Stronger Together

In News by Mars Register

The Campaign & The Claim… “Stronger together”

With further mainstream media attention expected soon, we should further articulate our message here.  So, aiming for clarity:

We are doing 2 things, one of which is deliberately provocative:

1. Campaigning to get the UN committees (COPUOS mainly) to update the old Outer Space Treaty, which turns 50 next year.
2. Claiming “actual possession” of all land on Mars and seeking legal Due Process towards land title registration.

Because these 2 issues don’t at first seem to sit well together, I think the first reaction from anybody would be: “here’s another scamster who is selling planetary land that he has no right to”. Of course we know there are plenty of them. We don’t intend to be one of them.


You see, there is actually a very clear link between the 2 projects:


The Outer Space Treaty (OST) was a beautiful child of its time in 1967. An amazing feat for that cold-war period. It is fantasticaly strong against nuclear weapons getting into space and against sovereign nations appropriating any celestial land. BUT, it is full of holes which make it vulnerable to many challenges and also has not been updated… ever.  As time went by it became increasingly obvious that space exploration and development would not just not just be a national governmental affair. Commercial input was needed and indeed was keen to get involved… but without any framework at all within the OST for space commerce, there was no confidence for space-biz investors and fundraisers. Despite the obvious need to add some framework (in law) for space commerce, COPUOS just could not agree anything meaningful for over 40 years (apart from the failed moon agreement, which didn’t address commerce anyway).


The Americans (and we don’t blame them) were the first to crack. It was obvious that all nations were starting to lose faith in the UN and the OST, but the US drew first with their US Space Act ratified by Obama last year. Although it flies in the face of the old OST, this law now allows US commercial ventures to grab an asteroid, mine it, and sell/keep the resources. Now that all that platinum is up for grabs there are at least 3 big US companies raising billions for asteroid mining and Mars missions. The other big space faring countries dont like it and they will really kick off when the first commercial asteroid mission launches in the next 5 years.


So individual nations, fed up with no updates to OST, are now making their own space laws. Of course, this means the OST (and UN itself) is even further devalued. The OST can legitimately be dropped by any signatory nation. It was already looking vulnerable, now it looks to be toast unless it gets updated to accommodate space business, reasserts its strength against weapons and tightens up on all land appropriation.  The tragedy is, the OST is actually strong against weapons (its the ONLY law) but will likely be dropped or completely ignored because its bad for business! Then there really will be nothing to stop weaponization of space … something the Chinese Miltary now say is a matter of historical certainty. Nuclear weaponization of space would be a real and nasty threat to all of us.


Just lobbying the UN isn’t going to force their hand. We hoped that coming into the OST’s 50th year we might get COPUOS to seize the spirit of 1967 and agree an update. Unfortunately, as you can see from their emails to me (see
http://mars.sale/news) they really do agree with our goals but have little positive energy whatsoever to inject into the matter.  Just read the email from the Head of UK delegation to COPUOS ( he’s practicaly saying, “Yes, we agree it would be great to maybe one day get an update to the Space Treaty, but it will be awfully difficult”). Perhaps that’s a little unfair to him as he is dealing with an international committee of 77 members, but I would still like to see a bit of steely ambition.

So if lobbying them isnt going to cut it what would? … That’s when we realised that the only way to get the UN committees to see the weakness in the OST was to openly demonstrate one of the many “loopholes” in an International Court of Law/Arbitration. Embarrass, worry or irritate them into action!


If we could develop a celestial land claim that satisfied current consensus in public International law and could successfully traverse the loopholes in Space law then we could elegantly set up a high profle case for Arbitration before the world’s media in 2017, the OST’s 50th year. That’s what we are aiming to do. Our land claim case is made. We know it is sufficiently well founded in International law to be deserving of Due Process. We are also certain that it cannot be blocked by the OST (or any of the extrapolated interpretations of space law). The Permanent Court of Arbitration (The Hague) stand ready to arbitrate for this claim, pending consent. To publicly show the OST to be in tatters would spell crunch time for COPUOS. Either update the OST and re-establish international respect for both the Treaty and UN… or pathetically fade away.


So that is the reason for the twin processes in our work.
The Campaign and The Claim …they link together with poweful synergy. Through demonstrating some of the real weakness in the OST, the legal Mars claim makes Treaty update more likely. Through our pro-peace (and UN Trusteeship) campaign, the Mars land claim also has a higher chance of being successful (because a court/registry can then feel more able to decide the outcome on purely legally correct grounds with reduced concern for consequence either way).

So, Questions…


1. And what about the nature of our land claim? How can we possibly legally sell claims to Mars land when we aren’t the registered owner?(see below 1)

2. Why do we need people to pay a small fee to join us? (see below 2)


1. Well, this is where we differ massively from ALL those novelty celestial deeds purveyors.


Effective Occupation (by nations in International law) is fully equated to Factual Possession (by individuals in Private law). Anybody claiming (with decent honest evidence) to have exclusive and actual possession of land can sell off a part or all of that claim (land claims). Similar to a squatter selling off part or all of his squat (before title registration is awarded). We dont have to be the registered land owner to sell such claims (they are  not title deeds). So we are selling off parts of our current claim. These fellow land claimants, for a small fee, join us in our communal land claim, based on our ongoing and exclusive “factual possession” of Mars. They get a certified land claim certificate and we hold limited personal details on our files in order for registration applications (to the UN). This is LEGITIMATE and LEGAL. We dont mislead our members. They know what they are getting (see 2 links on our home page to
http://mars.sale/whatdoiget ). We clearly state that these are not DEEDs. Only a recognised land owner or registry can issue deeds. In our eyes, the only body that could form a celestial registry is the UN (although the Permanent Court of Arbitration has come forward as an alternative option). Thus we advise our members that we will take our communal claim repeatedly to the UN in order to push for Due process. Now we have uncovered the “pathway” to Due Process and registration, things are moving a bit faster than we anticipated. 2017 cant come soon enough!

So we are entirely legal and correct to tell prospective members/claimants that in joining us they will get a claim to celestial land that is honestly based on current law and is absolutely the strongest claim to celestial land that has ever been filed to date. That is a fact. We are sure that we will eventually get our Due Process. The chance of us actually getting title registration is a different matter. It must be modest but it is a definate chance (hence you should read our “declaration of intent” which covers all the issues around UN Trusteeship should we actually find ourselves gaining the title!). But if we dont get the land title award, it wont be because of space law. We will cruise through that (we know that some space lawyers are starting to realise that). If we dont get the land it will be because the court can reasonably raise the bar for proof of possession… effectively they will be saying that land on Mars is worth more than geographically equivalent land on Earth, because of strategic value. That could well happen but we will put up a fight.


2. We started off issuing land claims for free but changed to a small fee when we realised that in order to boost our search engine response we needed to advertise through Adwords. With Adwords and hosting and a new small price-structure (the standard rate equates to 1 cent for 10 acres), we see we need to attract 3 land claimants a day to stay afloat. We did have an initial fund (£10k) set aside for legal arbitration but we now know that is hopelessly small. Hence we have tried to court media to help us boost numbers as well as get our campaign message accross. We are now on the right tract. We need to get 15000 members at least to fund the 2 stage Arbitration process.


But again, we absolutely need to differentiate ourselves from those novelty deeds purveyors. Certainly if there are people out there (and there have been millions of them, I gather) who are willing to buy expensive celestial novelty gift certificates, then we would like to tempt them to join us instead!


If those people are buying those “deeds” with the fully informed knowledge that they are a legally irrelevant novelty, then that’s fine. Perhaps their certificates look nicer than ours (although I dont think they do). They are the celestial equivalent of “world’s best dad” certificates. But I dont think that those buyers are being suitably informed before purchase. If you look at those websites (buymars.com , lunarembassy.com , lunarland.com and their UK franchise at moonestates.com ), they do not suggest anything other than fully legal deeds being sold. That’s right, they sell deeds (not legal claims). Their deed certificates have a small stamp on them saying “this is a novelty gift” (which keeps them out of jail). Nowhere prominent on the website (apart from very small print somewhere) do you get told this. Everywhere else its full of self-certifying glorification, talking about legitimate trademarks and copyrights (as if such things confer legitimacy on their business!). The only company that clearly tells you up front that their deeds are just “novelties” is buyplanetmars.com


So we absolutely do not wish to be lumped in with them. Our claims offer is absolutely legal (so no novelty stamp), is about 1000 times cheaper than them ($0.01 versus $149 for the same 10 acres) and actually does provide a real (but modest) chance for celestial land ownership (or possible nominal fee payment in return from UN). The communal claim also provides our fellow land claimants with a truly positive hope that we all together can help secure peace for our future generations through our UN lobbying, and hopefully, a decision day at the PCA (court). We stand by those facts.


A BRAND NEW PROCESS!…

A further fact: through our multiple communications to/from UN, PCA and other contacts, we have finally uncovered the pathway or process by which a clestial land claim may be legally considered for title registration. Before we came on the scene, the “process” didn’t actually exist. Now it has sprung into being!…

So, here is the process by which we can legitimately go from making a claim to getting title registration to land on planet Mars:

1. Form a legally robust claim based on existing law and not blocked by any existing law. Show persistence and exclusivity (our claim is exclusive and already over 6 years in duration).
There is no point using a weak or frivolous claim as it will ultimately cost a lot of money and get screened out before getting to court for due process).

2. If we had a huge war-chest of cash then we dont need this bit (but we didn’t). Otherwise we need people to join us in our claim. This is actually very legal. It becomes a communal claim under one single action of Possession/Occupation (you see it in private law with land squatters. There is no problem with this in International law). So for a small price, people join us in our claim and are provisionally allocated a plot of land on Mars (for later random allocation, pending successful registration, varying in size from 25-100 square kilometers!). If we can get several thousand people to join we may have enough to pay for the required arbitration process. We must therefore tell all people who join us that although their claim is stronger (and more legitimate) than any claim that has gone before, the chance that we will actually get our hands on the celestial land is still modest. But, importantly, we are striving for peace in space (our campaign)…. and a high profile Court case will allow us to shout about that very publicly with hopefully much media attention.  If we can worry or irritate the UN enough they might actually use the OST 50th anniversary as a rallying call to update the old Treaty before its too late. We can all then say we helped to secure peace for our future generations … that would be cool.
[Remember also, we are selling LAND CLAIMS. NOT DEEDS. We dont have to be the recognised OWNER of land to sell claims, just in current exclusive possession. You do have to be owner or an officially recognised registry to sell DEEDS. Customers who pay 1 cent for 10 acres are provisionally allocated the land and join us in our communal claim (based on actual possession) which we will endevour to progress to full title registration (ie deeds).]

3. UNOOSA have told us that to advance this claim we need a COPUOS member to propose to committee that our claim be considered for due process (Due process is a fundamental right in most developed countries. It is in the US constitution and applies to land/property claims. It is called natural justice in UK. It now also exists in International law). The UN would be on very shaky ground (legally) if they blocked a legal consideration of our right to due process. If they do agree, the legal consideration can be conducted either by a bespoke UN Court (even the ICJ) or by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA, who have communicated with us and can feasably do this).

4. So, a legal consideration of our right to due process, either by a bespoke UN court/registry or, more likely, the PCA (This may cost us $30,000). This is where the strength of our claim comes in. Because it is consistent with consensus in current public international law and is not blocked by space law, we are 95% certain that the PCA would find our claim case worthy of Due Process.  We have had expert legal advice to indicate this.

5. With the verdict from PCA being that our case DOES merit proper “Due process” (ie. the full consideration of our right to celestial land title registration), the UN has a problem. In the eyes of the world it can’t credibly ignore the PCA decision. They would be ‘obligated’ to form a majority decision (at COPUOS) to proceed with the legal process. With their lawyers reassuring them that space law can still block all celestial land claims they will have to face us in a full Court of Arbitration. This could be a bespoke UN construct or ICJ, but again it is most likely to be the PCA. They have specific rules for arbitration on disputes over outer space activities. They have been expecting us! We would expect the UN’s position to be that this celestial land is Res Communis and protected by space law from any acquisition (irrespective whether a Nation, a company or an individual). Our expert advice tell us that we will surprise them on this. They will find that space law actually doesnt stop us. Our problem (for celestial land acquisition) is that the proof bar for possession of celestial land may feasably be raised higher than for equivalent land on Earth by an International Court, because of the strategic importance of Mars. They would effectively be saying that Mars land is worth more than land on Earth. They might well be able to do that, but not without a strong challenge.

6. With such a high profle court case looming (so a chance for us to highlight our campaign goals) there comes a real chance that the land could be awarded to us and our fellow land claimants. What chance? 10% Higher? Remember, if we do actually get title award, we have it in our “declaration of intent” that the court must appoint a UN body as trustee of the celestial land. This is the long-term outcome we want (UN Trusteeship of space) and it might allow the PCA to make an honest decision on pure legal merit without worry that we (as landowners) will hog the land and become obstructive.
So with a modest but very real chance of getting land on Mars, we would expect many people to join us at this stage. This would certainbly be needed as we expect to have to pay $50,000 – $100,000++ for such a court case to progress. Ideally we wish to pay for the total court process ourselves, so as to avoid the UN taking from taxpayers money.

7. The court process (the Due Process). We would expect that the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) would be appointed to conduct this. Brooks W Daly, their deputy secretary general, has stated that their bespoke rules could feasably be used for this case, provided we have all necessary consent.  That consent should be a majority vote from COPUOS. We would use the media interest around a unique case like this to press for change to the OST. By openly showing the loopholes to exist, we clearly demonstrate the need to tidy it up, SOON. There will be commercial space ventures landing on Mars and asteroids in the next decade and their land claims may not be so benign. A strong, improved, widely accepted space treaty can stop such reckless acquisitions and can keep weapons out of space.

Right now we are applying pressure on the UK and US members of COPUOS. They are shifting uncomfortably right now. We will give them a couple of months to reach a final position in our negotiations. We are well placed to sue them if they dont act but we hope not to have to do that (we actually just need any one member to cooperate in order to get the ball rolling again. There are 77 of them, most of whom did not sign the ‘moon agreement’ so do not have a legally strong reason to refuse us.