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India’s government has proposed a new space law that essentially places all control of future space projects under the control of the central government.
The proposed law, which is open for comment for the next month, can be read here [pdf]. I’ve read it, and it astonishes me in its oppressiveness and hostility to private enterprise. This clause, one of many similar clauses, sums this up quite well:
Any form of intellectual property right developed, generated or created onboard a space object in outer space, shall be deemed to be the property of the Central Government.
The law would also require anyone who wants to launch a space project to get a license from the government, and gives the government the power to control that license in all aspects, including the power to cancel it for practically any reason.
If this law passes I expect that India’s burgeoning space industry will suffer significantly, especially because it will make it difficult to attract investment capital. Instead, it will be the central government that will run the business, and in the long run such government businesses always do badly.