With the technology giant Apple’s policy over “who inherits the music purchased through iTunes when a person dies”, the reports of Hollywood actor Bruce Willis filing a law suit against the company sounded something but turns out it was a merely a piece of out of tune news. The actor’s wife model Emma Heming tweeted earlier morning that the story of “The Daily Mail” is not true.
The actor famous for his “Die hard” series spends a considerable amount of money on his iTunes Music collection and was reported to be concerned over the fact the after his demise, the rights to all his music would be transferred to Apple. Willis had found that people buying music online are only borrowing it under a license and do not actually have full rights on the purchase. Most users are unaware as nobody bothers to read the detailed terms and conditions which clearly cite that music brought through iTunes cannot be passed onto others in any case.
Since Willis who is an enthusiast, occasionally sings and performs with blues bands has spent thousands of dollars downloading music and was interested in legally passing onto his collection to his daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallaluh. So, the actor was considering establishing family trusts which will be the holders of his music. On the other side, there was news that he wanted to take legal action and support the ongoing suits against Apple, demanding for the users more rights, as to what they want to do with their buying. However, as we have already seen with the Apple-Samsung lawsuit, legal proceedings were likely to be on side of Apple only, owing to the enormous state it has achieved at the beginning of the digital music era. The company can block the accounts of people who it believes are illegally passing their music to others, with also forbidding the transfer of songs to other music players except iPods.
While the story turned out to be false, it does raise the question over who is the legal owner of the digital content purchased on internet. Forbes contributor Tim Worstall comments, “Very few of us have any significant portion of our wealth tied up in such digital goods. But it’s obviously going to be something that looms larger in years to come. And I have a feeling that we’re going to need some legal clarification on who really does own what after someone’s death.” The following case not only applies to Apple but Amazon which rents and sells millions of digital books for its e-book reader Kindle everyday also suffers from such drawbacks.
The best we can hope is, these technology giants update their policies and work out a solution that is in best interests for their customers.