Res nullius

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RES NULLIUS. A thing which has no owner. A thing which has been abandoned by its owner is as much res nullius as if it had never belonged to any one.
     2. The first possessor of such a thing becomes the owner, res nullius fit primi occupantis. Bowy. Com. 97.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
In property law, cyberspace may be considered res nullius; it is incapable of private appropriation just like outer space.
As noted by Geir Ulfstein, "[t]he legal difference between the two concepts is that sovereignty over terra nullius may be acquired by occupation (equating the notion of terra nullius with res nullius (150)), whereas res communis cannot be the object of occupation." (151) Important Russian legal scholars support the contention that the 1872 diplomatic exchanges meant Spitsbergen could no longer be considered a terra nullius, if interpreted as a land subject to any state's sovereign claim.
In fact, the concept of finders keepers derived from the work of the second century jurist Gaius, who suggested that unowned property (res nullius) became "the property of the first taker." (Lueck) The Roman Emperor Justinian further proposed that property which was intentionally abandoned by its owner (res derelicta) turned into a res nullius and could thereafter be claimed by any individual who found it (known as occupatio.) (Metzger)
Res Nullius Pat O'Donnell 6th, 6f handicap, Naas, July 10 After ten runs you would think this four-year-old daughter of Rakti does not possess too many secrets from the handicapper, but a couple of recent efforts give hope there is a handicap to be won with her.
Para unos, el concepto res divina o res divinae tiene un contenido y sentido radicalmente positivos, ya se entienda por tal <<todo aquello que pertenece a una divinidad determinada>>, o bien <<todo lo que>>, aun no perteneciendo a divinidad alguna, <<ha sido dedicado a cualquiera de ellas>>, adquiriendo en ambos casos el caracter de res nullius in bonis.
of Minnesota) argues that as currently constituted within the doctrine of res nullius ("things or space which cannot be governed and therefore belong to no-one"), such an idea of commons categorically overlaps with the legal category of terra nullius, a colonial doctrine of sovereignty used by European states to dispossess indigenous peoples of their land.