Black Holes and space law consulting
To which Frans graciously e-mailed (and I've added links, musical and other):
"Of course. I established Black Holes B.V., my consultancy company in 2007 in order to accommodate the growing need for professional advise on international legal, policy and political aspects of outer space activities and their applications here down on Earth in the broadest sense of the word. It just sort of coincided with my recent move from the Leiden, Netherlands, based International Institute of Air and Space Law to the position of Professor of Space Law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the purpose of the Space and telecoms programme which will be offered as per the academic year 2008-2009.
As for the consultancy company, I experienced that far too often in the context of major technologically-, operationally-, financially- or politically-driven space or space application programmes and projects far too little attention - or even none at all - was paid at the outset to outlining and analyzing the applicable legal, regulatory, institutional, policy and political framework. Such original omissions then turn out to work like black holes, sucking up unnecessary hours, efforts and resources, and I made it the mission of Black Holes precisely to provide timely professional advise and tailor-made tutorials, connecting the legal parameters and ramifications in a no-nonsense manner to the broader policy, political, economic, commercial, operational and technical aspects of any space activity or application, thereby allowing clients to avoid such black holes."
Great concept. We all know that familiar black holes feeling. As Frans said, "To be honest, the name of the company was also inspired by a lyric from the epic song Shine On You Crazy Diamond of the rock band Pink Floyd, "Now there's a look in your eyes / Like black holes in the sky", courtesy Roger Waters, stemming from the the seminal 1975 album "Wish You Were Here". Pink Floyd have often been labeled the space rock band par excellence, their career being replete with references to outer space, the sun, the moon and other celestial bodies, including the Earth itself as a planet, in their sound, song titles, album titles and lyrics alike."
That is music to our ears. ;)
The services Black Holes offers clients include:
Sounds like a comprehensive package for the space community. And it's about time. Given his wide expertise in international space matters covering the gamut from satellites to space tourism, Frans would be remiss if he did not turn up the volume, as it were, and open a 21st century space law consultancy company.
Good luck, Professor.
Prospective clients and others, send inquiries, comments, requests, song lyrics, etc., to Frans at firstname.lastname@example.org. And now if you'll excuse me, there's a CD I must go download to my iPod....
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IMAGE: I could not resist swiping this from the Black Holes website -- Prof. von der Dunk explaining space law to a delighted-looking Prime Minister Tony Blair. And come to think of it, we have a whole bunch of folks running for US president who could use Black Holes' advice too.