Ownership as it relates to agency

The idea of ownership, and the prevailing metaphor of the house, at the center of Domains definitely has its limits. As Maha Bali has pointed out, does anyone truly own their domain, or is it simply being leased from the registrars? 

My understanding of ownership is that something belongs to me. That I have already acquired it or been gifted it. And I own it until I die, no additional payment required. If I own it and I die, it passes to my heirs.

That isn’t at all the case with domains.

~ Maha Bali

To which Audrerey Watters both responds and digs in:

What do you own? Your degree? Your ideas? Your work? Are you sure? Have you read the fine print of the Terms of Service?

What data and/or content can you take with you when you finish a class or when you graduate? And what can you, as Maha frames it, pass along to your heirs when you die?

~ Audrey Watters

In the end the question around ownership breaks down in the digital economy we find ourselves in, for Watters the idea of resistance to the subscription-based future of our online identities remains strongly rooted in education:

In part, I think we resist through education; we help students and scholars understand how new digital technologies work, how these technologies shape and reshape and are shaped by culture, politics, money, and law.

~ Audrey Watters