Lighter Side: court battle over sale of sun plots

by Samantha Woodhill12 Jun 2015
A Spanish entrepreneur who declared ownership of the sun and began selling square metre plots of it on eBay, is now suing the online retailer for suspending her account.

If utility companies can profit off wind and water, then what’s to stop profiting from the solar system, Maria Angeles Duran, a 54 year old mother of four from Spain argued when she declared her ownership of the sun back in 2010.

Her ownership was based on a loophole in the United Nation’s Outer Space Treaty.  The treaty states that planets cannot be owned by counties but unfortunately fails to stipulate ownership by an individual, a loophole Duran noticed after American Denis Hope had done the same with the moon and several planets.

In 2013, Duran began to sell square metres of the sun with accompanying ownership documents on her personal eBay account for a Euro each, violating eBay’s ‘intangible goods’ policy and causing eBay to ban her from the site.

Things that don’t actually exist cannot be sold on eBay, but interested customers can still purchase plots on her personal website.  Duran has already sole a staggering 1,000 plots of sun.

But Duran was kicked off the site; she sued for breach of contract, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.  

eBay reportedly tried to settle the case and then argue on jurisdiction grounds, but a Spanish court has now agreed to hear the case on whether or not Duran has violated eBay’s seller agreement.

Previously Duran made Spanish headlines by copyrighting the original call of Tarzan and suing anyone who tried to use it.