Woman Claims Legal Loophole Means She Now Owns The Sun... And She Wants You To Pay Up

from the this-is-why-i-only-go-out-at-night dept

Xyro TR1 alerts us to the rather amusing article concerning a Spanish woman who claims to have figured out a loophole in the law that allowed her to register her ownership of the Sun -- for which she now claims she will demand payment from anyone making use of the Sun's rays. Apparently, the law says that countries cannot claim ownership of various planets or stars -- but says nothing of individuals, which means a few people now think that by simply registering an ownership claim, they get it. This, obviously, is not even close to true, but I do like the woman's quote:
There was no snag, I backed my claim legally, I am not stupid, I know the law.

'I did it but anyone else could have done it, it simply occurred to me first.'
She claims that she'll use any fees she collects for various useful tasks -- giving much of it to the government (?!?) and using another chunk to fighting world hunger. She'll merely keep 10% for herself. Of course, 10% of nothing is nothing, which is pretty much about what she should expect to make.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Rich, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:11am

    She's not the first to try this. It comes up now and then, with some people claiming to own the various celestial bodies, using the same flawed logic. I remember a few years back that someone tried to get NASA to pay him rent because he owned the moon.

     

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  2.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:16am

    As a friend said to me the other day - wouldn't this logic mean that she becomes liable for any damage done by the sun as well? Yeah, the money from the sun's "users" would be nice if it appeared, but imagine all the lawsuits from people with skin cancer and drought-ridden areas...

     

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  3.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:16am

    The simple solution is for someone to "own" the space between the sun and the earth, and then sue her for nuisance and trespass for all the radiation her sun spills onto your property.

     

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  4.  
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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:28am

    Re:

    When I first saw this article, I saw a lot of people saying sue her for damages caused by the sun, but trespass on the space between... I really like that. kudos.

     

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  5.  
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    Christopher Gizzi (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:33am

    Thought of the Newspaper

    HAHAHA!

    When I read the headline, I thought of the UK gossip mag/newspaper/tabloid The Sun and thought she might have found a loophole with their domain registration or incorporation filing or something.

    Silly me for thinking that instead of the star.

     

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  6.  
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    jsl4980 (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:34am

    Re:

    I was thinking the same thing. Next time I get a sun burn I'm suing her!

     

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  7.  
    icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:38am

    Opt-out

    Dear sun-owner-lady,
    I object to the sudden increase in my utility rate, therefore I would like to terminate my service immediately to avoid incurring fees. Please cease delivery of your product to the address listed on my account. Thank you for your prompt processing of this request.
    ~ Subscriber #4460735286273916

    P.S. I have still not received a prorated reimbursement for the service interruptions that occurred during the past year. (Especially during my vacation in Puerto Rico.) Please expedite this transaction as I will require the balance to purchase vitamin D from another supplier.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Yogi, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:44am

    DRM

    Actually this could work if she found a way to DRM the sun and bribe congress to pass laws making it illegal to use the suns rays without express written permission from the United Sun Corporation (TM).

     

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  9.  
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    Fushta, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:48am

    SMRT Woman

    If she was really smart, she would have registered the ownership of Earth. One could avoid the Sun's rays (if they really wanted; think Vampire), but you are hard-pressed to avoid using the Earth for very long (i.e. 0.3 seconds if you jump really high).

     

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  10.  
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    Pixelation, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:51am

    I have a patent on the use of any celestial body for the production of energy. I will wait a few years and sue her in East Texas. She's hosed.

     

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  11.  
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    Joe Szilagyi (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:57am

    Class action lawsuit

    Needs to be filed against her for all victims of skin cancer. Will she pay up?

     

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  12.  
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    bdhoro (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:57am

    Some1 do her over and register ownership of the Known Universe

    Yeah I remember years back when some guy claimed ownership of the moon. Then he started making a map of it and selling sections. People bought sections from him which further assured his claim on it. I never heard a follow up on that story tho.

     

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  13.  
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    Quietmon, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:57am

    She owns it?

    Cool, now I have someone to sue for skin cancer!

     

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  14.  
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    Zangetsu (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:58am

    Old science fiction story covers this

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Sold_the_Moon

    Robert Heinlein published a story 60 years ago about how to "own" the moon. I'm not surprised that people keep trying to do this. I'm personally working on a way to trademark the period, then I'm going to stick it to the book publishers. After that it I am going to publish a song with a single note and then sue everyone using that note saying that they are making a derivative copy of my work. I figure at $750 per song I could live quite comfortably while doing nothing.

     

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  15.  
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    interval (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:58am

    Just give it to the Gov.

    "She claims that she'll use any fees she collects for various useful tasks -- giving much of it to the government (?!?)"

    Yeah, another idiot European who believes her government knows what's best for everyone, and has everyone's best interest at heart. Gotta love that socialism.

     

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  16.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Re: Class action lawsuit

    If she owns the sun, a class action lawsuit against her for people misappropriating her rays in abundance resulting in skin cancer would be like a class action lawsuit against Justin Bieber's record label on behalf of everyone who pirated his music and subsequently turned into a giant vagina....

     

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  17.  
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    Doctor Derp., Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Class action lawsuit

    LOL.. thats brilliant.

     

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  18.  
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    Jake, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:11am

    Re: Just give it to the Gov.

    I'm guessing you're from the USA, right? The first country to ever seriously attempt representative democracy on a large scale?

     

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  19.  
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    D L, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Sue her

    Anyone who has ever gotten sunburned or skin cancer needs to go ahead and sue her.. She is not responsible for all of that, and I for one am tired of the hours that the sun is available, and since I didn't ask her to put her property up.. its shining in my yard!! Sue her for that.... Would be funny to see all the lawsuits pop up to make her even broker than before, and in the hole billions of dollars lol

     

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  20.  
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    interval (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Just give it to the Gov.

    I;m guessing your European? The first continent to really screw up socialism to an incredibly devastating degree?

     

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  21.  
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    Howard the Duck (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:28am

    That's nothing

    I have a patent on walking.

     

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  22.  
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    Vic, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:38am

    Re: SMRT Woman

    Then the lawsuits are going to be from the victims of gravity. And their families.

     

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  23.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:51am

    Re:

    Dude! You need to put a warning label on that thing! I got a sunburn! I AM SUING!!!

     

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  24.  
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    God, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:55am

    It's Mine

    She is soooo wrong. I registered the universe before her and the sun is part of the universe.

    I am going to take her to court.

     

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  25.  
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    Michael Beck, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:56am

    Re:

    I was just thinking the same thing! Guess she doesn't know the law like she thought she did.

     

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  26.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:56am

    Re: That's nothing

    I have a patent pending on feet, paws, and other walking/crawling/running implements. I also have one for oxygen and have given it to the church of Scientology. I am sure they will do whats right with it.

     

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  27.  
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    Dallas IT Guy, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:56am

    O.K.

    So what do you think the property taxes would be on something that size? Even though it's undeveloped, that's a lot of acreage.

    And was she able to get a clear title? I mean, just because she's the first Earthling to claim it doesn't mean that someone off-planet doesn't have a claim...

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Josh Taylor, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:03am

    That Spanish Woman is committing a sin. God created the Sun, therefore He owns the sun.

    Looks like the Spanish woman is going to sue God.

     

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  29.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:08am

    Re:

    Yeah! Did she get an easement to cross my space?

     

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  30.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:12am

    Invest now!

    I think we are gonna need Mr. Burns' sun-blocking device.

     

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  31.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:15am

    Re: Opt-out

    Thank you for being such a great customer. We are sorry to see you go. Attached is the image of a spider which I value to be worth twice the reimbursement for the service interruptions. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

    SOL lighting US division.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:21am

    I am intrigued by this woman's new ownership of the sun. I see a chance to monetize her position, since I own the atmosphere...so ma'am, please contact me for licensing information and pricing to use my atmosphere to moderate your sun's rays, as well as use as a delivery and ad-hoc storage method.

    Concurrently, all companies currently modifying my atmosphere without license should expect to hear from my legal team very soon.

    However, it's not all (quite) about money, so I will make my atmosphere free for personal and non-commercial use by individuals! :)

    Please be aware, I cannot be held accountable for improper use of my atmosphere, and whatever damages may occur - after all, it's in the EULA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:21am

    Re: Just give it to the Gov.

    Aren't the Spanish fascists? Russians were the ones doing socialism. Opposite ends of the political spectrum.

     

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  34.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:22am

    Re: It's Mine

    I am god ... stop squatting on my self given rights ... :)

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:24am

    Re: Thought of the Newspaper

    Well, it's an understandable mistake. The limeys don't ever see our parent star as overcast and dreary as it is there (so I'm told).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Rebecca, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:26am

    I'll be the first to sue her for my bad childhood sunburn and make a class action suit for skin cancer victims.

     

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  37.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:30am

    This is really old news

    This story really doesn't belong in TechDirt. The guy who sold acres on the moon actually made money.

    She the first to think of this??? Tell that to Dennis Hope, who has been selling off world real estate since 1980.

    http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/location-location-location

    Since this guy made money, hundreds of other people have exploited this "loophole" in the law. I would love to see her try to extort money through the courts from someone for their use of Sol.

     

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  38.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:30am

    Re: Old science fiction story covers this

    personally im working on a patent for a process to indicate posessiveness of statements in a written document.

    the patent pending process will enable authors to securly manage indication of statements made by a third party by inserting a " at the beginning and end of such qoted statements with attribution to the issuing party.

    mike, we should probably have a discussion on settlement terms since i have noted you are using this system. ill settle out of court with you for 1 large mocha, 1 subway token, 3 ball point pens (since i like your site, they can be the cheap ones rather than the expensive kind) and a case of silly string.

    please let me know how you would like to resolve this one.

     

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  39.  
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    Ryan Diederich, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Opt-out

    I loled

     

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  40.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Re: It's Mine

    if someone doesnt believe in you..... does that negate your ownership?

     

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  41.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:35am

    Re: This is really old news

    highlighting stupidity in property rights issues?
    thats got techdirt written all over it....

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    quickbrownfox, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:39am

    Petition of the Candlemakers

    19th century French free market economist and legislator wrote about this in 1845 with his famous "Petition of the Candlemakers." You can read all about it at http://bastiat.org/en/petition.html

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Josh Taylor, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:46am

    We need to tell The UN to make changes to their Outer Space Treaty to make it illegal for individuals to claim ownership of any outer space. Angles Duran is committing treason and a sin. She needs to be hunted down, put on trial in an international court, charged and convicted of international treason, and be put to death. It's a sin to claim ownership on God's creation, that's includes cutting down trees and destroying God's precious landscape, polluting the water, and claiming ownership on God's universe. Trees and plants should deserve equal rights the same way as animals and humans. Plants are not to be eaten by humans, same goes with animals. I am not only support animal rights, but rights for Trees and plants as well.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Unk Morlock, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Thanks, but not need.

    Live in large cave with lot big machine things. Not need you service this time. Please not have sales people yell down entrance holes no more.

    Eat You Later,
    Unk Morlock

     

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  45.  
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    Dez (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Opt-out

    Where's the "Hilarious" button?

     

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  46.  
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    Gracey (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:00am

    I'd like to see her collect...considering that most Christians (and maybe even some non-christians) would consider the creator of the sun has ownership of it. She wasn't the creator - I'm pretty sure of that. Even if I didn't believe in God, I'd be pretty sure she didn't create it.

    What's up with these people?

     

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  47.  
    icon
    Dez (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Re: Opt-out

    P.P.S: Could you also send information regarding uninterrupted service as I have already cancelled my moon subscription.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Re: Invest now!

    I own the patent on Mr. Burns' sun-blocking device, so you will have to pay me.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:22am

    file a case on her for exerting force on my piece of land

     

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  50.  
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    mike allen (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:32am

    best laugh all week

    Well done mike.

     

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  51.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:35am

    I think it's fair

    Once she plants a flag on it, I say she owns it.

     

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  52.  
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    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:37am

    "Loophole Means She Now Owns The Sun..."

    The only Loop-"HOLE" is in her head. I use solar energy. And there's nothin' she can do about it. }:P

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Mark, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:04am

    She might be able to own the sun, but she can't charge fees for its use, or else she would be operating its ownership as a business, and businesses are not allowed to own stars.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Transbot9, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Re: Some1 do her over and register ownership of the Known Universe

    Apparently, someone is still doing this - saw him on some history or science channel show, and he has been making a mint selling property on the moon to various people and corporations (according to him).

     

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  55.  
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    Transbot9, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:16am

    What is the spanish law for owning highly radioactive material?

    That could serious get her in trouble, right there.

     

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  56.  
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    Bin4ry.Ninj4 (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:32am

    Also:

    In slightly related news: I now own every shooting star. Anyone wishing upon a shooting star without my express permission will be sued for infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Opt-out

    For anyone who wants a lot more of that style of humor, here is the original guy's website who does those crazy emails.

    http://www.27bslash6.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    Re: --- Nutra Grain Ad

    "This is Bill, he owns this place and he's got more money than God!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6rE0EakhG8

    Still probably my favorite commercial ever. The Chuck Norrris Mountain Dew commercial is pretty close though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Also:

    The last shooting star I saw I wished for stupid IP laws to go away ...

     

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  60.  
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    Chargone (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Just give it to the Gov.

    that view point is far from unique to the EU.

    see the USA, Re: Sheeple.

     

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  61.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh I hope she gets sued. LOL!

     

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  62.  
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    TheBigH (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:48pm

    I don't know about Spanish real estate law, but many countries stipulate that to take possession of a piece of real estate you actually have to set foot there. Perhaps she could go at night.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Jd, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:55pm

    Dear Sun owner ...

    I'm glad someone has finally staked their claim on our firey home star. Now i can sue you for my various skin cancers. You have personally never undertaken any public interest warnings stating that too much exposure to your property causes cancer, and are therefore clearly negligent, given that medical science has known for years that sun exposure causes skin cancer.

    My skin cancers are minor, so I am the least of your problems. Here in Australia, we have the highest rate of death from skin cancer in the world. Hundreds die here every year from melanoma alone, so I guess you'll be hearing from the lawyers of their estates, as well as sufferers. You'd better up your usage prices.

    You're going to need every cent.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:47pm

    i get mirgains form over exposure to light, so if any one has her e-mail, i need to send take-down/legal threat letters

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Barna City, Dec 4th, 2010 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Just give it to the Gov.

    I seem to recall that Franco died in 1975 (and is still dead) and that shortly after 1975 some flavour of socialist government got its claws in.

     

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  66.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 4th, 2010 @ 11:43am

    Re:

    The mushroom farmers must love you!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

    Rich people use loopholes all the time, so why not poor people too?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    isaac the k, Dec 7th, 2010 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Old science fiction story covers this

    Apparently, it really is cheaper to settle out of court...

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Pat, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:31am

    Re:

    You claimed your yard did you not, that's part of Gods universe? Do you drive a car? That pollutes the air for the nice plants and animals so now they can not breathe. Also if plants and animals are not to be eaten by humans how the hell are we to survive, eat one another? We are animals so your wrong again and have proven to be a idiot at the same time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Tanmi Gold, Dec 27th, 2012 @ 10:36am

    Complete Facts

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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