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Article

Transferring Rights of Satellite Imagery and Data: Current Contract Practice and New Challenges

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2018
Keywords geospatial, remote sensing, Incoterms, intellectual property
Authors Jordi Sandalinas Baró
AbstractAuthor's information

    The present work refers to the challenge of understanding the emerging contractual paradigm referred to satellite imagery and data online commerce. Issues like the role of consent in new online contract forms will be analyzed. In this regard, the formation of online contracts requires the existence of consent given by the parties to the contract. The formation of contracts known as “click-wrap”, “browse-wrap” and “shrink-wrap” agreements constitute a new paradigm in the tradition of online commerce related to satellite imagery and data. The author highlights other legal challenges encountered during his research and practice such as the Intellectual Property Paradigm regarding Geospatial imagery and data commercial transactions. Moreover, Value Added Data and the Exhaustion of Rights Principle of the rights deserve also some close attention and must be added to the present study.


Jordi Sandalinas Baró
Attorney at Law, Maritime SDI, Drone and Satellite Law, Lecturer and Course Instructor, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, CEO Image Sea Solutions, Coordinator SpaceLaw.net, email: advocat@sandalinas.com.

    The paper provides an overview on recent legal issues in Earth Observation data and services resulting from changes in technologies and markets, which at least some qualify as disruptive. The developments bring some well-known legal issues in Earth Observation into new perspectives. In addition, many typical legal issues in the IT and E-commerce sectors become now directly relevant in Earth Observation.
    The market for Earth Observation data and services is changing dramatically. Around the world, government agencies and commercial companies are investing in new Earth Observation satellites, sometimes including large constellations of small satellites. The rise of Earth Observation satellites goes along with a massive increase in available data. Overall, the Earth Observation market is showing positive developments, with average yearly growth rates of 10% or more. Earth Observation data and services are now increasingly provided via the internet, through online platforms with typical ecommerce type elements. Cloud computing services are used to handle the massive data volumes to be accessed via such platforms. Generally, we see a slow shift from the traditional data provision approach based on data licenses to more comprehensive services based on contracts and related Service Level Agreements (SLA). From the legal perspective, the above-described technology and market developments do not raise previously unknown issues. Commercial E-commerce platforms and Cloud Computing services have been introduced since several years and the legal issues related to them have been tackled by legislation, codes of conduct and business practice. However, the transposition to and use within the Earth Observation sector raises challenges for institutional and commercial stakeholders. In addition, some well-known legal issues in Earth Observation come into new perspectives. This includes data policies, copyright, data licensing, personal data protection, standardization and interoperability, as well as warranty and liability for Earth Observation data and services. The paper provides an overview from a European perspective.


Ingo Baumann
BHO Legal, Germany, ingo.baumann@bho-legal.com.

Lesley Jane Smith
Leuphana University of Lueneburg, smith@leuphana.de.

Gearge Anthony Long
Fountain Hills, AZ United States

Mahulena Hofmann
SES Chair in Satellite Communications and Media Law, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

C. Doldirina
Article

Forum-Selection Clauses in Suborbital Space Tourism Contracts and EU Law

Nandasiri Jasentuliyana Keynote Lecture on Space Law & 2nd Young Scholars Session

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2010
Authors M. Chatzipanagiotis

M. Chatzipanagiotis
Article

Space and Lisbon: a New Type of Competence to Shape the Regulatory Framework for Commercial Space Activities

Nandasiri Jasentuliyana Keynote Lecture on Space Law & 2nd Young Scholars Session

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2010
Authors M. Sánchez Aranzamendi

M. Sánchez Aranzamendi

L.J. Smith

C. Doldirina

A. Froehlich
Article

Treaty Law in Support of Climate Monitoring

2008 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 47th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "Legal Implications of Space Applications for Global Climate Change"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 8 2008
Authors F.G. von der Dunk

F.G. von der Dunk
Article

Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty 'in the European Context'

The 3rd Eilene M. Galloway Symposium On Critical Issues In Space Law in Washington D.C., United States, December 2008: "Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty: Issues and Implementation"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 9 2008
Authors F.G. von der Dunk

F.G. von der Dunk
Article

Duties and Liabilities of Space Tourist Operators

Legal Issues of Private Spaceflight and Space Tourism

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2007
Authors Z.N. O'Brien

Z.N. O'Brien
Article

Advertising of Private Commercial Space Services in the European Community

Legal Aspects of Space Transportation and Launching

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2006
Authors Z.N. O'Brien

Z.N. O'Brien
Article

Remote Sensing Data: Some Critical Comments on the Current State of Regulation and Reflections on Reform

Cooperation in Space Activities, With Special Focus on Remote Sensing

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2006
Authors L.J. Smith and C. Doldirina

L.J. Smith

C. Doldirina
Article

Consumer Protection and the Limitation of Liability in the National Regulation of the Space Industry

Other Legal Matters I, Including Legal Aspects of Sub-Orbital Flights

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2005
Authors Z.N. O'Brien

Z.N. O'Brien
Article

The Co-Operation of ESA and EU and the Relationship of their Legal Regimes

The Co-Operation of ESA and EU and the Relationship of their Legal Regimes

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2004
Authors K. Kunzmann and J. Cloppenburg

K. Kunzmann

J. Cloppenburg

L. Crapart
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