Administration of rights associated with digital information as part of the deceased’s estate – New Square Chambers

Posted April 29th, 2015 in administrators, internet, news by sally

‘Under English law, information does not pass as property to a personal representative after the death of the deceased, (See Oxford v Moss [1979] 68 Cr App R 183; per Lord Upjohn in Boardman v Phipps [1967] 2 AC 46, at 127; and per Floyd LJ in Your Response Limited v Datateam Business Media Ltd [2015] QB 41, at paragraph [42]) but rights associated with the information can vest in the representative. Where the information is digital, it exists as electrical signals rather than as an integral part of a physical form such as the words printed on the paper of a book. Digital information can exist both locally, on computing devices that were owned and used by the deceased, and in a cloud, on computing devices that are connected to the internet and to which the deceased had been connected for the provision of digital and other services. It is no longer sufficient to deliver a computing device to the relevant beneficiary without investigating what digital information is stored on that device and whether the deceased stored any digital information in a cloud. In some cases, information stored on a local device can provide the only clue to the existence of cloudstored information.’

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New Square Chambers, March 2015