Wednesday, May 05, 2004

SPACELAW - THE FINAL FRONTIER. Glenn Reynolds discusses property rights in outer space. One would hope that when we get there, private property rights will be recognized, otherwise, the final frontier would be red. And excerpt:
First, no international authority should have exclusive rights to extract space resources. Such an exclusive role would contravene the 1967 Outer Space Treaty's provision that "Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all states, without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies." An exclusive role for an international body would also eliminate the spur of competition, which likely would slow down the rate of progress and hence the rate at which benefits returned to Earth. One lesson of the last century, after all, is that large bureaucracies often become flabby and moribund, and that state enterprises often lack the will or ability to flourish.