This Guy Has Owned the Moon Since 1980 Because He Says So 
Becoming a planet owner is a lot easier than you might think. All you have to do is take a quick glance at an astronomical map, pick out whichever planet or moon tickles your fancy, tell everyone you own it, and you’re set. It’s a little like telling a man in a bar that you own his freshly bought pint because you say you do, only less dangerous because there’s no one to hospitalize you in outer space. 
Dennis M. Hope is an American man who did just that and is now planet overlord of the moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Io (one of Jupiter’s moons). Dennis happened to be broke when he started collecting planets and worked out a way to monetize his new hobby: claim legal ownership via the UN, subdivide his extra-terrestrial land and sell it off in chunks. It’s probably about the best business model I’ve ever heard of (besides Ponzi schemes, obviously—those things are golden), which may be why Dennis has been able to use the celestial property game as his sole source of income since 1995.          
My dad was gifted a nugget of moon for his birthday this year from Dennis’ company, Moon Estates, which reminded me of all the times I’d heard about similar gifts and thought, This is is dumb, how can anybody own the moon? So I gave Dennis a call to help put my cynicism to bed. 
The author’s dad’s deed to land on the moon.
VICE: Hi Dennis. How did you end up owning and selling off chunks of the moon?Dennis M. Hope: I started in 1980 when I was going through a divorce. I was out of money and thought maybe I could make some if I owned some property, then I looked out the window, saw the moon, and thought, Hey, there’s a load of property! So I went to the library, looked up the 1968 Outer Space Treaty and, sure enough, Article 2 stated: “No nation by appropriation shall have sovereignty or control over any of the satellite bodies.” Meaning it was unowned land. 
But how did you acquire it?I just filed a claim of ownership for the moon, the other eight planets and their moons, and sent it to the United Nations with a note stating that my intent was to subdivide and sell the property to anybody who wanted it. I told them that if they had a legal problem with it they should please let me know.
Did they ever get back to you?They never responded. Shame on them! I’ve never had a challenge to my claim of ownership by any government on this planet, period. I’ve had a lot of people telling me I don’t have the right to do this, but that’s just their opinion.
So how much land have you sold so far?Well, this is the only job I’ve had since 1995, which is when I started doing this full-time. We’ve sold 611 million acres of land on the moon, 325 million acres on Mars and a combined 125 million acres on Venus, Io, and Mercury.
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This Guy Has Owned the Moon Since 1980 Because He Says So 

Becoming a planet owner is a lot easier than you might think. All you have to do is take a quick glance at an astronomical map, pick out whichever planet or moon tickles your fancy, tell everyone you own it, and you’re set. It’s a little like telling a man in a bar that you own his freshly bought pint because you say you do, only less dangerous because there’s no one to hospitalize you in outer space. 

Dennis M. Hope is an American man who did just that and is now planet overlord of the moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Io (one of Jupiter’s moons). Dennis happened to be broke when he started collecting planets and worked out a way to monetize his new hobby: claim legal ownership via the UN, subdivide his extra-terrestrial land and sell it off in chunks. It’s probably about the best business model I’ve ever heard of (besides Ponzi schemes, obviously—those things are golden), which may be why Dennis has been able to use the celestial property game as his sole source of income since 1995.          

My dad was gifted a nugget of moon for his birthday this year from Dennis’ company, Moon Estates, which reminded me of all the times I’d heard about similar gifts and thought, This is is dumb, how can anybody own the moon? So I gave Dennis a call to help put my cynicism to bed. 


The author’s dad’s deed to land on the moon.

VICE: Hi Dennis. How did you end up owning and selling off chunks of the moon?
Dennis M. Hope: I started in 1980 when I was going through a divorce. I was out of money and thought maybe I could make some if I owned some property, then I looked out the window, saw the moon, and thought, Hey, there’s a load of property! So I went to the library, looked up the 1968 Outer Space Treaty and, sure enough, Article 2 stated: “No nation by appropriation shall have sovereignty or control over any of the satellite bodies.” Meaning it was unowned land. 

But how did you acquire it?
I just filed a claim of ownership for the moon, the other eight planets and their moons, and sent it to the United Nations with a note stating that my intent was to subdivide and sell the property to anybody who wanted it. I told them that if they had a legal problem with it they should please let me know.

Did they ever get back to you?
They never responded. Shame on them! I’ve never had a challenge to my claim of ownership by any government on this planet, period. I’ve had a lot of people telling me I don’t have the right to do this, but that’s just their opinion.

So how much land have you sold so far?
Well, this is the only job I’ve had since 1995, which is when I started doing this full-time. We’ve sold 611 million acres of land on the moon, 325 million acres on Mars and a combined 125 million acres on Venus, Io, and Mercury.

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Are Canadians About to Be Prosecuted for File Sharing?
As of late, a company named Canipre has been drumming up a lot of shadily defined fear mongering against“one million Canadians” who they insist are illegally downloading copyrighted material. If you have never heard of Canipre, they’re a new company that’s looking for record label and film studio clients they can work with to suck the cash out of Canadian citizens. Canipre has teamed up with two god-awful movie studios to begin their noble journey. The first is Voltage Pictures, who has released a ton of movies that are barely bargain bin worthy, plus a film you may know called The Hurt Locker. Canipre’s other companion in this shakedown mission is NGN Productions, who has released such gems as Paparazzi Princess: The Paris Hilton Story, a made-for-TV program, and Recoil, an action movie with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Not only is it bullshit that Stone Cold Steve Austin has been dragged into this mess, the tactics behind Canipre’s lawsuits seem to be bullshit as well. On Canipre’s website, they proudly advertise to potential clients that “when asked, 95%” of accused file-sharers “stop” downloading entirely. Evidently, they like to brag about their bullying tactics. Their front page also has a randomly generating slogan that spouts out wisdom like, “it’s an arms race, and your bottom line is the target,” “your audience isn’t rational,” and “if they keep thinking it’s free, when do you go out of business?”
A screenshot from Canipre’s friendly website.As for Canada’s copyright laws, a close reading of the penalties detailed in our new amendment to the copyright act, C-11, leads to some uncertainties. For example, if you are found guilty of “circumventing” a “technological protection measure” you can be fined up to $25,000 or sentenced to a maximum of sixth months in jail. Would that include breaking the iTunes DRM off an album that someone purchased, then sending that newly “unprotected” digital copy to a friend?
Continue

Are Canadians About to Be Prosecuted for File Sharing?

As of late, a company named Canipre has been drumming up a lot of shadily defined fear mongering against“one million Canadians” who they insist are illegally downloading copyrighted material. If you have never heard of Canipre, they’re a new company that’s looking for record label and film studio clients they can work with to suck the cash out of Canadian citizens. Canipre has teamed up with two god-awful movie studios to begin their noble journey. The first is Voltage Pictures, who has released a ton of movies that are barely bargain bin worthy, plus a film you may know called The Hurt Locker. Canipre’s other companion in this shakedown mission is NGN Productions, who has released such gems as Paparazzi Princess: The Paris Hilton Story, a made-for-TV program, and Recoil, an action movie with Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Not only is it bullshit that Stone Cold Steve Austin has been dragged into this mess, the tactics behind Canipre’s lawsuits seem to be bullshit as well. On Canipre’s website, they proudly advertise to potential clients that “when asked, 95%” of accused file-sharers “stop” downloading entirely. Evidently, they like to brag about their bullying tactics. Their front page also has a randomly generating slogan that spouts out wisdom like, “it’s an arms race, and your bottom line is the target,” “your audience isn’t rational,” and “if they keep thinking it’s free, when do you go out of business?”


A screenshot from Canipre’s friendly website.

As for Canada’s copyright laws, a close reading of the penalties detailed in our new amendment to the copyright act, C-11, leads to some uncertainties. For example, if you are found guilty of “circumventing” a “technological protection measure” you can be fined up to $25,000 or sentenced to a maximum of sixth months in jail. Would that include breaking the iTunes DRM off an album that someone purchased, then sending that newly “unprotected” digital copy to a friend?

Continue