Death and the internet: consumer issues for planning and managing digital legacies

30 July 2013

The team of Melbourne University researchers examined licencing policies, terms of use agreements and copyright law, and interviewed a range of people, including funeral directors, religious workers, internet content and service providers, as well as estate planning lawyers.

The project identified a range of ownership and access issues, and found that many online 'assets' are left exposed or stranded after death. The researchers concluded that more Australians should include digital registers in, or with, their wills and these should contain passwords and account locations so that material can then be distributed by the Executor or other designated person.

A website was also created as part of the project and provides useful tips and information on preparing a digital register. Visit it here: www.digitalheritage.net.au

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Craig Bellamy, Michael Arnold, Martin Gibbs, Bjorn Nansen, Tamara Kohn, 2013, Death and the internet: consumer issues for planning and managing digital legacies, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, viewed 30 April 2017, <http://apo.org.au/node/35062>.

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