Friday, 5 June 2015

Glenn Duker, Lawyer and Solicitor, Discusses Who Owns Your Downloaded Music After You Die

As more and more people shift towards streaming music from the internet over downloading their own copies (legally or illegally!), we have to remember that it wasn’t that long ago that streaming just wasn’t an option for many of us. We would have to pay $1.69 - $2.19 for a single track, or $8.99 - $16.99 and beyond for a full album to iTunes and download it to our smartphones or hard drives to listen to it.

Glenn Duker
Now, you’d think that once you pay your money, you own the file and therefore can do whatever you like with it, right? Like say, bequeath your collection to a loved one when you pass away?

Don’t be so sure about that.

If you’re like most people, when you log on to iTunes and the ‘changes to terms and conditions’ screen appears every now and then, you probably scroll to the bottom without actually reading the Ts and Cs to click on the Agree button. What is stated in the terms and conditions though, is this:

‘You agree that the iTunes Products are provided to you by way of a licence only. This means you cannot legally bequeath your iTunes library.’

Kindle owners who like to purchase ebooks from the Amazon store will find in their terms and conditions:
‘You do not acquire any ownership rights in the software or music content.’

So effectively you’re not paying for ownership of the file, you’re paying for the licence to use their files, and that licence cannot be transferred. Technically that licence expires when you do.

Many of us over recent years have built up extensive digital libraries of music, movies and books. While the law has not yet caught up with technology, it’s presumptuous to say that it won’t ever. In time we may be able to legally pass those libraries on to loved ones in our wills. To be sure that your will is in order, make an appointment with lawyer and solicitor Glenn Duker today.

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