OK Law Addresses Virtual Estates

December 7, 2010 -

If you are planning your last will and testament in the state of Oklahoma, you now have to worry about what to do with your virtual belongings. According to a report in the IB Times (thanks EZK), a new state law in Oklahoma gives estate executors and administrators the power to "access, administer, or terminate" social media and online accounts.

According to former state Rep. Ryan Kiesel (D-Seminole), a co-author of House Bill 2800 (before he left office), the law is meant to remind people that, when they are planning what happens to their real-world estate, they should probably figure out what they want done with their virtual stuff as well.

"The number of people who use Facebook today is almost equal to the population of the United States," said Kiesel. "When a person dies, someone needs to have legal access to their accounts to wrap up any unfinished business, close out the account if necessary or carry out specific instructions the deceased left in their will."

"Digital photo albums and e-mails are increasingly replacing their physical counterparts, and I encourage Oklahomans to think carefully about what they want to happen to these items when they pass away," he added.

The bill became the law of the land on November 1. The bill assumes ownership of social media accounts belong to the person that created them, but many sites like Facebook claim ownership via service agreements users sign off on when they sign up.

Kiesel has acknowledged that the law "may conflict" with those service agreements, but said that it is intended to "get people thinking about" taking care of all of their business before they pass on to the other side.

While not emphatically stated, the law could have jurisdiction over other types of online content such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, MMO accounts, etc. - and all the content within.


Comments

Re: OK Law Addresses Virtual Estates

I've actually thought about matters like this before. Not with "pixel assets" in an MMO or photos or even my music or Steam libraries, but with something much simpler. To the people I've met and regularly kept contact with, how to let them know if something happens to me.

Not to replace "real life" friends with internet ones, but there are genuinely some connections that I'd like to see resolved if I should suddenly die. I would not mind having that in a will, or giving access to my accounts in order to see those wishes fulfilled.

I understand that some websites have been set up to make automatic messages go out, but I'd like a legal, recognizable way to make sure any such death notice message sent out is real, intended, and believable to be true. I mean, any idiot can sign up a fake death notice in his buddy's name as a prank. To get a letter or email from the state of Oklahoma is a slightly more concrete message.

Re: OK Law Addresses Virtual Estates

Hmm, who to bequeath my DLC & iTunes downloads to?

Re: OK Law Addresses Virtual Estates

Makes sense to me!  I bequeath the games in my Steam account to...

- Left4Dead

Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

Re: OK Law Addresses Virtual Estates

I am curious, why do we need new laws to deal with this?  Wouldn't it fall under the same rules that cover all other intangible possessions?  How are these legally differnt?

Re: OK Law Addresses Virtual Estates

If they're attached to login accounts, as social network information generally is, then 'just' breaking into them or having them shut down by a third party might fall foul of any laws surrounding logins- I believe it's illegal to log into someone else's website account without the permission of the account holder in the UK- this would be a way of formalising the matter in a will.

/b

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Which Feminist Frequency video are you looking forward to most?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
prh99http://io9.com/one-of-our-most-popular-special-effects-originally-came-1682151657 Looks like the 1988 anime, Akira and anime in general has effecting popular culture, at least when it comes to special effects.01/28/2015 - 12:26pm
Wonderkarpyeah. some people are salty over it. but that wiki article was filled with vitriol01/28/2015 - 12:06pm
prh99Yeah, I saw people complaining about that, claiming Wales was a hypocrite cause he supposedly removed some feminist editors.01/28/2015 - 11:57am
WonderkarpCivility, Wikipedia, and the Conversation on Gamergate https://blog.wikimedia.org/2015/01/27/civility-wikipedia-gamergate/01/28/2015 - 11:45am
Wonderkarpone thing that surprised me...theres a lot of expanded universe books for star wars, star trek, alien, even videogames like resident evil....why not ghostbusters? There's a comic series and cartoon but thats it01/28/2015 - 11:37am
prh99Well it is Hollywood, remakes are the one thing they can be relied on for.01/28/2015 - 11:34am
E. Zachary KnightSo you want a sequel and not a reboot. Fair enough. I think either could work as you have said yourself.01/28/2015 - 11:32am
Wonderkarpotherwise, let it lie. Next thing you know they'll remake/reboot Alien or Godfather01/28/2015 - 11:28am
Wonderkarpand Ghostbusters is my favorite movie and its aged well. it doesnt need a remake. Just like Psycho didnt need one. If they threw in Dan Aykroyd, kept the original tech, and acknowledged the old films without crappy easter eggs, I'd be on board.01/28/2015 - 11:27am
WonderkarpI dont like Reboots/Remakes. For every Batman begins or Invasion of the Body Snatchers, there's a million Robocops, King Kongs, Star Treks, Amazing Spidermans, Taxis, Clash of teh titans, planet of the apes, footloose.01/28/2015 - 11:26am
prh99Wonderkarp, what more do you need? It's been ~26 years, and Harold Ramis died last year. If they can make something decent, who cares?01/28/2015 - 11:19am
prh99I wonder if they will fall into the trap of making those items more scarce in game in order to get people to pay.01/28/2015 - 11:14am
Wonderkarpso its not even ghostbusters then. just in name and concept only. you could call it ghost chasers or spook snatchers01/28/2015 - 11:09am
Andrew EisenKarp - According to the creative team, the new Ghostbusters is a new story, not a gender swapped rehash.01/28/2015 - 10:36am
WonderkarpMan. Resident Evil has fallen hard. I was a Huge fan in the late 90s. I think its time for a reboot. I was playing the hd remaster of the gamecube remake and the dialogue still sucks. Chris asking Rachel if she knows how to use a gun. SHE'S A COP!!01/28/2015 - 10:33am
E. Zachary KnightThe whole point of early Resident Evil games was to beat the game using only those weapons and ammo you could scavenge and use save files sparingly.01/28/2015 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightDoesn't the ability to buy health and weapons defeat the whole point of survival horror games?01/28/2015 - 10:07am
PHX Corphttp://www.gamerheadlines.com/2015/01/report-resident-evil-revelations-2-checkpoint-microtransactions/ Report: Resident Evil: Revelations 2 to Have Checkpoint Microtransactions01/28/2015 - 9:57am
Wonderkarpgoogle fiber coming to atlanta georgia. I'm gonna try to get a transfer to atlanta just to get google fiber. lol01/28/2015 - 9:13am
Wonderkarpotherwise Its just going to feel like another unnecessary reboot to me01/28/2015 - 9:09am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician