Who inherits your blog when you die?


Or your facebook account or a life time of emails? For a vast majority of Bloggers this is a meaningless question. Particularly for the youngish hoards of Sri Lankan blogosphere who have barely clocked a decade of adulthood. It is the age of feeling immortal, where death is an abstraction or something that happens to other people. Usually in the news.

Yet we all have some of digital assets which might be of historical or financial significance. Particularly if you are earning a precious trickle of hard currency via something ad words. Perhaps you are a major figure in a particular field or minor culture like the Sri Lankan blogosphere. In the old days (such as now) it is customary for biographers to dig through the “personal papers” of a significant personage.

There has to be a niche market in publishing around the correspondence of the famous dead. Email with its search ability could make the task even easier. Or impossible if everything is locked away behind a password and a reticent service provider. I doubt if issues over digital assets have be fought out in court or have tested existing laws in Sri Lanka. Usually we don’t bother to think about such things until it creates a problem, a mess or a news item.

The digital assets of a shit like me are monetarily worthless and culturally irrelevant. But the few who don’t fit into that category should give the topic some thought. If you do any kind of googling on this topic you will read of “Legacy Locker” (overview on techcrunch.com). Legacy Locker seems to be the most prominently mentioned service provider for “preserving” digital assets. Hoever not everyone thinks it is a good idea. David Shulman of South Florida Estate Planning Law writes that Legacy Locker is a Big Fat Lawsuit Waiting to Happen.

Note that I have no relationship with both these entities and linking to their websites is NOT an endorsement of their services.

I won’t end this post with the usual “what would you do” questions that garnish other posts of this type. Instead a different question: who do YOU think is a significant Sri Lankan identify that should leave a digital will? Don’t forget to say why.

10 comments

  1. Good question. There was a service to answer this but I can’t remember anything about it. I still don’t feel like worrying about this. Feeling too young to die😀 . Don’t want to die before I change the world anyway😉

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  2. chanux:😀 I think it is nothing to worry about as much as contemplate.

    Santhoshi: The comment box waits your thought🙂

    RD: Then I’ve made a worth contribution so something😀 FINALLY. Looking forward to reading them

    Danishka: Careful there about joking about bomb blasts – specially in these security paranoid time…

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  3. At times I worry about some of the domains names I own. So I have made some “arrangements” to make sure the projects continue even after a sudden death🙂

    strange days. you can’t be sure about life neh?

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  4. Anandawardhana: Quite true and sounds like you’ve made some wise precautions. Any suggestion as to how to go about them (general terms – no need to go into specifics unless you want to)

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  5. I have written a last will that includes all the intellectual property I own (including online projects). Simply fill in a “property” line with the name and details of the digital property; the same way you do with houses, land etc.
    These intellectual property rights are guarded under the INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ACT, No. 36 OF 2003 http://www.nipo.gov.lk/act.htm and also by the Bern Convention. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works

    So, these are just like any other property.🙂 land, cars and online projects.

    And we discussed some details of this issue way back in “Rajpal days”😉 http://webalochana.blogspot.com/2007/07/this-is-law-you-dont-need-disclaimer-to.html

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  6. Anandawardhana: Thank you for all that info – quite useful as well as wise. I think your post in response to the Rajpal/Lakbima fiasco is brilliant!

    rajarata: I guess you got your answer🙂

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