Lighter Side: eBay in court battle over space real estate

by |
A Spanish entrepreneur who declared ownership of the sun and began selling square metre plots of it on eBay, is now suing the auction platform for suspending her account.

If utility companies can profit off wind and water, then what’s to stop people 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 supposed ownership is based on a loophole in the United Nation’s Outer Space Treaty.  The treaty states that planets cannot be owned by counties but does not make any stipulations as to ownership by an individual.

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.

Duran was kicked off the site and has sued eBay breach of contract, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. 

eBay reportedly tried to settle the case and then made arguments on jurisdictional grounds, but a Spanish court has now agreed to hear the case.
Under the auction site’s terms, things that don’t actually exist cannot be sold on eBay, but interested customers can still purchase plots on Duran’s personal website.  Duran has already sole a staggering 1,000 plots on the sun.
  • Philip on 12/06/2015 10:11:59 AM

    I guess the Spanish court must have seen the case in a different light!

Australasian Lawyer forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions