Owning Property

OWNING PROPERTY : From Apples to IP, from Life to Land

What does it mean to “own” something as “property”? Our class will delve into the idea of “ownership” — who gets to be an owner and who doesn’t, what can be owned today and in the past, what rights come with owning, and what limits there are on owning types of property. We’ll dig into the rationales behind these different types of property, and consider alternate ways that humans have organized access to and control over resources and information. How and why has the “property” metaphor come to dominate so much of the way we relate to one another and the world around us?


  • Fall 2018, UMass Legal Studies 393P


Four Sections:

  1. Introduction to property concepts and theories
  2. Tangible Personal Property
  3. Real Property – land and houses. 
  4. Intangible Property – Ideas, Information, Reputations