Who owns the moon?

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Disembodied
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Who owns the moon?

Post by Disembodied » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:09 am

The question of who owns the moon is about to get very complex: a space lawyer explains.
Countries such as the United States and Luxembourg (as the gateway to the European Union) agree that the moon and asteroids are “global commons,” which means that each country allows its private entrepreneurs, as long as duly licensed and in compliance with other relevant rules of space law, to go out there and extract what they can, to try and make money with it. It’s a bit like the law of the high seas, which are not under the control of an individual country, but completely open to duly licensed law-abiding fishing operations from any country’s citizens and companies. Then, once the fish is in their nets, it is legally theirs to sell.

On the other hand, countries such as Russia and somewhat less explicitly Brazil and Belgium hold that the moon and asteroids belong to humanity as a whole. And therefore the potential benefits from commercial exploitation should somehow accrue for humanity as a whole—or at least should be subjected to a presumably rigorous international regime to guarantee humanity-wide benefits. It’s a bit like the regime originally established for harvesting mineral resources from the deep seabed. Here, an international licensing regime was created as well as an international enterprise, which was to mine those resources and generally share the benefits among all countries.

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Re: Who owns the moon?

Post by Cody » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:50 pm

Interesting! No matter what agreements might be reached, I expect China would only pay lip service to them. The problem extends to Mars, and beyond, of course.
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Re: Who owns the moon?

Post by Disembodied » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:11 pm

You're right: what actually happens will depend on a variety of factors, not least the ability of Party A (and friends) to ignore/impose their will upon Party B (and friends). All transnational agreements are merely provisional.

It may also be worth noting, vis-a-vis private entrepreneurs, that the seas are filling up with plastic and running low on fish.

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Re: Who owns the moon?

Post by Cody » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:59 pm

Establish a base, plant a flag, it's ours! I guess that's the way it'll be. Plus ça change...
As for fish stocks running low, the writing's been on the wall for decades!
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Re: Who owns the moon?

Post by Alex » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:18 am

Silly Question!
I own it. And every thing else within my sight. I just don't waste time having lawyers do whatever they think they are doing.

If you live in the UK, think about it.
Ever heard of a 'Compulsory Purchase Order'? The one that takes your hard earned ownership for slightly less than a song. Just to build a sewage plant or road.
So you have paper work but really, you think you own it?

As for the moon, I only own the half I can see. The other half. Well we'll need much better space ships.
Ownership is nothing more than a trust in another to be trust worthy.
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