Broadcast 684 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

12 Mar 2007 Declan O'Donnell
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Declan O'Donnell was the special guest for the Monday night, March 12 and replay program on Tuesday, March 13th. We started the discussion with an overview look on the legal case of space friend and benefactor, Walt Anderson. During the first segment of the show, we discussed Walt's situation in general, how the IRS and the government prosecutes such cases, some of the laws involved, and various scenarios that might apply to Walt. Obviously, we could not speak with specifics about his case but we did acknowledge the support, friendship, and leadership that Walt Anderson has provided the developing space industry. We concluded our segment regarding Walt by wishing him well, a speedy return to our space community and much success is starting again in his business endeavors. We both commented that whatever fate awaits Walt Anderson, our prayers are with him so he can handle it and soon be back among his friends. During the next two program segments, we talked about some of the issues that Declan has his attention on and will be talking about at the coming IAF meeting in India on Sept. 24. Here, we talked about international space law, the international component to property rights, various Outer Space Treaty (OST) commercial scenarios using U.S. businesses as examples or even NASA. Declan gave us his legal thoughts on the scenarios and how he believes the OST would likely be interpreted by various non-American parties. During this discussion, Declan fielded many listener questions regarding property right, leaving the OST because of liability issues, and much more. We also talked about Declan's organization, United Societies in Space (USIS) and the importance to have a commercially favorable regulatory regime in place to facilitate space development rather than to have no regime and let space unfold with perhaps a restrictive and constraining legal regime. Declan explained his perspective on this to several listeners with questions and comments. In response to listener questions, we also discussed space law in connection with the military/weapons in space and just how carefully world military units obey the OST. Declan O'Donnell brought some important space legal issues and opportunities to our attention in this program and I urge you to listen to it. You can find out more about USIS and find email addressees n the site at www.space-law.org. Declan is not so good with email but his toll free line is 1 800-632-2828. As always, you can send your comments or questions to him through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com. (KEYWORDS: Property rights, Outer space treaty, United Nations, USIS, treaty, law, weapons, military, defense).

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