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  #41  
Old August 26th, 2011, 03:38 AM
Lycanorukke Lycanorukke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilmore View Post
I could see there being a place for a law office that has bureaus in multiple starports that primarily exist to sue free traders.
In which case you do what ships today do - register at a port who doesn't ask to many questions, is cheap and doesn't give a damn about fancy lawyers 20 parsecs away.

Or even better, register at a Vargr port. By the time the lawyers send their 'letter of complaint', the prior registar general lost his charisma and is now the janitor, and the local corsair captain who is now the registar needs some new reading material for the fresher.

Assuming of course the 'State of Registry' in the Extents even exists anymore.
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  #42  
Old August 26th, 2011, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycanorukke View Post
In which case you do what ships today do - register at a port who doesn't ask to many questions, is cheap and doesn't give a damn about fancy lawyers 20 parsecs away.

Or even better, register at a Vargr port. By the time the lawyers send their 'letter of complaint', the prior registar general lost his charisma and is now the janitor, and the local corsair captain who is now the registar needs some new reading material for the fresher.

Assuming of course the 'State of Registry' in the Extents even exists anymore.
I would be uncomfortable going on a cruise (real world) in a ship registered to North Korea or Somalia.

I suspect Vargr registry would impact profitability at Imperial ports.
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  #43  
Old August 26th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by kilmore View Post
How would a passenger be able to find out a ship's registry? How can they find out whether it is owned by the captain or a bank? I could see the registry being broadcast with the transponder, at least until the Virus.
The Registry Port would be something readily marked on the ship &/or it's IFF, even AFTER the Virus.

Most current real world water vessels mark the registry across the aft, just under the ship's name. That's mostly custom, tho some nations require marking it it as part of registration. Likewise, it's a major issue to fly the incorrect national flag from what's registered... unless you have permission from both the flagging nation and your registry nation. And on the the high seas, you're usually treated as being part of whichever nation's flag is being flown.

Even aircraft have their nation of registry READILY transmitted... it's the first 1-3 characters of the tail number! Aircraft registries do limit foreign authority over the aircraft... less so than boats, more so than cars.

The ownership is much trickier. The ship's "Registered Owner" is not the bank, unless the bank has repossessed it OR bought-in as a partner-investor. (Both of which happen in both the OTU and real world. Subsidy contract is essentially a form of partner-investor.) Finding out if it is owned clear is a matter of checking the title for a lien-holder... or an escrow holder... It's also not something that is going to be generally sought.

Unless suing.
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  #44  
Old August 26th, 2011, 01:04 PM
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If a modern boat is flying no flags, or more than one flag, it can basically be legally boarded by any State for inspection, and that can happen anywhere (including the high seas).

If they're flying a single flag, it gets a little bit more wiggly. But if a Nations Navy decides it wants to board you, your likely best off simply complying with them and bringing the issue up later with your State Department.

A anecdotal example, of questionable authority, is the opening of "Clear and Present Danger" where the Columbian hit team was on a yacht being pursued by a US Coast Guard vessel. One of the boarders ran to the back to fly the Mexican flag, and the CG said, effectively, "Sorry, you're a US Flagged ship and we're boarding you.". The could easily see the name of the ship and it was (apparently) home ported in New Orleans. Without going through a bunch of red tape, that's likely effective enough probably cause for the CG.

Also, note whenever you see a cruise line commercial, they typically say, or note in small print under what flag the ships operate. Many operate out of Liberia, a flag of convenience since it has liberal laws or taxes or whatever well suited to commercial ocean vessels, kind of like Delaware in the US is the "home" of a large amount of corporations.
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  #45  
Old August 26th, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icosahedron View Post
Some interesting ideas to throw at players, but I think it would be fairly standard practice to make sure you know the regs for the worlds you're visiting. Anything else would be professional incompetence.

As a player, I would expect a Ref to assume as standard that my trader character is doing his job properly, and only throw things like this in if it's reasonable that my character wouldn't know.

A sudden strike may be valid, but a period of industrial unrest usually precedes strikes, and the possibility of strikes would be known amongst the trading community.

New regulations are possible, but legislation usually takes months to negotiate and the broad nature of the proposed new regs (if not the exact details) will be known parsecs away, months in advance on the trader grapevine.

As a Referee, my first question would be 'why don't the characters know about this?' and I would only throw it in if I could come up with a good answer.
I would think it would depend on a combination of the chararcter's skill, access to information and, the scenario. If you have a party moving through an area that they would be unfamiliar with, say transiting several worlds they have never been to before, the chances of a problem increase. If the captain, merchant, or other 'pros' are low skill levels or lack access to things like a TAS database their chances of problems increase.

For a player it can be a problem when they are using a character whose skills and skill levels are completely out of their own depth in the real world. As an more clear example you might have someone who is technically and mechanically inept but they are playing a character who is supposedly a highly skilled engineer. This will be a big stretch for them as they have little experiance of their own to use with such a character. It could be a problem for a refree too.
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  #46  
Old August 26th, 2011, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
Ships are extraterritorial. That is, a ship is always considered part of its registered home country.

So, it all depends upon what the laws of the registry world permit the captain. If they grant him permission to hold a hearing, he holds the hearing. If they grant him permission to search and seize, he can do so. If they say he's got to hold the suspect in quarters until turned over at the next port, well, that's what he has to do. And if he doesn't, file a complaint with his registrar world. THEY can pull his registry, or worse...
Do we know that about the Imperium?
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  #47  
Old August 26th, 2011, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Do we know that about the Imperium?
No we don't, but the point is simply that if we've learned anything in the past hundred years, for good or ill, civilizations advance on the back of their lawyers. Advanced societies do not work well without laws and enforcement.

So, basically, canon or no, for a level of society at the advance state and sophistication that is the Imperium, there's no way that there just some arbitrary anarchy at work flying between the stars. That entire domain, particularly because of the importance of trade to the Imperium, is going to be pretty highly regulated.

Devils in the details, but there's something there, and it's not simply Captains word goes. Rather, it's going to be the Captain is the State (Imperial, planetary, whatever) representative with some kind of enforcement and possibly prosecution powers.
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  #48  
Old August 26th, 2011, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by whartung View Post
No we don't, but the point is simply that if we've learned anything in the past hundred years, for good or ill, civilizations advance on the back of their lawyers. Advanced societies do not work well without laws and enforcement.
I'd say that while law enforcement and a court system are necessary, lawyers are not. In fact, I would postulate that as technology advances their need in society would decrease to zero.

Why? Because intelligent systems and databases would replace them. No need for a specialist in law when any computer terminal would provide the same function. If advocates were needed in courts a person could simply have someone as their represenative chosen by them on the basis of confidence in their ability rather than their possession of a piece of paper saying they graduated from a school.

On other things.... I would assume that there are commercial and other treaties among worlds and systems as well as the various empires in the game. For example, I would think there are a generalized set of "rules of the road" for starship and even spaceship operation. On busier worlds I would expect there to be the equivalent of lanes of navigation that ships have to remain in when closer to a planet than some specified distance.
I would also think there are like universal codes a ship can use for various situations much like they did in the early days of radio. Something like RRRR for a raider (the used code around WW 1), or PPPP for pirates, things like that.

So, a ship entering a busy technologically advanced system would probably be required to immediately identify itself to local controllers, then state its intentions and, then follow the rules of navigation in moving to the starport or elsewhere in the system.

I could even see such systems telling a ship that they have to rendevous with a customs / revenue vessel before proceeding to refuel at a gas giant as there is a local tax on that activity. Why would a system government give fuel away for free when it is a ready source of outside revenue?
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  #49  
Old August 27th, 2011, 01:14 AM
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It strikes me that everyone is projecting our own balkanised thinking onto the Imperium. We have national registrations and flags of convenience simply because there is no alternative on Earth today.

IMO, all ships would be extraterritorial and would be registered to the Imperium. A set of interstellar 'maritime' laws would have been drawn up millennia ago and these would hold aboard ships and starports everywhere. They would form the basis of Imperial Law. Beyond the extrality line, the planetary laws would hold and would differ to a greater or lesser extent from the Imperial 'norm', but in space, and in the ships and ports that are an extension of space, Imperial Law would hold.
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  #50  
Old August 27th, 2011, 01:29 AM
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Doesn't canon law state that the planet's rule themselves, and the Imperium controls the space between stars, including the star-ports with their extrality zones? So the Imperium makes the shipping rules, not planets.

If anything, planets can only control tariffs and quotas for goods and people.

It makes a kind of sense, too.
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