Sunday, February 26, 2006

PR Leap: Land on the Moon for sale? Think twice! Lawyer Debunks “Unreal Estate” Business

(PRLEAP.COM) Before you purchase a certificate offering the Moon to the love of your life, check with space law expert Virgiliu Pop. In a groundbreaking book, “Unreal Estate – The Men who Sold the Moon”, Mr. Pop comes with legal arguments as to why one cannot actually buy extraterrestrial real estate.
During the past decade, mass-media has reported about individuals and companies that have claimed ownership of various celestial bodies and, in most of the cases, subsequently offered them for sale to the public. Nowadays, the number of “owners” of extraterrestrial real estate certificates from different companies is in the range of several million.
“The moon has been wished for since time immemorial” – said Mr Pop, who researched the history of lunar claims with media archives and interviewed several lunar claimants. “In the 1940’s, people were enquiring with the US Bureau of Land Management for lunar homesteads; in the 1950’s, deeds for square inches of lunar property were offered as premiums with morning cereals; in the 1960’s, the Moon and Venus were officially annexed by several municipalities. There is nothing new under the sun!”
Mr Pop, a native of Romania, is a specialist in space law and policy, writing-up a doctoral thesis at the University of Glasgow on the subject of landed property rights in outer space. A member of the International Institute of Space Law, Virgiliu has authored several acclaimed papers in the field of space law and policy. His dedication for the subject and the originality of his articles earned him the interest of the mass media, being interviewed by prestigious outlets as diverse as New Scientist,, The Space Show, La Tercera (Chile), Ta Nea (Greece), Geo Magazine (Germany) and many more.
“Who could be cooler than a space lawyer named Pop?” – exclaimed Jesse Londin, who maintains ‘Space Law Probe’, a blog specializing in space law. “If Virgil’s fascinating stories and characters from the annals of space property claims were the issues, I might never have fallen asleep during property class in law school”. In ‘Unreal Estate – The Men who Sold the Moon’, space law is climbing down the ivory tower, reaching the mainstream in the manner of ‘popularized science’ books. The book appeals to readers from all walks of life, from lawyers and real estate professionals to space aficionados.
“Virgiliu has done stellar research on this topic and his book is extremely informative and interesting” – declared Dr. David M. Livingston, founder and host of ‘The Space Show’. “You will find the stories he tells to be compelling, the legal arguments as to why one cannot own space real estate to be illuminating, and the entire book to be not only unique but very special”.

Unreal Estate: The Men who Sold the Moon
by Virgiliu Pop
Exposure Publishing, 2006
Paperback, 204 pp., illus., 6.0" x 9.0",
RRP US$ 15.99 / £9.99
ISBN 1846850959