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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14777/prepare-to-pay-royalties-on-sunshine/

Prepare to Pay Royalties on Sunshine

November 28, 2010 by

A woman in Spain has been declared the rightful owner of the sun and she plans to charge the rest of the world for “using” it; i.e., for in any way taking advantage of the heat or light emanating from it. This may sound ridiculous and somewhat humorous, but it is true. Angeles Duran followed the laws of the nation in Spain when she registered the sun as her property, following the lead of American Dennis Hope, who is the registered owner of the moon and most of the planets in the solar system.

Of course, this shows how utterly ridiculous the view of gaining property rights through the state is. Anything registered as property with a state agency is declared property and enforced using our tax money. Be it the sun (which, I think, was there long before Ms. Duran), a genetic code, or a thought. Creation is not necessary, and neither is the Lockean “mixing” with one’s labor – and use or possession is equally irrelevant. What matters is “registration.”

One cannot but agree with the proponents of the radical socialist movement, who claim property is “theft” and “impossible” (to use Proudhon’s words) and an exploitative privilege granted by the state without philosophical grounds. The ownership of the sun and everything that comes from it pinpoints one of the many problems with state capitalism: that it is all about the bureaucratic process and using the legal system to one’s benefit at the cost of others.

Contemporary corporate state capitalism is to a large extent a zero sum system for profit where those who do not earn profits are forced to support those who do. The difference to a positive sum free market system is gargantuan.

Ms. Duran will now take her right to the courts in order to have well over six billion people pay for the “use” of her star. Showing her true statist stripes, she will use her “just” income in the proper way: half of the proceeds will be given to the Spanish government and an additional twenty percent will be used to prop up the nation’s public pension fund.

It is a wonderful world.


Angry Exile November 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm

As a commenter pointed out on Watts Up With That, Ms Duran may not have considered that a large number of skin cancer sufferers now have someone they can sue. What the hell is the woman thinking of, allowing an uncontained fusion explosion to carry on like that without even putting up a warning sign?

Juraj November 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Indeed, she’s aggressing against the Earth as her property emits harmful radiation. Thank God for that Joe down the street who owns the Earth’s protective layer.


Dave Narby November 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm

So, Spain has the dubious honor of most F’d up IP laws in the EU? Great example of how reform is needed.

But unfortunately for one of the central thesis of this article; without the state your property is relegated to only that which you can physically defend.

If you think that’s not the case, then I have a quick way for you to make $100 US.

Send me your address with a signed and notarized document stating that you do not recognize any state defense of your property rights, you’re going to take care of it by yourself; and I’ll send you a crisp, new $100.00 FRN in return for your unwanted state property protection.

Andras November 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm

You are absolutely wrong!!
It is not IP, it is all physical. It is homesteading.

Bruce Koerber November 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Who does she think she is, the Secretary-General of the United Nations? The proposed usage fee is just simply a tax.

james b. longacre November 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm

i claim the solar system and thus will charge her rent…to offset her sun charges as humanities benefactor.

DixieFlatline November 28, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Per Bylund,

She probably used customary law (since she went through a notary), which does not require a state.

Do you object to customary law?

Marco Polo November 28, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Imagine that the sun is running out of power, rather like the oceans are running out of tuna. The libertarian response, I think, is to claim that the problem of over-fishing/over-use of resources is because no-one owns the resource. Tuna would never run out if someone owned the ocean.

So now a woman has claimed the sun. Libertarians should be dancing in the streets! I know that libertarians support the concept of homesteading (Locke’s “property + labor = claim of ownership”), and that therefore this woman’s “ownership” is easily contested. Leaving that aside, however, surely the woman’s action highlights the ridiculousness of the idea of “owning” what one might call “the commons”.

J. Murray November 29, 2010 at 6:29 am

If she takes up residence on the surface of Sol for the next 8 years and maintains it, then I’ll let her own it. Tuna can be maintained and repopulated. Once the Sun runs out, that’s it, game over.

mushindo November 29, 2010 at 7:13 am

Am I the only one who sees the tongue wedged firmly in this lady’s cheek? From where Im sitting, it looks like she’s pointing up the absurdity of Spanish Law, and is going to see how far she can push it up its own orifice…….. come on guys, don’t get all offended, cheer her on – the further she pushes this, the more ridiculous the law of the State will look in the eyes of Jose Public.

Tim November 30, 2010 at 10:25 pm

I hereby claim possession of time and demand all causal processes in the universe to pay me a tax for using my property!

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