Owning things in the digital world is generally problematic. If you can create copies of a digital file, which you almost always can, then it is difficult to state that you own it.
An important aspect of legal ownership is possession. Possession is one of two ways, and only two ways, that you can own something. This is called a chose in possession. If you possess something, there is a default presumption that you own it. This is where we get the expression, “possession is nine tenths of the law.”
The other way to have legal ownership of a thing (a “chose” in French) is via a chose in action—that is, the right to bring an action in court. This is generally the way that one has ownership of an intangible asset, such as copyright in a song, or ownership of property under a land titles act.
So, how do you possess something that is digital?
The short answer is, you need to be able to immobilise it, and have access to it in a way that others don’t.
This is precisely what a Vaulted Object does.
As only the creator of the Vaulted Object, or anyone that it has been transferred to, can extract a copy of the encrypted contents, that user can be said to “possess” the Vaulted Object and its contents. If you possess a thing, you have a chose in possession, which is a right in ownership.
The other primary right of ownership of a Vaulted Object is to transfer ownership to another person. That person will need to have an identity on the Vaulted Objects Infrastructure, and will need to consent to receive the transfer of the Vaulted Object. After the transfer is accepted, the new owner has the rights of ownership and the old owner does not.
Vaulted Objects are not a Digital Rights Management (DRM) system in the sense of preventing files from being copied. (Good luck with that on the internet, which is essentially a network of machines that copy files.) Rather, Vaulted Objects are secure containers that determine the forensic provenance of digital content, and, with the help of Digital Seals and Deeds, can manage the intangible rights associated with the content (such as by granting fractional copyright licenses).