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William Pattison 's Blog

New Year Fun: Shoot for the Moon then Abstract the Lunar Homestead
by William Pattison | 2015/01/01 |

   An interesting bit of fluff is the occasional news story about entrepreneurs who sell parcels of land on the Moon. 

 

  Have you ever considered what it takes to search title on a property that is extraterresterial?  Well, here's a primer for you.

William Pattison 's Blog ::

   First off, we must understand the basis in law for such claims.  A quick read on Wikipedia provides a all-too-brief overview of some of the theory and application of laws throughout history.

 

    The Outer Space Treaty of the 1960's is often misunderstood as to barring ownership in outer space.  However, it actually only prevents nations from making territorial claims to celestial bodies and does not address the rights of the individual to hold and control land.  As a result of this, one enterprising individual declared the nation of "Celestis" to be in existence in the 1960's.  As a self-declared King of Celestis, he sold certificates granting title to parcels of Lunar land as metered out from the location of the  original Apollo landing site.  His family has continued this business to this day.

  Taking wind from such efforts, a few groups of people have set out to sell land.  Some offering official looking deeds, maps, and informational packages about their Loonie Citizenship.  Others with larger visions have sold naming rights to stars and land on other bodies in our solar system.  

  Given the recent Kepler telescope findings demonstrating that virtually every star in the galaxy bears a planetary system, there appears to be plenty of land for the taking in the universe.

   BUT, HOW DO WE SEARCH THE TITLE, you ask? 

  Somebody in the 1980's came up with the brilliant realization that the Moon actually passes through the virtual "air space" of earthly jurisdictions.  Calculating that it passes over Luna County, New Mexico in it's orbit, they began to record homestead claims describing Lunar lands at the Luna County Recorders Office.  Naturally, in order to locate the records, one would need to start the research a bit non-traditionally;  no mapping program, assessment roll, parcel viewer, sales list or  property tax listing will exist as to help define current ownership or lot status.  A survey of individual homestead declarations day-by-day and year-by-year would need to be accomplished in order to compile a database of registered Moon lots.  In point of fact, it might be necessary to do so in each and every recording jurisdiction which the Moon passes over, in order to be comprehensive in the research.

   A review of all legal entities, corporate or individual or otherwise, as to the nature of their claim, their legal standing, and any records that they maintain, would certainly be critical to crafting a comprehensive ownership report.

  It has not been uncommon for claims of ownership to be listed with micro-state groups (thanks to Celestis above), so researching the records of micro-patrological nations may be necessary in addition the those of the standard recognized countires.

  Due to the difficult getting official government agencies to accept Looney filings, cliams have sometimes been made by way of intellectual properties:  claims in book form registered with ISBN numbers and registered copyrights may mean conducting Copyright, Patent, and Trademark searches online at the Library of Congress website.  Business name filings, internet address registration, and simple Google searches are yet other viable routes that claimants have taken for securing their interplanetary property rights.  Consider the number of space probes bearing personal messages from Earthly donors or SETI projects beaming signals into space as places that some humans have posted notice of their intended planetary residence

Finally, before issuing your report, an extremely long list of exceptions, disclosure, disclaimers, warnings and notification limiting all sorts of liabilities and reliances would need to be attached.

 




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William Pattison 's Blog

 

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