Can I buy a land on the moon?

Moonestates seem to think that I can legally buy and own arceage on the moon. Not to mention Venus and Mars.

They make reference to a couple of treaties there which allegedly make what they do above board.
I know that ripping large swathes of text is frowned upon, so please check the original FAQ linked from their homepage.In essence, it seems that an oversight in the wording of Treaty 1 allows private individuals to own or exploit the moon, while forbidding governments to do so.
Treaty 2 attempted to plug this loophole but it was only signed by a very few countries.
Is this in fact legal, does the person behind this site own the moon, Mars and Venus as he advertises?

How could he own it?
from whom could he have purchased it (apart from another shyster)?

These sort of things are scams that rely on the fact that you are never going to be able to go to the moon and build a house on the land you have supposedly purchased.

I have a feeling that the ‘have a star named after you’ schemes are the same.

The star registries are certainly scams. The small print points out that they “register” stars under your name. The kicker is that this registration is not legally recognised by anyone in the world. You’re paying to get your name in a book that nobody reads.

IIRC the treaty prevents countries from owning land in space. It doesn’t mention anything about people owning land - that is the loophole that is exploited.

So some people ‘claimed’ parts of the solar system including Eros (the astroid that we recently landed a probe on). The so-called owned actually wrote a letter to NASA stating that he doesn’t mind them landing a probe on his property - I’m sure NASA got a good laugh on that one.

As for ownership, you don’t have to purchase it - your claim has to be reconized by others or if they refuse, you must be able to defend it.

More on star registries:

( from this astronomy website )

One of the main tenets of consumer legislation in the UK is that you have to own something in order to sell it. How does this organisation “own” the moon? How can it prove it has ownership as opposed to any other person or body that claims ownership?

And, as Mangetout points out, what’s the point? You’ll end up paying for a meaningless piece of paper. Moon colonisation is not likely to occur in the near future, and there’s plenty of moon to go round. Whoever physically gets there first will be the de facto owner: I’d like to see a court on earth enforce a ruling that someone building on the moon must cease and desist immediately!

Interesting. So I can just claim out loud, “I own Europa” and until someone mugs me (metaphorically) for the deeds (written in biro on the back of an envelope) I can sell pieces of it to my hearts content.
Moonestates has a little section in their FAQ threatening legal action against anyone else trying to sell bits of the moon/mars etc. Would they have a case if I set up a website and did just that?

Here goes: I own Europa.
I will now inform Moonestates of this so they won’t offer bits of it for sale by mistake. I will however sell my claim to them for the bargain price of £1,000 (One thousand pounds sterling)

On Star Registry:
Sure, it may be bunk, but if you consider it buying a suitable-for-framing print with your (or your loved one’s) name and some coordinates for $20 or so, and don’t actually think that you’ve bought a star or naming rights to that star, it ain’t money badly spent. Buying one for your sweetie might even get you laid. Worked for me. :wink:

On Owning the Moon:
My father owns one square foot of the moon. Back in the 40’s an offer was made through a cereal package and cost something like $1. He got a deed that looked official (so he said - it got tossed long ago). Was it legit? Of course not. That’s not the point. Back in the 40’s what kid wouldn’t want to own a piece of the moon, you know, the place where aliens made their base camp? Gosh anyone who watched two news reels, a serial and a feature movie for 10 cents on Saturday would know where base camp was located.

With today’s home computer printer, you can print out your own suitable-for-framing certificate.

Here are the coordinates of a star. (A real star–something you won’t necessarily get from one of those joints.)

RA: 02 hours 10 minutes 29.4251 seconds
Dec: +15 degrees 09 minutes 05.348 seconds

There you go. Free of charge.

If you have to have a star named after you, please use this one. Don’t send any money to those con artists!

My mother has mentioned that, too. Her recollection was that somebody made them stop doing it because the Moon wasn’t theirs to sell. A little searching suggests that the cereal company was Nabisco - a couple of sites mention the promotion in connection with “Shreddies”, which may be a UK only product.

Apparently I don’t own Europa after all. I fired off an email to moonestates informing them that they had better not try to sell my property.

They replied that they already claimed all the planetary bodies in the whole Solar System back in 1980(apart from Earth of course).
They also claim to have successfully sued other people who tried to sell extraterrestrial property rights. Is there any way I can check that?
Are there publically accesssible records of that sort of thing here in the UK? IANAL so I have no idea.

I haven’t found any evidence of legal cases. Ask them to supply details.

maybe if we act right now we can lay claim to their asses. And sell them in 1 mm[sup]2[/sup] parcels. Give out real offical certificates.

I can’t wait till they have to defend them from invasion. What do you think they’ll call that war? USA versus Bill Schmootz? I wonder what crafty theme music CNN will come up with?

There have been several moons (among other junk) discovered since 1980. Did they lay claim to these as well?

If you’re going to name a star after yourself, stay away from this one. It’s mine:

RA: 01h 37m 42.5s
Dec: -57° 14’ 12

I haven’t found any evidence either. Tell them to go get fucked, and that you’ll see them in court. And tell them as the God-Emperor of Europe (long may you reign!) that the penalty for landing on Europa is death (carried out on Europa, of course…don’t want to be threatening anyone while you are still here on Earth, after all). Call their bluff.

Here’s the answer from an actual astronomer (the answer is “no” due to international treaties signed back in the 1960s).

“Buying a star” is a scam too. Only the International Astronomy Union (I think that’s the name) has the accepted authority to name astronomical objects.

Cheers, Phobos. The company’s FAQ (link in the OP) makes reference to those treaties and they seem to allow private individuals to claim ownership of celestial bodies. Whether the claims will stand up in court is open to debate.
Moonestates have told me the so-called owner: Dennis Hope, has successfully shut down other operations trying to sell lunar real estate through the US courts. Anyone know of an online resource that will let me check court records? I’ve requested case numbers etc. from Moonestates. Whether they come through with them will be quite telling.

And may I say thanks to everyone who has replied. Especially Anthracite who - by the way - rules. This little quest is turning out to be the highlight of my week.

We’ll see what Dennis Hope (A.K.A THE HEAD CHEESE. :rolleyes: ) has to say on the subject. My emails have all been passed to him and he will “deal with it if he decides it’s necessary.”

ooooh I’m shakin.

Or maybe so, (using Moonestates logic) since it was in the 40’s and before the treaty prevented companies from owning extratestrial property. It was deeded to persons for $1/ sqft. So a person owned it before Moonestates was born.

If those so called court cases are real I would love to see cerial box moon owner vs. moonestates for the prize piece of realestate (hopefully that 1 sq ft whould be right in the middle preventing construction of the moon mansion.)

You are quite welcome, atarian. However, I did goof somewhat in my post.

You can tell them you are the God-Emperor of Europe, but it’s likely better if you ignore my mis-type and say “Europa” instead. :o