Who Owns the Sky?: The Struggle to Control Airspace from the Wright Brothers On

Who Owns the Sky?: The Struggle to Control Airspace from the Wright Brothers On

by Stuart Banner
     
 

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A collection of curious tales questioning the ownership of airspace and a reconstruction of a truly novel moment in the history of American law, Banner’s book reminds us of the powerful and reciprocal relationship between technological innovation and the law.

Overview

A collection of curious tales questioning the ownership of airspace and a reconstruction of a truly novel moment in the history of American law, Banner’s book reminds us of the powerful and reciprocal relationship between technological innovation and the law.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
[An] engaging book...Historically, British and then US common law declared that property in one's land extended from the center of the earth to the heavens. Yet ownership of the sky was all but impossible until the inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries made it accessible. At the very moment that ownership was possible, laws recognizing that property right were challenged. Banner narrates a terrific story, discussing how technology, first with the balloon and then other air travel, challenged the law and eventually changed it. The book weaves together the Wright brothers, legal scholarship, the emergence of the airline industry, and eventually the Supreme Court, offering fascinating details about the law on airspace. These changes climax first in a landmark decision by the Supreme Court clarifying airspace property rights, and then the 1967 Outer Space Treaty declaring the universe a common heritage beyond ownership...This is a fun, well-written, and informative book.
— D. Schultz
Times Higher Education
Banner claims that with this work he has written an intellectual history of American aviation law in the first half of the 20th century. And he has done exactly that--very well...This book is not only a great repository of the history of the question it poses, but is also a great yarn. Banner's friendly writing style gets one through the stickier details, and one simply feels better--not just better informed--for having read the book.
— James T. Crouse
Times Literary Supplement
At the heart of this clever, intricate, elegant book is the improbable fact that, for over fifty years, an arcane statute devised by medieval European scholars managed, in the twentieth century, to impede the growth of aviation in the very nation that invented it.
— Alexander Frater

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674020498
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
06/30/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
360
File size:
465 KB

Meet the Author

Stuart Banner is Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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