Of course I don’t.
I may own the content of my blog, in a copyright sense, but I don’t own the site itself. There is nothing within Blogger that I can possibly lay claim to. Compare and contrast: If I decide to migrate to TypePad and import my archives into a new A Stitch in Haste, I of course have every right to do so. Again, I own the content of my blog, but not the blog itself. (Of course, I am speaking in general “common law” terms; the actual Terms of Service between any particular service provider and user can of course establish other rules.) If you want to have a “property right” in the content of your e-accounts, then the best way to manifest that right is by converting it into a traditional property right. This can be achieved, for example, by downloading content onto your computer or your CD-ROM, or — the best option in my opinion — by sharing your passwords with your intended “beneficiaries” (i.e., perhaps in a sealed envelope to be opened only in case of death). Some other thoughts from the WaPo piece. “I think computer accounts are part of personal effects andI have power of attorney. It wasn’t like he didn’t trust me to take care of his affairs, and I know what I should or shouldn’t be reading,” [the father of a soldier killed in Iraq] said. Again, I sympathize, but that’s circular reasoning: If his son had unequivocally and consciously contemplated this scenario, then why had he not shared his passwords with his father? And as for power of attorney, that of course dies with the principal. The family of [another soldier killed in Iraq] hired a lawyer, who is talking to Yahoo about possible alternatives — but time is running out. According to Yahoo’s terms of service, the company deactivates accounts after 120 days if they haven’t been used. If the issue isn’t resolved by mid-March or sooner, the e-mails could disappear forever. Again, I’m sorry but that’s a bit of inflammatory grandstanding. First, Yahoo doesn’t need the negative publicity of rigidly enforcing their policy in this instance and almost certainly won’t do so. And even if they tried to, the family would almost certainly be entitled to an injunction barring the account deletion until the litigation is resolved.
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