Economics/Class Relations

The death of ownership

May 18, 2023
Hi, Insiders. This is Lisa Ryan, an executive editor on Insider’s audience team. That phone you just bought — are you sure you own it? What about that new car? Companies are using sneaky software, confusing legalese, and onerous subscriptions to take away your ability to actually own the stuff you buy. That’s today’s big story.


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Holmes, Prince Harry, & Russia

  • It’s official — Elizabeth Holmes has been ordered to report to prison on May 30 to begin serving her 11-year sentence. More here.
  • New York City’s mayor slammed the paparazzi who chased Prince Harry and Meghan as “reckless and irresponsible.” Read the story. Plus, here’s a timeline of what happened.
  • Russia is hunting Ukraine’s Patriots with one of its best weapons. Russia is using its prized Kinzhal missiles in a major test of the US-made Patriot batteries. Read more.

Death of ownership

Tyler Le/Insider


Companies are radically redefining what it means to “own” something.

As more devices in our lives run on software, manufacturers have started to exert more control over their products — even after the customer has purchased them.

Some companies force customers to use their repair services, disabling the product if customers try to fix it themselves. Others require people to pay for ongoing subscriptions to access what used to be considered basic features of the product.

Companies are just beginning to monetize this control, with dystopian methods and the assistance of America’s unbalanced copyright laws. But there are ways that consumers and policymakers can push back.


Bang Bang Tattoo, Gen Z, & more

Zach Meyer for Insider


  • Bang Bang Tattoo’s owner, Keith McCurdy, inked Justin Bieber on a private jet, Cara Delevingne at the Gansevoort hotel, and Katy Perry on tour. Vogue has heralded him as the “best in the biz.” But his media savvy has camouflaged a different side to the tattooer and the business he runs, ex-staffers say. A former Bang Bang artist said, “He’s actually a monster.” Our full story here.
  • Don’t be fooled by the popular TikToks telling you sunscreen is toxic. Some social-media posts claim that sunburns are caused by our diets — particularly seed oils — and influencers are saying that eating right is more protective than SPF. Doctors aren’t having it.
  • The “Vanderpump Rules” star Ariana Madix slammed her “laughable” ex-boyfriend Tom Sandoval. During the season 10 finale last night, the aftermath of Madix uncovering Sandoval’s affair was showcased. Speaking after the episode aired, Madix also hit out at Tom Schwartz. The full report.
  • Employers listed the 10 fastest-growing jobs from 2023 to 2027. The World Economic Forum’s report said roles in robotics engineering were expected to grow 30% — which still only made them the seventh fastest-growing role. Check out the others here.
  • Gen Z’s credit-card debt could get even worse. The generation is already missing their credit-card payments at a rising rate. But their finances could get even worse when student-debt payments resume later this year. Read more.
  • Desperate Iranians are selling their livers, corneas, and testicles on Telegram. Insider reviewed dozens of Telegram messages which appeared to show Iranians advertising a range of organs for sale, with many citing debts and risk of bankruptcy as their reasoning. More here.
  • A dispute over a $2,600 tattoo design went viral on TikTok. Courtney Monteith spent thousands hoping to get a full sleeve on her arm. In the end, all Monteith got for her money was a rough drawing of a fox and no actual tattoo — so she turned to TikTok. Go inside the story.

Titanic 3D images

The first-ever full 3D scan of the Titanic was released Wednesday, showing the wreckage of the ill-fated ship in incredible detail. View the images here.

Food Wars

From calorie count to portion sizes, Insider’s Joe Avella and Harry Kersh wanted to find all the differences between Costco’s food court in the US and the UK. This is “Food Wars.”

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This edition was curated by Lisa Ryan, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Bob Bryan, Shona Ghosh, and J.R. Stacey. Get in touch:

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