Questions tagged [ownership]

Questions about ownership of property. More specific tags include real-estate, intellectual-property, common-property, community-property. More general tags include property.

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93
votes
5answers
29k views

Stealing my own property back?

I have a guitar that I let my friend Joe borrow on the consensus that he would return it in a couple of days. Joe is a mutual friend of my ex Bob. Bob stole the guitar from Joe once he found out it ...
21
votes
3answers
7k views

Who owns the washing machine?

This scenario is based on a real life event but is a purely hypothetical question (because this isn't remotely worth going to court or even arguing over). The situation seems surprisingly complicated,...
16
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2answers
4k views

Do the police need probable cause or a search warrant to search a rental car being driven by someone who didnt rent the vehicle?

I'm not seeking legal advice, but rather I'm seeking others thoughts and reasoning on a case that has been disposed of already, which seems to be a violation of constitutional rights afforded to ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What does "this software is licensed, not sold" really mean?

When paying for software, the EULA often contains the clause "This software is licensed, not sold." I'm confused on what this clause actually means regarding one's ownership of the software. I have ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Can a person hack bitcoin private keys and legally claim the bitcoins for himself?

First, some background knowledge — bitcoins are a form of cryptocurrency that can be stored in "addresses". Each bitcoin address is linked to a specific private key. To access bitcoins in a specific ...
9
votes
2answers
649 views

Who owns an un-documented cellar/bunker? (UK Law)

A relative of mine purchased a house about 35 years ago. After a few years he discovered a bricked-up doorway leading to what was probably started as a WW2 bunker. It was abandoned and empty, and ...
8
votes
1answer
10k views

Is it illegal to take home a lost phone?

I experienced a common scenario today: I was walking along and found someone's lost phone on the ground. It was out of battery, so what I wanted to do was take it home, charge it, and then see if we ...
8
votes
2answers
318 views

Can universities require computer science students to develop software for free?

At my university (it is a public Florida university), one of the core computer science courses required for the degree involves a group project, and the class is divided up into a dozen or so teams, ...
8
votes
2answers
222 views

What are the legal risks associated with a business or organization that provides insurance for fare dodging?

I'm wondering about the legality of a system like planka.nu (Swedish subway fare dodgers) (More info here: NPR article and Planka.nu site) as they would be implemented in the USA. Is there any law or ...
7
votes
4answers
488 views

Do I have the right to get a copy of the source code I wrote during an internship? (Germany)

I did an internship in a small software company in Germany and wrote mainly two programs, one which is just an example to learn the language which has no monetary value and another one which could be ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

What is the legality of an individual of dismantling very clearly abandoned bikes locked to fixtures and fences in a public area?

I live in New York City. Brooklyn to be exact. And while this city is far from bike friendly, there are still a lot of bikes here. Including many bikes that are clearly abandoned and utter garbage in ...
7
votes
2answers
416 views

Can a thief legally use force to prevent you from take your property back, in Germany

In this comment on another stack a user claims: Even in thoroughly socialist places such as e.g. Germany where criminals have more rights than lawful people (see e.g. BGB 858 and 859 which not only ...
6
votes
2answers
862 views

Can someone's name be removed from software they created if they transferred ownership of the software?

Let's say that John is on Blue Team. Blue Team is a private, non-profit entity in the US that receives some funding from the federal government. John wrote some software while on Blue Team that was ...
6
votes
1answer
368 views

If I accidentally send a package to the wrong person, is it still my property?

Suppose the following were to happen. I've got a package on my desk. I am planning to send it to person A with intent to give them ownership of it. Instead, by mistake, I send it to person B. Is it ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Ownership of Work Copyright by Multiple Authors

If a work is "Copyright © year Author One and Author Two" (with no written or verbal agreement between Author One and Author Two regarding regarding ownership), what rights does each individual author ...
6
votes
1answer
279 views

Remove liability for user submitted content

I run a website and recently had a small legal dispute with content posted by a user. A copyright owner wanted me to remove content, I acknowledged the request, requested for proof of ownership, ...
6
votes
0answers
50 views

From where do the non-physical ownership rights over the HeLa cell line derive?

The HeLa cell line is the first studied immortal cell line. It was taken from a tumor in Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge, consent or property transfer agreement. It has developed into an ...
5
votes
3answers
296 views

Can copying simple general code cause copyright infringement? And is it even possible to avoid that?

Imagine that during writing software for the employer, I created simple helper function IsPositiveNumber(x) which returns true if x > 0 and false otherwise. Or function TrimBlanks(text) which returns ...
5
votes
2answers
281 views

Is it legal to unlock artificially limited hardware yourself?

Some companies sell hardware that is limited by some means, so that they can charge for upgrades. For example some Tesla cars have batteries with some capacity unavailable to the user unless they pay ...
5
votes
2answers
154 views

Are loose in-box licensing agreements binding?

I just purchased a vacuum cleaner and upon opening the box, there was a loose sheet of paper with a licensing agreement. The agreement said that using the product constituted acceptance of the ...
5
votes
2answers
165 views

Other customer grabbing my shopping

A situation that was discussed on another site: A goes to a store, sees an item he wants to buy, and puts it into his shopping trolley. It's the only item of that kind left in the store. B comes along....
5
votes
1answer
260 views

Can one claim unclaimed poultry living on their property?

Some time ago I dug out a pond on my piece of land in a small rural town in New Zealand. The intention was to attract wild ducks there and maybe have some domestic ducks, which I told all my ...
5
votes
1answer
319 views

Can employer claim ownership of intellectual property made while not at work?

I've heard in job contracts there can be clauses saying that all intellectual property created by the employee during their employment, belongs to the company, regardless if it's done during hours ...
5
votes
1answer
242 views

Child attained legal age, do the parents still hold any rights to medical documents from childhood?

Situation A child, let's call him Pete, went to some medical treatment when he was younger than legal age (18). All documents about this treatment were sent to his parents. Pete is now (way) above ...
4
votes
1answer
285 views

What kind of objects can be reclaimed?

What if you're purchasing a house and the previous owner wishes to reclaim some of the objects in your house? Wouldn't all the objects now be owned by the current owner, and if not, what kind of ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Who can claim ownership of pirated goods?

I recently got into a discussion about copyright and ownership. The person was arguing that when you illegally copy an item, then the copy is owned by the original author. As such he argues that they ...
4
votes
1answer
41 views

What happens to assets intended for incorporation that never forms?

I purchased two domain names with intention to use in a company with a partner. We both signed a Letter of Agreement that these domains were to be used in the not-yet-formed company, and otherwise ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Hunting rights to land but do not own the land

If a person inherits the hunting rights that are deeded and recorded, can the land owner force one to give the hunting rights back to him just because he wants to sell the land?
4
votes
1answer
269 views

Can a person block access to a public space? If so, how much public space?

As an example: Can I put a blanket in a public park and prevent anyone from sitting on it? What if it's a really big blanket? Can I decide to just block access to the whole park? Answers relating ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

Plausibility of US Suit over Ownership of Photos of Slaves

Background As reported in this Washington Post news article and many similar articles in other major news organs, a lawsuit has very recently been filed against Harvard University and various ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Copyright question about selling photographs/postcards of owned antiques

Over the years I have collected many fine arts antiques and/or vintage collectibles. Most notably hand-painted porcelain plates, dinnerware, and figurines or art glass (stained glass windows, lamps, ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Is it illegal for a family member to withhold/hide the passport of a legal adult, from the rightful owner - in the UK?

If yes, what action should be taken and on what grounds is it classed as illegal? Considering that both individuals are UK citizens, with a passport registered respectively, does it go against the ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Brother and Sister both own house. Sister moved out, should brother buy her half?

This is in Georgia, USA So a father bought a house, all paid for, then transferred it to his son and daughter, taking his name off completely. They all three lived in house. The sister gets married ...
3
votes
2answers
268 views

When does one become a "founder" of a business?

When does one become a "founder" of a business? For example, would it be when work on the business starts or when the business is incorporated? Such events could be years apart.
3
votes
1answer
270 views

Can residences be repossessed as with other real property?

Real property seems to have peculiar legal customs. For example, if somebody has leased property like a vehicle and defaults on their lease the most expeditious way for the true owner to recover the ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Can I be legally compelled, in the U.S., to return/destroy old work emails that are on my own laptop?

I used to work remotely and had my own hardware, etc. The company used Microsoft exchange (or similar) to run their email, store it on servers, etc. They killed my email account when I left but all my ...
2
votes
2answers
215 views

Do any US laws restrict ownership?

(This is inspired by and a generalization of the firearms ownership question). Many laws in the US restrict acquisition or possession of a thing. One can have legal title to a physical thing whose ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

Hypothetical - new land ownership

I am intentionally not specifying a country for the following as I am interested in answers for different countries. Lets say that instead of global warming we would have global cooling - the ice ...
2
votes
1answer
298 views

Who owns the logo of a company after the company declares bankruptcy?

Who owns the logo of a company after the company declares bankruptcy? For example who owns the logo for toys R'us after they declare bankrupt?
2
votes
1answer
702 views

Who owns the trash?

Let's say I invented a machine which turns trash into money. Can I legally: Take the trash from a trash deposit container outside my neighbor's house, without asking permission? Go to the landfill, ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Legal to make an app that organizes other people's youtube videos?

I'd like to make a mobile application that organizes youtube videos into groups, allowing the user to browse groups and watch videos. For example - I'd like to organize certain cooking videos (not ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Used car, private sale - seller risk?

My brother once sold a used motorcycle. Years later, it turned out the buyer had never registered/titled it, and my brother was responsible for the abandoned vehicle costs. I now want to sell an ...
2
votes
1answer
243 views

2 companies, some shared source code, 1 company gets sold - who owns what?

We have two software companies. Company A was formed 15 years ago. Company B was formed a year ago. These two companies do not compete, but they both access certain external APIs and massage ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

At the end of a lease, who owns the parts used in repairs?

I have found it is usually the landlord who is responsible for most repairs and this is specified in the lease (barring tenant negligence or other stated reasons why a tenant would be responsible). ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Does Mabo v the State of Queensland (1992) 175 CLR 1 state that "The Aboriginal people we the traditional owners of the land"?

I'm reading a essay making claims about the case Australian Mabo case from 1992. The essay states: ...the High Court (notwithstanding finding that the Aboriginal people of Australia were the ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

In what legal form can one shape their de facto occupation of local authority land?

I own a section in a small rural town in New Zealand. The boundaries of it are well known as I did a redefinition survey to find them out. Let's call this land A. Historically, land A has had a piece ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

My name was not included in an US patent but I am the main inventor. What process I should initiate so that my name is included as an Inventor?

I found about the patent too late while searching for eventual patent. The main idea of the patent under question was entirely my own. It was first implemented in a prototype, and then a production ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

Ownership of items bought with credit card

Hypothetical question, assume US jurisdiction. When someone buys an item with a credit card and then skips on the card bill payment, is there a legal provision for the card issuer to claim ownership ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Jack Dorsey just sold his first tweet. But was it actually owned by him? What constitutes "ownership" in law?

I'm pretty sure Dorsey owns the copyright on his exact words (if they are capable of copyright and not just a pre-existing or generic text that's been used by others elsewhere), and that Twitter has a ...
2
votes
1answer
564 views

Who owns the work created on freelance platforms like Fiverr?

Imagine this scenario: I go on Fiverr and hire an artist to create a piece of artwork for me. Everything went well, the artist created the piece, I'm happy with it and I paid for it. Now, who owns the ...