After January 1, 2015, individuals whose wills are governed by
Delaware law can have their digital assets and digital accounts
accessed and controlled by their personal representatives of their
estates, courtesy of a new Delaware law. Modeled on the uniform
model Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, the
Delaware law vests the decedent's personal representative with
the same authority as the owner of the digital assets. Upon
request of the personal representative for access to, transfer of,
copy of, or destruction of the digital asset, the online service
provider/web site has 60 days to respond to such a request.
If there is no response, the personal representative is authorized
to obtain a court order.
This procedure differs from current procedures that social media
sites have adopted, as we have previously written. The Delaware law
may also raise issues under the Stored Communications Act portion of the
Electronic Communications Privacy Act. In general, the Stored
Communications Act does not permit service providers to release
accounts in civil dispute matters without the owner's
consent. Note that the Delaware law provides an indemnity to
service providers that comply with the state law.
With respect to companies, the Delaware law excludes those
accounts: "Digital assets and digital accounts of an
employer regularly used by an employee in the usual course of
business are not subject to the provisions of this
How does your company handle its digital accounts when the
persons running them are no longer employed, for whatever
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Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
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