PDA

View Full Version : Legal implications of discovering alien tech?



GodAtum
October 28th, 2010, 09:02 AM
What would be the legal implications of discovering alien tech?

For example if you discoerved a spaceship and worked out how to fly it, could you start a company flying people to space or will a government seize the craft?

escyos
October 28th, 2010, 09:21 AM
i sure as hell wouldnt give it up, i would figure out the technology and get rich and powerful

SGSargon
October 28th, 2010, 10:09 AM
Long story short: problems.
Everybody will want to have it, many people will fight over it, bussinessmen will want to buy it, children will want to fire the ship guns, many people will start scream "why only you should have it", "so what if you found it, it's not yours, it belongs to the world " blablabla, and then in the middle of the quarrel the ship is destroyed, and then you're the one guilty because...there's no one else to blame :D
That is, if you tell everybody what you found...

jameshawking
October 28th, 2010, 10:34 AM
I would do what that one guy in Star Trek: TNG wanted to do

figure out how it works and release "inventions" about once a year

xxxevilgrinxxx
October 28th, 2010, 10:56 AM
it isn't the legal implications I'd be worried about
it's being 'disappeared', either by my own government/military/intelligence or that of another nation. The law would really be the least of my concerns

jsonitsac
October 28th, 2010, 11:07 AM
I would think that if you managed to file the patents on the technology it would be, from the government's perspective, all yours (for 17 years is it?). That said, I think you have to provide more than just "I found this in the desert" to the patent office to actually get the patents.

Purgatory
October 28th, 2010, 11:58 AM
it isn't the legal implications I'd be worried about
it's being 'disappeared', either by my own government/military/intelligence or that of another nation. The law would really be the least of my concerns

Ditto, you'd be deader than a dead thing before you even had time to concern yourself with 'legal implications'. Any nation with a bona fide spaceship, capable of star-to-star travel, becomes the world's premier super power. If anyone knew you had it, you'd be in trouble. Although you could always fly away . . . maybe.

Wayston
October 28th, 2010, 12:04 PM
What would be the legal implications of discovering alien tech?

For example if you discoerved a spaceship and worked out how to fly it, could you start a company flying people to space or will a government seize the craft?

I don't think alien tech/devices fall under any space exploration treaties. So basically any alien goods you find would be yours, though perhaps it might fulfill the definition of a "treasure" in some cases which could lead to complications of ownership depending on the jurisdiction. As for alien technology, if you figure it out you can patent it.

The law only considers humans as legal subjects. The patent office wouldn't care two bits that the hyperadvanced technology is common knowledge several thousand lightyears away, they would search through the state of the art of human knowledge and come to the conclusion that it is patentable if we don't know it (assuming all of the other patent conditions are met ofc). If you act like an ass with an important patent then the government can also force you to grant compulsory licenses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_license#Patents)btw.

Wyrminarrd
October 28th, 2010, 03:20 PM
How I would handle it would depend on the condition of the ship, how easily I could learn it's secrets and how well I could either keep it a secret or defend it from others. Obviously if I could simply fly it into orbit while I figured things out then everyone else on Earth would have to play my game as there would be no way to take it from me.

The level of technology on board would also be a factor, if it is such a game changer that money becomes irrelevant then I would try to make a fortune with a patent or two, buy some premium piece of real estate (the only thing of any value in a society of plenty) and build myself my dream palace before releasing the game changing tech :)

SaberBlade
October 28th, 2010, 06:24 PM
Well I'd fall back on an ancient salvage right, finders keepers. Even Maritime Law allows anyone to claim salvage of a ship so long as it has no one on board.

The real thing is, regardless of what happens, you'd never be allowed to keep it. You pretty much can't do anything, even legally, if the Government shows up and decides to classify it top secret. If it was learnt the technology involved weapons, then it could easily lead to war.

Or McDonalds and Starbucks will team up to place their business on the Moon, then Mars.

jsonitsac
October 29th, 2010, 06:21 AM
Well I'd fall back on an ancient salvage right, finders keepers. Even Maritime Law allows anyone to claim salvage of a ship so long as it has no one on board.

The real thing is, regardless of what happens, you'd never be allowed to keep it. You pretty much can't do anything, even legally, if the Government shows up and decides to classify it top secret. If it was learnt the technology involved weapons, then it could easily lead to war.

Or McDonalds and Starbucks will team up to place their business on the Moon, then Mars.

You still have to pay taxes on what you salvage and just because you salvage it doesn't always mean you have legal right to do so. There was a Spanish treasure ship called the "Nuestra Señora de Atocha" that sank in the 17th Century off of the Florida Keys with the mother load of treasure. However, the guy who found it had to deal with legal claims on the treasure from the American, Floridian, Spanish, and Mexican governments. I would guess that a significant portion of the salvage rights depend on exactly where you find the ship. On your own private property, have a good time. On somebody else's property, not so much. And on public land don't even think about it.