14 Jun 2015

Woman who claims she owns the Sun sues Ebay after she was banned from selling Sun's plots on the site

A Spanish court is set to hear the most unusual arguments ever after  a woman who claims to own the sun  sued eBay for blocking her extraterrestrial real estate sales. Though it sounds a little nuts, a court in Madrid has ruled that 54-year-old Maria Duran has the right to have her case heard.
Maria Duran has been claiming ownership of part of the star since 2010 when she threatened to bill solar power users.

The 54-year-old registered the star in her name at a notary office in Spain, before opening an eBay account selling square-metre plots for one euro each.

But two years later eBay pulled her listings, saying they violated its intangible goods policy, and her account was blocked.
She had been selling parcels of about 11 square feet for about $1 each and had racked up 600 orders before eBay shut her down. Because nothing tangible was sold, it feared a scam.

In her point of view, just because the Outer Space Treaty prohibits a sovereign nation from owning a celestial body, it says nothing about individuals claiming those um, properties. She says she was inspired by a U.S. entrepreneur who registered several planets under his own name in 2010 and made more than $10 million selling land on the moon, Mars, Venus and Mercury.

To support her claim on the Sun, she has a notary public document that declares her to be “the owner of the Sun, a star of spectral type G2, located in the centre of the solar system, located at an average distance from Earth of about 149,600,000 kilometers.”
"I am not a stupid person and I know the law," Duran has said of her solar real estate gambit. 

She's basing her claim on a loophole in the UN's Outer Space Treaty that says no nation can stake ownership to a heavenly body but makes no mention of individuals

The case will focus on eBay’s seller agreement and whether or not she was in breach of that policy. The company reportedly tried to settle out of court, but it appears that attempt was not successful.

A trial will take place next month, with Ms Duran demanding around £7,500 for payments she says she has not received.

Ms Duran, from Vigo in the Spanish region of Galicia, has rejected an attempt by eBay to settle the case out of court.

She continues to sell Sun plots on her own website.


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