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The End of OwnershipPersonal Property in the Digital Economy$
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Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035019

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035019.001.0001

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Ownership’s Uncertain Future

Ownership’s Uncertain Future

(p.169) 10 Ownership’s Uncertain Future
The End of Ownership

Aaron Perzanowski

Jason Schultz

The MIT Press

This chapter begins by considering the emergence of the sharing economy, which brings consumers cheaper access and convenience. But it also deprives consumers of some rights that are commonly associated with property ownership. This chapter then proposes several ways to combat the erosion of ownership. Legal reform faces many hurdles, but there are still several steps legislators and courts can take: first, false claims of ownership such as “buy now” or “own” should be targeted to improve consumer information; second, the pervasive use of form contracts needs to be curbed; third, consumers need to be freed from the restrictions imposed by DRM; lastly, courts also need to reinvigorate the principle of patent exhaustion and reform copyright law. Technological developments, including using block chain technology to record ownership interests in digital assets, can also help ensure meaningful personal property rights.

Keywords:   Sharing economy, Temporary-access model, Forward-and-delete technology, Bitcoin, Block chain

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