Byte, byte, cemetery, user or Death in the digital age

there is no clear policy on this either, but in the case of blogs, at least you will not see creepy notices that “you may know” some deceased person.

In Russia, digital inheritance is poorly regulated. And if in the West, for example, in the USA and Germany, the law allows you to transfer digital archives by inheritance, then in Russia everything is still on embryonic level and decided by the courts.

Art. 1112 GK defines inheritance as things, property rights and obligations. At the same time, e-mail is not property, nor is it intellectual property.

But even if there are clear wordings in the law, even they do not save from confusion. For example, the law “On Digital Financial Assets” defines cryptocurrency as property. Despite this, the mechanism of its inheritance is not completely clear.

So the conclusion is that in order to prepare for a digital afterlife in Russia, it is important to take care of making a will. It can be written in it what exactly you want to inherit, as well as assign any duties to relatives (for example, delete or save an account on a social network).

In the world

Determine what happen with an account GitHub upon the owner’s death, a pre-designated successor or other authorized person (employee or business partner) may. The successor may:

  • Archive public repositories.
  • Migrate your public repositories to your user account.
  • Move their public repositories to an organization where they can create repositories.

The successor will be able to manage the public repositories 7 days after the presentation of the death certificate. At the same time, he will not be able to enter the account itself.

User “Death” on GitHub made only one commit

Twitter does not provide access to the account of the deceased user to anyone, even relatives. The social network only allows you to delete your account.

Since 2020 Twitter working on ithow to perpetuate the memory of deceased users, but so far no plates or inscriptions, as in instagram or linkedin, have appeared.

Blocked on the territory of the Russian Federation LinkedInwhere Russian IT specialists are mainly looking for work, allows upon request, either delete or perpetuate the deceased person’s account.

Digital Attorneys

Relatives of the deceased may not know about all of his accounts and virtual property, and as practice shows, few people think about what will happen to his accounts after death. In addition, not all services have clear policies on deceased users.

To help deal with the digital clutter, digital inheritance services are designed to help everyone organize and protect their assets and memories, both physical and digital.

All the services described below are foreign (and this is only a small part of them). In the United States, for example, a well-developed legislation in terms of inheritance of virtual property. In Russia, this is not the case due to legal difficulties. The only such service in the Russian Federation so far in development stage is a “Time Capsule” based on the blockchain.

At the beginning of the article, we talked about the service good trustto manage your digital heritage. Good Trust was founded at the beginning of the pandemic by Rikard Steiber, who lost his father and friend.

The creators of the service popularize the topic of preparing for death in the context of digital assets. There are tons of articles on the site – what to do with your accumulated airline miles and Spotify playlists in the event of the death of a relative, how to write an impressive obituary, how to avoid becoming a victim of scams, etc.

Texts were popular in the Middle Ages Ars Moriendi (“The Art of Dying”), which told how to “die well.”

Nowadays, people also need such instructions. So Steiber published a book Digital Legacy: Take Control of Your Online Afterlifewhere he goes into detail about legal aspects, how to develop the right strategy for digital assets (photos, emails, bank accounts), how to protect content on social networks, and how to discuss and resolve all inheritance issues with family and friends.

Social media demons and LastPass angel

Service Everplans allows you to organize documents – wills, insurance policies, medical documents, information about pets, digital accounts and more. The site has advance directive forms, digital property laws, organ donation registries, wills, and more for various US states.

The user will be able to create a complete digital archive of documents, get advice and transfer digital assets to relatives.

The death of a loved one brings a lot of worries and worries to relatives, and you will definitely think about canceling his Internet subscriptions in the last place. Dutch service Closure helps to think about it a little less. Relatives just need to select the subscriptions they want to cancel, and the service will do everything for them. So you don’t have to contact all the companies every time and explain for the hundredth time that the person has already died. Various funeral homes in the Netherlands cooperate with Closure. The company is licensed by the Netherlands Financial Markets Authority (AFM) to report deaths to financial service providers.

British service Farewill positions himself as a highly ranked death expert. This is an online service for drafting wills – literally in 15 minutes, without leaving the monitor, a person can write a will or dictate it over the phone and order delivery. The company provides legal information and helps organize funerals or cremations. A person can plan online both their own funeral and the funeral of a deceased relative.

Service Lastly allows you to make a digital impression of your life. The user answers questions and this is how his story is created. The service saves it in a visual format and makes a timeline of a person’s life with a gallery, maps and a family tree.

Service works the same way. Bank of Memoriesbuilt on the blockchain. It allows you to transfer information to the future, send messages to descendants and transfer rights to your data.

A website can also send messages to the future The Postage – it works as a mail scheduler and also organizes important files and documents.

And what happens if a person dies in the metaverse, and not in real life? Virtual people will still miss you and want to visit you at the cemetery.

That’s why Opera launched the world’s first gamer’s virtual graveyard – there you can bury the avatars of people who quit the game because of things in real life.

The two-dimensional cemetery is built in 8-bit style. There’s a tombstone maker where people can choose a skin for the monument, punch out their friend’s nickname, add a eulogy, and enter the date the person was last seen online. Then the tombstone ends up in the cemetery – you can share it on social networks or send it to a “buried” friend.

Click on the grave and press F


The real and digital worlds are now inextricably intertwined, and all the same problems flow into the digital world, including the problem of inheritance. This issue is especially acute in the era of the pandemic, which has revealed the need for digital funerals and digital inheritance services.

In the modern world, death and the Internet are inevitable. And so it is worth considering now how to prepare for this inevitability. Especially against the backdrop of what is happening in the world right now.

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