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Ownership

Overview#

Ownership may be private, collective, or common, and the property may be of objects, land or real estate, or Intellectual Property.

Determining Ownership in law involves determining who has certain rights and duties over the property. These rights and duties, sometimes called a "bundle of rights", can be separated and held by different parties.

Ownership aside from our own bodies, there's nearly nothing we truly "own" outside of a more-or-less universally acknowledged Social contract. So far, science hasn't created a way for one person to take control over another Natural Person's body, but everything else—your clothes, your car, your home, your various toys—can be removed from your possession if someone can find a way to engineer, through the shared Social contract, that it belongs to them instead of you. You can be taxed, fined, penalized, charged, or sued for your property. The contract is elaborate and full of loopholes.[1]

Yet, it's better than the alternative. If not for this social construct, anyone who walks inside your home and takes your TV becomes its owner, purely by virtue of having it. We don't like it when some rule or law says we owe someone something of ours, but we much prefer it to an anarchic law of pure possession.[1]

If Alice takes a photograph of Bob, who owns the Photograph?

Data Ownership is even more complex.

More Information#

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