Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law at Columbia Law School
Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law with joint appointments at the UCLA School of Law and the UCSB School of Environment
Pulitzer Prize-winning staff writer for The Atlantic
Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives
BONUS AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of Mine! from FAN’s partner bookseller The Book Stall are invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Heller and Salzman that will start immediately after the webinar. Details on the webinar registration page.
“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?
In their 2021 book Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives, law professors Michael Heller and James Salzman offer explanations to 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.
Michael Heller is the Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law at Columbia Law School. One of the world’s leading authorities on ownership, “who gets what and why,” he is the author of The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives, an exploration of an ownership paradox that Heller discovered: creating too many property rights can be as costly as creating too few.
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 Environmental Science & Management. He is the author of Drinking Water: A History and is one of the world’s leading experts on environmental protection, counseling governments from Australia, Canada, and England to India, Uruguay, and China.
Heller and Salzman will be in conversation with Barton Gellman. Mr. Gellman, a critically honored author and journalist, is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author, most recently, of Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State and Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency. His awards include the Pulitzer Prize, an Emmy for documentary filmmaking, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available on our website and YouTube channel.
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