Private property rights

The basic rights of individuals (and organizations or associations of people functioning as a single conglomerate “legal person” such as corporations, partnerships, churches, non-profit foundations, etc.) to the peaceful possession, control and enjoyment of the things they own as well as their rights to make contracts to rent, sell or give away all or part of their various ownership rights over these possessions (or these possessions' services) to any other people willing to accept the owners' terms. The possessions over which a person has property rights may be tangible (like real estate, factory machinery, livestock, automobiles or a jack-knife) or intangible (like contractual obligations to provide goods or services at some time in the future, shares of common stock in a corporation, bonds, insurance policies, the right to broadcast over a designated radio frequency, patents, trademarks and copyrights). In highly specialized societies, property rights over particular resources may be “unbundled” and parcelled out among many individuals according to quite complex rules of division of authority over particular aspects or uses of the resource specified in written contracts — for example, separating mineral rights from surface rights to a parcel of land, utility easements over the same land, restrictive deed covenants and so on.