The digital age has destroyed the concept of ownership, and companies are taking advantage of it

Christopher Groskopf, Quartz, Oct 01, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The headline is probably not news to the people reading this article. But to people in the movie theatres watching the Cineplex advertising that they can "own this movie" with a superticket, many of the limitations may come as a surprise. The fact is we are being misled with the purchase of just about everything today - limitations on digital copying, restrictions on repairing our cars or our lawn mowers, constraints on resale or exchange, no rights of satire and fair use - none of these would be acceptable at the prices we pay, and yet all of them constitute deliberately hidden limitations on our purchase rights. If I, an ordinary citizen, tried to do this, it would be fraud. But in the digital marketplace it's business as usual. Do people care? No. "Before anything like that can happen millions of users will have to, at a bare minimum, acknowledge that huge swaths of their lives are legally controlled by contracts they have never even read."

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