A hidden set of rules governs who owns what—explaining everything from whether you can recline your airplane seat to why HBO lets you borrow a password illegally—and in this lively and entertaining guide, two acclaimed law professors reveal how things become « mine. »
How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives
by Michael Heller & James Salzman
Doubleday, March 2021
(chez Levine, Greenberg, Rostan – voir catalogue)
« Mine » is one of the first words babies learn. By the time we grow up, the idea of ownership seems natural, whether buying a cup of coffee or a house. But who controls the space behind your airplane seat: you reclining or the squished laptop user behind? Why is plagiarism wrong, but it’s okay to knock-off a recipe or a dress design? And after a snowstorm, why does a chair in the street hold your parking space in Chicago, but in New York you lose the space and the chair? MINE! explains these puzzles and many more. Surprisingly, there are just six simple stories that everyone uses to claim everything. Owners choose the story that steers us to do what they want. But we can always pick a different story. This is true not just for airplane seats, but also for battles over digital privacy, climate change, and wealth inequality. As Michael Heller and James Salzman show—in the spirited style of Freakonomics, Nudge, and Predictably Irrational—ownership is always up for grabs. With stories that are eye-opening, mind-bending, and sometimes infuriating, MINE! reveals the rules of ownership that secretly control our lives.
Michael Heller and James Salzman are among the world’s leading authorities on ownership. Michael Heller is the Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law at Columbia Law School. He is the author of The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives. James Salzman is the Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law, with joint appointments at the UCLA School of Law and the UCSB Bren School of the Environment. He is the author of Drinking Water: A History.