Digital Collections Likely to Disappear at Death

Saturday, 25 Aug 2012 11:07 PM

By Todd Beamon

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
If you’re building up a collection of digital books or music in the hope that you can pass it on to your loved ones, think again, experts say.

Bequeathing iTunes and Kindle libraries would be much more complicated than, say, passing on 10,000 hardcover books, CDs or vinyl records, they believe.

“I find it hard to imagine a situation where a family would be OK with losing a collection of 10,000 books and songs,” Evan Carroll, co-author of “Your Digital Afterlife,” tells MarketWatch.com. “Legally dividing one account among several heirs would also be extremely difficult.”

The primary problem is that with digital content, one doesn’t have the same rights as with print books and CDs. Customers own a license to use the digital files, even though they don’t actually own them.

Apple and Amazon grant “nontransferable” rights to use content. As such,  you buy the complete works of the Beatles on iTunes, but you cannot give the “White Album” to your son or “Abbey Road” to your daughter, MarketWatch reports.

“You do not acquire any ownership rights in the software or music content,” Amazon’s terms of use says. Apple limits the use of digital files to Apple devices used by the account holder.

“That account is an asset and something of value,” Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss, an estate-planning attorney in Parsippany, N.J., tells MarketWatch.

But can it be passed on to one’s heirs?

Most digital content exists in a legal black hole. “The law is light years away from catching up with the types of assets we have in the 21st Century,” Wheatley-Liss tells MarketWatch.

In recent years, states including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Indiana, Oklahoma and Idaho have passed laws to allow executors and relatives access to email and social networking accounts of those who’ve died, but the regulations do not cover the digital files purchased, according to MarketWatch.

Apple and Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

NASA Spacecraft Approaches Mars to Seek Answers to Lost Water

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 13:53 PM

A NASA spacecraft designed to investigate how Mars lost its water is expected to put itself into orbit around the Red Pl . . .

Astronauts Getting 3-D Printer at Space Station

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 07:38 AM

The 3-D printing boom is about to invade space.NASA is sending a 3-D printer to the International Space Station in hopes . . .

New Smartphone App Gives Sight to Blind

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 07:29 AM

Jonathan Mosen, who has been blind since birth, spent his evening snapping photos of packages in the mail, his son's sch . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved