do you own your digital downloads?

If You Die, So Do Your Digital Downloads.

do you own your digital downloads?Out of mere curiosity,today I found myself wondering what would happen if I died.

A bit of a grim thing to be daydreaming about, but we’ve all been there. (Monday mornings anybody?)

Who would get all my stuff? My laptop, my games consoles and games, they would probably find themselves in the hands of my much younger siblings, my clothes would end up at a charity and my money would probably be spent on crap that I would never buy.

But what about our digital downloads? More and more of us are utilising the “Cloud” and storing more and more files online, and why shouldn’t we. It’s safe and secure (sort of) and helps keep our precious hard drives free of unnecessary clutter.

It’s not just uploading our personal photos and documents though.

With our games consoles now connecting us to the internet and bringing new content straight to your hard drive without having to wear clothes or leave your home, the market for digital downloads is huge and growing by the day.

Services such as Xbox Live, Playstation Store and Steam to name a few, are pushing harder and harder for digital goods to become a viable alternative to retail bought content.

But do you really own them?

The answer seems to be no, not at all. Most of us know that we are only paying for the license to use the software, we don’t like it but we have accepted it because once we are done with our discs we can trade them in towards a new purchase, sell them online or in store or just be a good friend and give it away.

The same doesn’t hold true with digital content. Once you buy it, that’s it. You’re stuck with it, no trades, no sale, and no refund.

This is what led me to email Sony, and try to see if they would fall for my light-hearted, somewhat satirical take on the matter.

That’s the email I sent to Sony, and a similar one to Microsoft and Steam.

So far, only Sony have managed to get back to me with this email:

So basically, once I’m in my underground crib, my digitally bought Playstation goods will be of no use to me and I’m not allowed to pass on my account details.

I have the feeling the same holds true with the rest of the online services we are all slaves to, whether it be iTunes, Playstation Network, Xbox Live, Steam, Origin or the countless other services, it seems that once we kick the bucket our digital goods do to.

Am I the only person who thinks this is just a tad unfair? If you can get you Facebook page “memorialised” when you die, why not your digital goods?

When I die, I wouldn’t mind leaving behind some of the music that I grew up with, that way my children or grandchildren or even great-grandchildren can mock me for my James Blunt collection.

What do you reckon? Should digital content be allowed to be passed on to others in the event that we die? Let us know down in the comments section below.

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6 comments

    1. Was a nice read. I swear when I get tired of game I’ll give out to my family members who like to play my gaming details from everything I play on. Why? Just for the sake of going against that damn service rule.

      1. Thanks! I completely agree, pass on your used games to friends and family, or even better, trade with a friend instead of getting ripped off by the likes of Gamestop, GAME, etc

          1. Fair point. Maybe they will just find it odd way off in the future, when somebody who’s been alive for over 200 years is playing their old collection of old games played on a television and not on a futuristic media wall.

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