a prescriptive easement?

From: Steve Allen <sla_at_ucolick.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2003 00:48:43 -0700

Within the various volumes of deliberations on the requirements for
radio broadcast time signals the repeated underlying motivation is
that the signals should be useful to navigators. Throughout the
history of radio broadcast time signals, it has been deemed that
the value of use to navigators has been a form of mean solar time.

Nevertheless, the signals have also been of use for civil and legal
purposes, because mean solar time has also been deemed as the value of
use to people. It could be argued that the long history of
broadcasting mean solar time has produced what is known as a
"prescriptive easement". That could be interpreted to mean that
broadcast time signals have created an ongoing obligation to provide
mean solar time for civil and legal purposes even if mean solar
time is no longer deemed suitable for navigational purposes.

I have seen it written that ITU recommendations must be approved
unanimously by the member nations. Might it be easy to derail
a change that ceases to provide mean solar time altogether?
How accurately does a radio broadcast time signal need to
provide mean solar time in order to satisfy all members?

Steve Allen          UCO/Lick Observatory       Santa Cruz, CA 95064
sla_at_ucolick.org      Voice: +1 831 459 3046     http://www.ucolick.org/~sla
PGP: 1024/E46978C5   F6 78 D1 10 62 94 8F 2E    49 89 0E FE 26 B4 14 93
Received on Wed Sep 03 2003 - 00:58:01 PDT

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