Monday, November 19, 2007

property rights through copyright



I realize that some of my posts are overly self-indulgent (the bitch-slap post being a case in point), but ultimately, I am writing, and fiddling with photo's, for my own amusement. I still want you, the reader, to take something away though...

A year or so ago, there was a lot of talk about oil and gas and mining companies staking private property, and making resource claims on same. A lot of people found this to be outrageous, and I certainly did. There was the guy out in Vernon exercising these staking rights, and was very busy traipsing over people's lands and there was nothing the property owners could do about it. Then there was the ranch up near Ashcroft that had a company mining kitty litter, and generally destroying the land. Again, the property owners had no legal recourse. It gave me pause for thought in buying raw land. Most of the province is being staked, and it would be difficult to protect against such intrusions and trespasses.

Perhaps one could stake claims on any land one chose to buy, but the "companies" have already staked most of it. How to deal with that? I read an article in Canadian Art magazine about one artist's way of protecting his land...he copyrighted his property as an autonomous piece of art.

Peter von Tiesenhausen, in 2005
"...set a legal precedent by successfully claiming copyright of his land as an autonomous piece of art, thereby protecting it from encroaching oil and gas interests." Again, one might view such legal safeguarding as the politico-legal incarnation of the romantic desireto parcel up and control the landscape. But really, when urgent and large-scale legal reforms seem like a pipe dream for environmentalists and concerned artist-citizens alike,how can one resist the legal system by operating in it's extant, if flawed, strictures? Von Thiesenhausen's legal success offers a glimmer of hope in an ever-more-hopeless world. His paintings,like totems salvaged from a fire in the studio of his beleaguered mind, stand as a bittersweet celebration, a small victory for art over the big murder of economic progress.


That same small victory could be claimed by whomsoever would make a mineral claim on Gordon Campbell's land on the Sunshine Coast, and proceed to quarry it for gravel. It was after all, the Campbell government that made it so easy for big business interests to lay claim on the private lands of British Columbians... And since property rights were omitted from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we must protect those rights in any way that we can.

Hurrah for Peter von Tiesenhausen!

12 comments:

aetakeo said...

Holy heck. I had no idea.

solipsist said...

I had no idea.

About copywriting your land?, or about mineral/resource rights?

I think that copywrite is a very elegant solution.

For info. on the mineral rights, look , and here.

solipsist said...

um, two separate links happened - "and" is one, and "here" the other.

DaMann said...

You will be happy to see this!

http://thetyee.ca/News/2005/04/19/CompanyGrabsMining/

Looks like someone has taken your advice!

DaMann said...

Try again
linky

DaMann said...

whoops sorry solipsist, didn't see your link up above linking to the same thing.

solipsist said...

link up above is wonky, and would have been better included in the post.

My life is crazy these days, and my brain is frozen...

solipsist said...

I really meant to write copyright - as opposed to copywrite. Proof reading before submission can be useful...saves from writing bad copy.

the pope said...

Wow. You really opened my eyes with this post as well - I had no idea about the recent changes to sub-surface rights. The kitty litter story is frightening, it makes BC real estate look like a potential nightmare.

The copyright defense is a creative solution, I wonder how that would hold up and how many land owners could use that approach?

solipsist said...

...it makes BC real estate look like a potential nightmare

When you factor in land claims that cover more land than is in BC, it gets really interestingly nightmarish.

...the Xeni Gwet'in Chilcotin claim ownership of the Nemiah Valley, almost 432,000 hectares of wilderness southwest of Williams Lake, about 200 kilometres northwest of Vancouver.

...Early in the proceedings, the court ordered governments to pay the legal costs of the aboriginal band, which means taxpayers are footing the bill for all three parties to the case, including the federal and B.C. governments.

The original budget, submitted by lawyer Jack Woodward representing the Chilcotin in 2001, was for a trial of six months at a cost of $649,000 in legal fees only for the band.

In 2006, noting that those fees had escalated to $10-million...



Let's multiply that by 100's of bands in BC... Because most First Nations in BC have never signed treaties, the majority of the province remains subject to outstanding Aboriginal land claims.
linky

All in all, the Chilcotin claim (and award) is more than 2,400 square kilometres. That's a lot of lumber (mostly fir and spruce, with some beetle-kill).

Forestry is in the turlet anyhow...

(in all that excited copy/paste, I almost forgot to mention the EXTREME OVER-VALUATION of RE in BC. Especially in Vancouver.}

solipsist said...

Blogger is doing weird things to links.

The link that starts with "Let's multiply that..." is a link to the quote above, and the "linky" links to the source that became that link.

I can't explain it, I did it twice, carefully checking the html, and it did the same thing.

I'd switch to WordPress, but I just don't have the time or gumption.

Ack!

aetakeo said...

I had no idea about the mineral/resource rights that make copyrighting land something anyone'd consider. That's amazing. It's also very good to know. I wonder if certain covenants on the land might work. Hm.