New world discovery - who owns it?

Anonymous's picture
February 19, 2010 - 10:59pm
A few questions that came up in chat tonight;
  • In the Frontier when a new world is discovered, who owns it?
    • Possible discoverers;
  • If sentient life exists - who protects their rights (assuming they need protection)?


jedion357's picture
February 19, 2010 - 11:21pm
I thought there was a statement somewhere in Zebs maybe that suggested after STreel and PGC established their little fiefdoms (personal corporate owned planets ie New Streel) that laws were established to prevent more of that from them and other mega corps.

There are some references to colonial possessions- Cygnus Omicron IX mentioned in SF-0 and implied as a colony of Pale

the name New Pale implies colonial possession.

AD says: "Zik kit (Kizk Kar) has very rich mining deposits. These are exported mainly to Terledrom for manufacturing. Zik kit is controlled as a colony by the Terledrom government"

My take is that colonial possessions exist in the Frontier but predate the UPF charter therefore they remain BUT the charter now has some explicit provisions for self determination by the local population. further there were loop holes that that PGC and STreel took advantage of to establish systems controlled by the corporation.

Right away there were accusations/reports and the UPF despite hard lobbying by the mega corps passed laws preventing more of the same.


The way I see it is that once a planet's population reaches a certain point a referendum can be held and they can organize a government. before that an entity can develope and exploit a planet to a certain point.

There will also be provisions for UPF oversite of territory and even its assuming control of a planet that doesn't yet reach the self determination threshold but a star law investigation has substantiated reports/crimes/ and or abuses on the part of the discovering/exploiting organization whether a government (like Pale) or a corporation

situations with sentient life are a different animal. they become a territorial protectorate but the discoverer also gets to exploit under the direct over site of an appointed governor or such under direct UPF controll

Thats my 2 pence (dont spend it all in one spot)

Are you working on an adventure with this?

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
February 20, 2010 - 1:34am
I think that the reason that the various planetary governments of the frontier agreed to the "no corporate owned planets" law was that it kept the mega corps out of their game.  However I think that they would have left loop holes in the law that each hopes to use to expand.  The law is there to hamper your competitors in the view of the big world governments.  In the view of the small world governments the law is to keep balance and stop the big world governments from taking over.  Classic big states small states from US history.  However, I see the UPF as more like the articles of confederation rather than the US constitution.

I think the UPF charter is week on the local sentients rights part.  No one could agree to make that part of the agreement stronger so they compromised for the time being.  Some world governments and races would be more respectiful to the locals than others.  This mentality is shown in the Voltrunious series.


Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
February 20, 2010 - 11:40am

Thank you for the input. I need the information for a module I'm writing. I was going to use the Ora system from #13 - Quintos the newly discovered world. So far there are no sentient species.

Basically there is an illegal mine setup in the mountains. Since I declared its illegal than there needs to be some type of law on the planet. The only population is a outpost town, starport and a station. It mostly filled with fortune seekers, scientist studying the land and agriculturists testing the soil.

I don't want to take time writing this info out for the module but this topic definitely deserves an article on how to handle these situations.

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
February 20, 2010 - 9:29pm
It could be a wildcatter claim and the people running the mine havent paid the fees and are selling it illegally as well.  Or its set up in some else's area running without the owners knowledge; or just good old-fashioned claim-jumpers.
Could be in an area that has been declared a No-mining zone.  Reasons could vary from fresh water comes from there and the mine will contaminate it; some rare critter lives there, or a nature preserve, or some kind of archeological dig site that is currently on hiatus.
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

jedion357's picture
February 20, 2010 - 10:30pm
I like the presence of wildcat miners in SF simply cause the Warrior's of White Light mod mentions one.

for wild catters to prosper at all asteroid belts in most star systems would have to be fair game.
IMO that would take UPF law other wise they'd get driven out of business they're too small and would never really really organize as a political force.

However, there is no way this side of a delusion they'd get away with prospecting in the mega corp owned systems (maybe Devco) but the mega corps would just make life unbearable until the insignificant flee moved on and they could do it in a variety of ways. corporate security boarding and harrassing; ships getting bumped, facilities closed to them, banks suddenly wanting their loans paid in full etc.

I would imagine that the UPF charter makes the system under UPF authority to regulate and the local militia owns the immediate space around the planet "and its legitimate interest" This very nice division in authority sounds nice but it creates a situation where the local militia cant regulate commerce passing through and not actually touching the planet's territory (includes and stations in orbit) or doesn't tranship any cargo or send a small craft to land. Nor can it regulate activity in the outer system say anything beyond 1 AU of its home world orbit. In practice the militia is forced to pull a lot of police duties the UPF should be covering but cant due to the miniscule number of hulls in its space navy. so while the UPF has teh real anti piracy obligation its the locals that all to often shoulder it. This leaves the door open for wild catters.

There is a small group (cadre) with some political aspirations: House of Extracting & Mining of asteRoid Speculators- H. E. M. Roid S. Wink
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

elpotof's picture
February 21, 2010 - 1:36pm
I'd just like to add that certain governments would happily 'lease' planets to megacorporations for a mutually agreed benefit to both parties. I bet there are plenty of lawyers in a mega-corp who could fight for the right of a corporation to own rights to a planet - especially if the good of the company depends on planet unique elements. There are very few governments who could turn up their noses to the financial might of a megacorporation.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
February 21, 2010 - 7:26pm
"Green Planet - fighting for the rights of plants, animals
and technology backward sentients since 65FY"

ArtMic's picture
February 26, 2010 - 10:08am
 Money is what drives new explorations, if a company can't make any kind of money on a operation venture then that venture is shut down. You'd see Corps footing the bill for new explorations more then any government agencies.
 You'll have a special branch in the UFP and star law,just to handle this problem. So you'll see alot of world being at first the property of Corps, as in they own the landing spot. Then as settlers gather the law will follow. And after the law reaches and calms the wild frontiers you'll see civilization finallly show up.
 After all who do n't dream of a fringe world out of Galaxy Rangers or firefly?

 All you really have to do is look into the early laws of our past, when Spice companies and the fur industries owned whole tracks of land before the country's these companies where based in took them from said companies.

 So I would say that Corps could find a planet, keep it secret and rape it. If they have a tight enough hold on a planet and the information, this raping could last a few years if not more. A Bribe here and there, double sets of records and killing those who could expose the secret are all possiblities. And a great story seed.

Gold is for the mistress-silver for the maid-copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.But Iron-Cold Iron- is master of them all

oTTo's picture
February 5, 2014 - 3:47pm
I know this is a dead thread, I will post anyways.
I had just read about salvage rights for missing ships, I came across this after. Consider a vessel, able to carry enough crew and know-how, that intentionally vanished to be away from the Frontier and UPF and Sathar and everything.

This crew finds a world, settles down. That is their world, no outside government should be able to go and say otherwise. Also, a world with a native population owns their world, regardless of whom may discover its existence.

Corporations should be able to attain claims to worlds or moons for operations that are needed to be conducted in isolation; hazardous to populations, etc. These corporate worlds could even exist beyond the known Frontier. Private investors finance a secret mission to a star and a world discovered by a private party, setting up a world of their own there.

Great thing about space is that there is so much of it, who can really claim a world or system but the ones inhabiting it and fighting to defend it?

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
February 5, 2014 - 8:06pm
TT, I like your thoughts. :)