NOAA Open Letter to Google Lunar X PRIZE Participants

July 24, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Space Law | 16 Comments

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

NOAA has issued an open letter to Google X Prize Participants on its licensing regime (hat tip The Launch Pad):

Dear Google Lunar X PRIZE Participant:

As part of your effort to win the Google Lunar X PRIZE, will your entry or any related facilities be capable of actively or passively sensing the Earth’s surface, including
bodies of water, from space by making use of the properties of the electromagnetic waves emitted, reflected, or diffracted by the sensed objects?

If so, and if your team is based wholly or partially in the USA, you may need to apply for a license from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This is because Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992 and its implementing regulations require any person subject to the jurisdiction or control of the United States who operates or proposes to operate a private remote sensing space system that images the Earth, and/or establishes substantial connections with the United States regarding the operation of such a system to obtain a license from NOAA.

If you think this may apply to your team, NOAA strongly encourages you to contact us for a non-binding consultation at:
Email: noaa.crsl@noaa.gov
Phone: 301-713-2024 ext 213/202

Obtaining a license can take up to 120 days once application is received by NOAA.

Should you wish to review the regulations, found at 15 CFR Part 960, describing NOAA’s licensing and regulation of such systems, they are available online at: http://www.licensing.noaa.gov/reference.html.

16 Comments »

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  1. […] NOAA Open Letter to Google Lunar X PRIZE Participants « Res Communis […]

  2. So, if I go up to the space station with a private camera, I will have to have a license? This is a little bizarre and over the top.

  3. How asinine. You need a license to point a digital camera at Earth and take a picture? That law sounds overturnable by any court in the land.

  4. Dear NOAA,

    With all due respect, we cannot allow you to claim licensing rights to the Earth at this time. Your attempt to effectively copyright THE EARTH and subsequently license it is without merit, as a clear right of ownership cannot be established. The Earth is the birthplace and ultimate resting place of every human being who has ever lived. It is the origin and home of all known life in the Universe. You may claim an entire planet as intellectual property, argue eminent domain, or make it part of a licensing agreement. We are concerned that any credence given your claim may set a dangerous precedent. For example, one may not copyright the sky, and encrypt it with anti-piracy technology. Such a proposal could be considered grounds for filing a Deed of Trust for the entire Universe.

    I have it on good authority that the NOAA is not, in fact, in title, possession, or authority with regards to The Earth. In fact, The Meek currently hold Title to The Earth, and as it is a joint ownership of real property, would be required by law to furnish the appropriate officials with documents signed by all vested parties, and/or powers of attorney.

    Perhaps you can try Saturn. I hear its moons are lovely, and no one has yet laid claim to them.

    But we regret to inform you that your claim of licensing rights to The Earth, the home of all humankind, is erroneous and cannot be substantiated at this time.

    Warm Regards,
    Eric LaBrant
    Unilaterally, The Meek

  5. RE: “require any person subject to the jurisdiction or control of the United States”

    Dear NOAA: please define such persons.

  6. Obviously because the earth is copyrighted and the US government owns the copyright.

  7. I’m not surprised – They always act like they own this planet.

  8. […] us to an odd one. It appears that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is warning users they may need a special license from the NOAA for any sort of remote sensor which establishes a sustained connection with Earth. In fact, some […]

  9. […] us to an odd one. It appears that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is warning users they may need a special license from the NOAA for any sort of remote sensor which establishes a sustained connection with Earth. In fact, some […]

  10. […] us to an odd one. It appears that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is warning users they may need a special license from the NOAA for any sort of remote sensor which establishes a sustained connection with Earth. In fact, some […]

  11. […] us to an odd one. It appears that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is warning users they may need a special license from the NOAA for any sort of remote sensor which establishes a sustained connection with Earth. In fact, some […]

  12. […] to an mismatched one. It appears that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is warning users they haw requirement a primary authorise from the NOAA for whatever variety of far device which establishes a uninterrupted unification with Earth. In […]

  13. […] NOAA Open Letter to Google Lunar X Prize Participants, Res Cumminis, July 24, 2008. […]

  14. […] חלל מתחילה להיראות כמו ענף עסקי רציני ובעל עתיד. עד שקפץ ה-NOAA. ה-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration טוען שכל חברה הפועלת מתוך […]

  15. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  16. That letter is fake people. Damn.


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