January 13, 2007

Alas, Block Island is Too Close (and Probably Too Expensive) For a Shot at International Glory

Carroll Andrew Morse

I know this kind of thing happens in James Bond movies, albeit usually involving more ambitious goals, but I didn’t think it could happen in real life (h/t Drudge)…

Swedish file-sharing website The Pirate Bay is planning to buy its own nation in an attempt to circumvent international copyright laws.

The group has set up a campaign to raise money to buy Sealand, a former British naval platform in the North Sea that has been designated a 'micronation', and claims to be outside the jurisdiction of the UK or any other country….

The "island" of Sealand, seven miles off the coast of southern England, was settled in 1967 by an English major, Paddy Roy Bates. Bates proclaimed Sealand a state, issuing passports and gold and silver Sealand dollars and declaring himself Prince Roy.

When the British Royal Navy tried to evict Prince Roy in 1968, a judge ruled that the platform was outside British territorial waters and therefore beyond government control.

The British government subsequently extended its territorial waters from three to twelve nautical miles from the coast, which would include Sealand, but Prince Roy simultaneously extended Sealand's waters, claimed that this guaranteed Sealand's sovereignty.

I hope this doesn't give anyone in Rhode Island strange new ideas for siting a casino...

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Good for them. I sent them $10.

Posted by: Greg at January 13, 2007 10:32 AM