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> Ownership, Fixing the mechanic
Redjack
post Jan 16 2015, 05:56 AM
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So I've posted several places how much I hate the mechanic as it stands. I understand why it was created, but believe that a little GM fiat, or even a social contract with the players, could have gone a long way here instead.

That said, I'd like to enhance ownership to make it workable. I'd like to approach it from an angle that does not rewrite the rules, but perhaps makes some assumptions in interpretations.
For example (let's refer to the mechanic as ownership®):

Rules
- The owner of an icon can intentionally transfer ownership to another persona in a process that takes about a minute.
- As ownership® is "registered with both the device (or other icons) and the grids" (SR5, pg236) ownership® can only be achieved on devices that are wirelessly enabled.
- "You can illegally change a device’s owner with a Hardware toolkit and an Extended Hardware + Logic [Mental] (24, 1 hour)" (SR5, pg237) ownership® is in some part controlled by a chip.
- Since ownership can be legally transferred in minutes or illegally in hours, some hardware change is required to illegally change ownership, but that change must be indirectly, not directly, related to the owner's SIN. A serial number makes the most sense here.

Assumptions
- A SIN is identity. Without a SIN you do not have an identity. A fake SIN is only fake identity and will break down under intense scrutiny eventually.
- Ownership® can only be held by someone with identity. Possessing something does not equate to ownership®.

Proposal:
- When a device comes online, the grid pulls the serial number and checks itself, then [manufacturer's registry?, central device registry?, grid registry?] for a match.
- Finding none (an unregistered device or a device with a fake serial number) the grid allows registration of the device owner by SIN.
- If found and a matching real/fake SIN is provided, the grid then allows ownership (and if desired, transfer of ownership).

Support for Proposal
- This proposal provides supporting details toward simple ownership transfer and the need for a toolkit and hardware to illegally transfer ownership.
- Supports losing all your stuff when your SIN is burned.

Holes in the Proposal
- Lacking any other game defined method for establishing identity, the SIN is used as the game system default.
- As a SIN can be faked, it should be assumed that a stolen/hacked SIN could be used to illegally transfer assets using the legal method.
- Fails to take into account that a fake serial would/should be immediately identified by the registry. This could, in turn, cause the manufacturer to stop providing support for the device software.

in the end, hacking the owner's comlink and simply directing their comlink to change ownership seems simpler and at lest.
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Bogert
post Jan 16 2015, 03:48 PM
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I agree on a lot of points. The Hardware test to change ownership always suggested to me some sort of DRM or Trusted Computing type chip, gummed up with epoxy and with built in hardware self-destructs.

In general, your proposal sounds pretty gameable.


But, here are some alternative ideas that might also lead to a workable system:
1. There is a difference between legal ownership and digital ownership®. ("Your Honor, he broke into my house and hacked the chip and now he says it's his house!" "Well, if the Matrix says it's his house, I'm afraid I can't do anything for you.")
2. Legal ownership requires and is tied to a SIN.
3. Digital ownership® can be tied to whatever the digital owner® wants to tie it to. ("Gun, feel this palm print? From now on, your owner® is whoever is holding you that has this palm print.")
4. Changing ownership® requires the device to recognize you as the owner® for the entire 1 minute process.

So, Shadowrunners probably won't be legal owners of most of their stuff, although, if they wanted to, they could have one of their fake SINs have legal ownership of it.

But, that won't generally matter, since, other than houses and cars, there probably isn't a very good easily accessible database of legal ownership of stuff. Being the digital owner® generally is all you ever really need, unless you're trying to enforce your rights through the courts.

I think, with my setup, there isn't an easy hack to steal ownership® in most cases. Having things be super dependent on the SIN is, I think, is a pretty big security problem.

"So, I start broadcasting the other guy's SIN from my commlink, yeah? Then I tell his commlink to turn itself off. (I'm effectively the owner, right?) Then I tell his gun and his cybereyes to turn themselves off. (I'm the owner of those too, right?) Then I run away." Does that work?

And, for Shadowrunners with cyberware, it's kind of a nightmare. "Crap, the fake SIN that owns® my wired reflexes got burned. Now what?"
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Redjack
post Jan 17 2015, 06:03 AM
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QUOTE (Bogert @ Jan 16 2015, 09:48 AM) *
3. Digital ownership® can be tied to whatever the digital owner® wants to tie it to. ("Gun, feel this palm print? From now on, your owner® is whoever is holding you that has this palm print.")
I understand the desire for this, I just can't wrap my mind around this as something a corporation, nor governments would support. I agree they would want the SINless to be able to buy their stuff (not officially of course, people without SINs are real people right?), I just think they would build in a way for stuff to not be officially have ownership®.

QUOTE (Bogert @ Jan 16 2015, 09:48 AM) *
So, Shadowrunners probably won't be legal owners of most of their stuff, although, if they wanted to, they could have one of their fake SINs have legal ownership of it.
Exactly.

QUOTE (Bogert @ Jan 16 2015, 09:48 AM) *
"So, I start broadcasting the other guy's SIN from my commlink, yeah? Then I tell his commlink to turn itself off. (I'm effectively the owner, right?) Then I tell his gun and his cybereyes to turn themselves off. (I'm the owner of those too, right?) Then I run away." Does that work?

And, for Shadowrunners with cyberware, it's kind of a nightmare. "Crap, the fake SIN that owns® my wired reflexes got burned. Now what?"
You make two great points. I do agree they would both be issues though. The important thing to remember is that laws are generally created under the assumption people will follow them. Take for example current gun control laws. They only work if criminals agree to follow them.

This conversation leads me to support even stronger that there should be a way for something to simply not submit to ownership®, rather it would consider possession to be authoritative. Does that make sense? Its kinda late here and I fear I may not be expressing myself as well as I would like.
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