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The consumer and virtual or digital property – is this an oxymoron?


Griggs, LD, The consumer and virtual or digital property - is this an oxymoron?, Property Law Review, 4, (1) pp. 35-38. ISSN 1838-3858 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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This note examines the role that property law can play in the regulation and understanding of digital assets. Undoubtedly these will attract an economic value, but does this economic value translate into a notion that a person’s digital estate is personal property which can be owned, possessed, transferred or bequeathed? In Fairstar Heavy Transport NV v Adkins [2012] EWHC 2952, English courts were asked to consider the status of emails and whether these were property to which someone could make a possessory or title based claim. Ultimately the superior court was not required to address this, instead relying on the more traditional ground of agency. However, what we do know is that the dispute will not die, unlike the person who to some degree controls or creates these digital assets.The conclusion is that the phrase "digital property" is not an oxymoron and that the private law domain of property will have a role to play. It remains unclear what that role will be.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Private law and civil obligations
Research Field:Property law (excl. intellectual property law)
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Griggs, LD (Mr Lynden Griggs)
ID Code:96593
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2014-11-12
Last Modified:2015-05-05

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