Surprise! You don’t own the digital devices you paid for


When you buy something you naturally think that — you know– you own it. But when it comes to products that contain software you don’t.

As bizarre as that sounds, it speaks to a serious issue: Consumers who buy a device that depends to some extent on software – whether it’s a Kindle or a tractor – are subject to the whims of the company that developed and sold the software.

That odd and fundamentally unfair state of affairs is why two members of Congress – a Democrat and a Republican – have teamed to reform a key provision of copyright law and give consumers the right to actually own stuff they’ve paid for.