I don't think saying it was invented by really, really powerful people would make as much sense as saying it was a really, really good idea. And goodly people would go to lengths to prevent misunderstandings and to prevent suffering to others.
This can be solved by having companies/settlements/kingdom/people be able to flag ownership of goods. These goods cannot be sold or traded as long as they are owned by that group/person(could be a contract). If the contract is terminated, they have X amount of time to return to items to a drop location, or they become open for attack by any party hired by the owner. This gear cannot be destroyed by the game death mechanic, it is preserved on the body along with the random items, and until everything is returned(if they are keeping things in storage) they are still open for attack. It also gives something to...