[meteorite-list] Meteorite Collecting Ban
From: Michael L Blood <mlblood_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:16:31 2004
You may be on the "Bad Boy Black List" but you extracted the
ultimate revenge: LA 001 & 002 !
Way to go, Bobbo......... Michael
on 8/7/03 10:03 PM, Robert Verish at bolidechaser_at_yahoo.com wrote:
> Well Al,
> If what you say is true, then I may want to know the
> name of this "snitch", too. No doubt, this "tipster"
> informed on me, as well, when I wrote this post back
> in 2001:
> ------------- Archived Message ----------------
> [meteorite-list] NOT [OT]
> Robert Verish bolidechaser_at_yahoo.com
> Fri, 12 Oct 2001 17:20:32 -0700 (PDT)
> Hello List,
> The recent thread about pending legislation to further
> restrict fossil collecting may not be as much
> Off-Topic as we would like it to be. But the less put
> in print about this subject, the better.
> But what has been put in print (and is much more
> On-Topic), is an abstract for a poster that was
> presented at the recent meeting in Rome - the
> 64th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting (2001).
> The author is not a meteoriticist, but a lawyer!
> Is anybody surprised that this law firm is from
> This abstract is now published in:
> MAPS, Vol. 36, No. 9, Supplement, 2001 - A183
> It still appears "on-line" at:
> LAW OF OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL OF METEORITES.
> D. G. Schmitt,
> McEwen, Schmitt & Co. Barristers and Solicitors,
> 1615 ? 1055 W. Georgia St.,
> Vancouver, B.C.,
> email: dgs_at_marinelawcanada.com
> Introduction: Increased public awareness and commerce
> in meteorites raises questions about their ownership
> and control. This paper reviews the law in several
> countries, international law, and considers laws to
> bring finds to the research community quickly and not
> divert them to a black market. A survey was made of
> scientists involved in meteorite acquisition in over
> 20 countries, to determine how well various systems
> Ownership is determined by the law of the place of the
> find. Legal regimes range from a free market, to
> state ownership with no compensation to finders. A
> market gives an incentive to searchers but allows
> ownership by private collectors who do not curate
> specimens scientifically.
> Confiscatory laws tempt searchers to conceal or sell
> finds illegally, or misrepresent strewn field data.
> Scientists expressed diverging views on an ideal
> Historical Background: Meteorite ownership law is
> non-uniform. English common law, from which the law in
> former British colonies including the United States
> evolved, provides that meteorites are the landowner?s
> property; buried meteorites might be part of the
> mineral rights. Find reporting is not mandatory. Most
> Western European countries, and former colonies, have
> civil codes providing that meteorites are owned by the
> landowner. Traditional legal systems with unique rules
> exist, such as the Islamic Sharia. In many countries
> legislation aimed at preserving archeological
> modifies earlier meteorite law.
> Federal nations may have different laws in each state.
> Lawyers qualified in the find jurisdiction should be
> consulted for ownership opinions.
> Selected Examples:
> Argentina. The Chaco Province constitution declares
> meteorites provincial property, imposing a duty to
> protect them.
> Australia. Some state legislation vests ownership in
> state museums, prohibits find movement except delivery
> to museums, and allows refunds of finder?s expenses.
> Canada. Meteorites are the property of the landowner
> and can be sold. Under the Cultural Property Export
> Import Act a Canadian find cannot be exported without
> permit from a federal Board which may impose a
> six-month delay of permanent export during which a
> Canadian institution may purchase it for a ?fair?
> price, failing which export is allowed. Temporary
> export permits are granted forthwith.
> Denmark. Finds are state property, and must be
> surrendered to a museum, which pays market value.
> India. Meteorites are deemed owned by the Geological
> Survey of India, without compensation.
> Japan. The finder is the owner under the civil code.
> Switzerland. Finds are owned by the state but the
> finder is paid compensation not higher than the
> object?s value.
> United States of America. A find is owned by the
> A find on federal government property is owned by
> the Department of the Interior but may be acquired by
> the Smithsonian Institution.
> UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting
> and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer
> of Ownership of Cultural Property: This Convention,
> ratified by over 90 states, provides for tracking and
> retrieving from reciprocating states, cultural
> property including meteorites.
> Ratifying states may create a permitting agency like
> Antarctic Meteorites: The Antarctic Treaty
> defers national territorial claims and encourages
> cooperative scientific exploration. Article III (B)
> states, ?scientific observations and results from
> Antarctica shall be exchanged and made freely
> available?. The Treaty does not deal with samples
> exported. Meteorites are recovered only by
> sponsored expeditions, and curated by NASA in the
> United States, the National Institute of Polar
> Research in Japan, and by EUROMET. Applications for
> U.S. curated
> samples are reviewed by the Meteorite Working Group.
> Conclusions: Meteorite ownership law varies widely.
> Generally survey respondents reported cooperation from
> finders, to whom some compensation was paid whether
> required or not; however there were incidents of
> important meteorites, or find data, being lost to
> science. The best system for each country depends on
> the relationship between each government and its
> citizens. Governments should be urged to enact
> workable laws appropriate to their jurisdiction to (1)
> encourage collection by providing reasonable
> to finders, with mandatory find reporting, (2) create
> efficient export permitting systems allowing exchange
> of research samples, and (3) retrieve illegally
> exported meteorites under the UNESCO Convention.
> Acknowledgments: All survey respondents particularly
> Bevan, B. Hofmann, H. Haack, and H. Plotkin; G. R.
> Schmitt, Q.C.
> _____________ End of Archived Message _______________
> Too bad we don't have some kind of "Meteorite
> Collectors Advisory Council" or some kind of
> association that could lobby for our interests in this
> political arena.
> On more Black-Lists than you would imagine,
> BOb V.
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