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Did You Know That Your Digital Music Dies With You?

Last year, I received a letter from my lawyer asking if I’d considered what I was going to do with my digital assets.  I called him up.

“What do you mean by this?” I asked.

“You have digital music and movies and books and other files, right?  Did you know that under the current laws, you can’t will them to anyone like you can with your CDs and vinyl?”

Whoa.  That never occurred to me.  And it’s not just in Canada, either.  The Daily Mail has this story about what happens to the digital music owned by Britons when they shuffle off this mortal coil and join the choir invisible.

Matthew Strain, partner at solicitors Strain-Keville, says: ‘It boils down to this: you don’t have the same rights as with print books, DVDs and CDs. Rather, you own a licence to use the digital files — so when you die, they expire with you.’

Continue reading here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37882 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Did You Know That Your Digital Music Dies With You?

  • Just another reason I refuse to buy digital entertainment. If I don’t own an actual physical copy that allows me to do what I please with it, I don’t purchase it.

    This is one of my (many) complaints with selling entertainment in the digital age: Nothing is owned, it’s all just rented.


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