Publication Date



This book talk features Professor Aaron Perzanowski’s latest book (with Jason Schultz) The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy (MIT Press 2016).

When a consumer purchases a book from a bookstore they clearly own it. However, does this apply when a consumer purchases ebooks or other digital goods? This very question is debated in The End of Ownership. According to retailers and copyright holders, consumers do not own these purchases, but rather license them. As a result, a vendor can delete items from your device without prior notice or justification. Technological advances such as ebooks, cloud storage, and other digital goods have made our lives much easier. Yet, consumers should keep in mind the tradeoffs involving user constraints, permanence, and privacy. The authors’ consensus is that the introduction of private property and ownership into the digital marketplace would be beneficial.

Professor Perzanowski teaches courses in intellectual property, telecommunications, and innovation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His research interests include digital copyright, deceptive advertising, and creative norms within the tattoo industry.

The BookIT IP Series is co-sponsored by Chicago-Kent's Intellecual Property Program and Center for Empiricial Studies of Intellectual Property.

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