You Buy It, You Break It

Document Type


Publication Date



Personal property occupies a precarious position in the digital marketplace. In the analog world, we have relied on stable, predictable property interests in our documents, media, and devices to guarantee us a reasonable degree of control over those objects and a reasonable degree of autonomy in our interactions with them. But in our increasingly digital environment, a cluster of interrelated developments have conspired against meaningful property interests in the digital stuff that makes up so much of our lives. As a result, rather than making our own choices about how we use and dispose of those digital objects, we often find ourselves dependent on the permission and good will of IP rights holders, technology platforms, and service providers.


Work published when author not on University of Michigan Faculty.