Spacefaring and contractual obligations: who's with me?

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I’d prefer:

“…throughout the universe except Quebec.”


Lucky you!

By including this clause, they are writing a contract that is probably unenforceable under the laws of modern physics.

  1. Assert, by right of omission, that you retain your rights in all other multiverses. Under certain many-worlds hypothesis currently knocking around contemporary theoretical physics, you thereby retain your rights in (almost all) possible futures. (as always, William Gibson appears to have gotten here first. cf. The Peripheral)

  2. As Einstein made clear, it’s all about the reference frame. This contract defines the universe, but not the reference frame. That’s a massive enough loophole to hide black hole binary pairs. ( I leave the legal language as an exercise for the reader)

Go for it. It’s their language.


You grant and convey to Label, and confirm that Label shall be the exclusive, perpetual owner of all Masters throughout the universe

Looks like standard boilerplate getting your assent that they control He-Man, Skeletor, et al.


I love marking up contracts. It feels empowering. It turns a take-it-or-leave-it situation into one described by a favorite phrase, “it’s not just about you, we’re here too”. Even if a contract’s fine I’ll look for something to mark up just to stay engaged. That’s also why I hate the proliferating digital presentation of contracts, like when picking up at the pharmacy, because they’re impossible to amend.

I was in for a kinda major operation a couple years ago and in pre-op, which had the crazy rushed desperate wait-this-is-all-going-too-fast feeling of cattle being guided into the chute for processing, right before I changed into a gown and got hooked up to the IV on the gurney, one of the nurses presented me with a form to grant permission to the surgeon to use photographs taken during surgery. I was fine with pictures as long as they didn’t show my face and weren’t associated with my name, so I marked up the form to say that. The nurse was very concerned and very disapproving, telling me not to do that because “THEY don’t like it if you change it.” Too late, already written on, and if THEY don’t like it then I’m all for it, although it also sounded like she lived in fear of THEM and I was sympathetic.


"Lately, I’ve been crossing out “universe” and writing in “solar system.”

Wow, I have that problem too!

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Naughty. Where was that?

Every hospital I’ve worked in has a strict policy that clinical photos don’t include the face unless it’s the area of interest. Any photos used outside the clinical notes (say for education, as part of a lecture) need a separate consent process and can’t be displayed with an identifiable face and name, as you rightly demanded. So the only people who should be able to both see the photos and identify you, are those who need the photo to follow up your treatment.


Dude, they’re asserting rights outside the light cone!

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yes, but which one?

Wow, these lawyers are forward looking. If we find an alien civilization we could set up an interstellar internet (with decade/century-long pings) and trade digital files with them. Companies are potentially eternal and after a few more mickey mouse extensions of copyright it actually becomes feasible to collect royalties for centuries.

It was an independent surgical center associated with a major hospital in the U.S. (I’ll tell you which one specifically by forum private message.) Your system sounds like exactly how it should be. That may have been the de facto policy here too, but it would have been nice if they had said so, and the psychological setting was entirely wrong for signing anything new.

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Let’s not forget that the contract must be cut back to their potential jurisdiction if not further. If you actually travel off of earth they have nothing to say about anything you might do.

I’d write in “In the inner planets. The signor retains all rights for the outer planets. Rights for the Asteroid Belts will be assigned depending on the outcome of the custody court case.”


Don’t forget to include clauses covering Multiverse contingencies too, otherwise Evil Mirror Universe Cory could cause you one heck of a legal headache.

"We're sorry, but this recording is not available in your star system due to contractual restrictions."


Is this really the future you want?


throughout the observable universe

Problem with that is that physicists will perfect a gravity wave detector and expand the affected volume by a huge factor (which I am too lazy to calculate)

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Who are these lawyers that object and what are their specific objections?

I could understand “it’s not worth it to pay a lawyer to have this conversation”, “this feels a bit cargo cult”, “no” etc.

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