Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Article on Digital Music and E-book Libraries

LexisEmily Stutts (SMU Science & Technology Law Review) has recently published an article entitled, Will Your Digital Music and E-book Libraries "Die Hard" With You?: Transferring Digital Music and E-books Upon Death16 SMU Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 371. Provided below is the introduction to the article:

If anyone should be concerned about his music collection after death, Bruce Willis should. The famous action film hero is one "Die Hard stunt-gone-wrong" from his demise, so it is unsurprising recent tabloids reported (perhaps falsely) Mr. Willis is concerned about what will happen to his vast digital music collection (reportedly valued at over $ 64,000) upon his death. 1 True or not, Mr. Willis and the rest of the world's digital purchasers have every right to be concerned.

Digital music sales soared in 2011. Consumers spent $ 5.2 billion on digital music downloads, an 8% increase from 2010. 2 iTunes, one of the world's most popular digital music mediums, led all music retailers in the second quarter of 2012 with 29 % share of the retail music market. 3 Amazon ranked second with 16% of the retail music market; Wal-Mart was third with an 11% market share. 4 iTunes now boasts a total of 28 million songs available for download, further indicating digital music's foothold on the market. 5

In addition to the digitization of music, retailers are increasingly selling books in digital form. In fact, electronic book (hereinafter "e-book") sales recently surpassed hardcover sales: "The Association of American Publishers... reported that in the first quarter of 2012, adult e-book sales were up to $ 282.3 million while adult hardcover sales came to only $ 229.6 million." 6 This finding was up from the first quarter of 2011, when hardcover sales ...




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