viewing a Video on the Internet does not prevent others from seeing it as well (Except when it is the exception to the rule, namely the principle of the application itself is not to allow the duration in time of the resource being viewed, see Snap Chat). And even at the same time. See the article on the subject.
Article Initiated on 20/03/2019.
Update on 28/05/2019
This post is also available in: Français (French)