Wednesday 31 October 2012

What Mp3s and PDFs actually mean

A question came up the other day when we were talking about what happened to books bought for Phill's Grandma before she died. They were in PDF form and linked to her email. Now because she was older and her family knows her password but those books that have been bought can only be viewed on her tablet which is connected to her email address.

What happens with all these PDFs do we lose the ability to pass things on to the generation after us? Like a bookcase full of books but a kindle full of books that can't be used because we don't have the right passwords? What about the patterns that we acquire through PDFs is it not allowed even when we buy them to pass them on to our children? Can you do that if you don't keep a copy yourself?

Also what about music? If you only spent $5 a week on music it would add up over 10 years. But it is all connected to the email address you have used to create your account. Thousands of songs that you have bought that can't be handed to anyone else. What about songs you bought under your parents itunes... you can't take them with you when you move out and create your own account. So all that money you may have spent is wasted or you have to buy them again.

This is really making me think because the other problem that was discussed was what happens if you don't know the passwords of the other person's computer?  I don't know Phill's passwords but quite a lot of our money is in his accounts. Everything is connected by passwords and online now. What would we lose that is all online.

I am wondering what other people think? Particularly when it comes to craft and patterns that have been bought.

Just a thought for today.


  1. Good discussion point. The main thing to remember is that when you buy online you're not buying possession of the item, you're "renting" it for the duration of your life.
    So you can't pass it on to anyone else, when you die the rights to the online entity die too.
    Regarding online bank accounts etc. you will be able to contact the provider upon the death of your spouse with the death certificate details and they will allow you to access the account/transfer funds in the same way a physical bank will.
    I think if you access the account using his password it could be considered fraud. eg if he's left half his money to his children and half to you, you can't just help yourself to the contents of his account without it going through the proper channels.
    Personally I'm quite concerned about my blog and stitching stuff!! I'm thinking of nominating a stitchy friend to organise a mammoth Giveaway via my blog when I've departed LOL.

  2. My understand is that the law in Canada allows you to pass on or sell a digital file just like a used book or pattern. Of course, you have to delete it after you sell it or give it away, and how do you know someone has done that? But, it is my right, by law, to do as I wish with the files provided I don't keep a copy.

    For books that I really love, I have bought both hard copies and epubs. And I do print out a lot of my electronic patterns. Sadly, I have no one to leave those to once I die.

  3. It wasn't that long ago Bruce Willis was taking apple itunes to court over his music collection. He wanted to leave it to his daughters but they were saying no. I'm not sure how it worked out.

  4. It is such a complicated issue and the law may be vary between different countries.


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