25 April 2013

After a death, Facebook photos could fade forever ... or, issues with digital assets, ownership and access

Used via Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

In the past, though heirs might squabble over the photo albums, family journals, photo albums, etc, someone always got this stuff.  They might not have shared it and someone at least had it.  This of course assumes that the family members did care and it didn’t end up in a dumpster.  We all have those kinds of tales to tell.

Now, in our age of Facebook (FB), MySpace, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and numerous other social media options, NO-ONE is guaranteed to get access to all the stories, images and much more which is now posted to the web and maybe not ever stored anywhere else.

The heart-breaking story told in After a death, Facebook photos could fade forever could be faced by any of us.

Currently, the best way to handle this is to know the law (state and federal) and be pro-active.  For example, I regularly check out the FB pages of my extended family and make copies of any images that they have posted.  This way, if their account is every closed for any reason, I will still have those images.

Are there steps that you take to “preserve” anything you or others have posted on the web?

Do you actively save/archive any posted material – stories, images, etc?

Two recent Upfront with NGS posts on related topics are:

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  1. Yes, I download copies of all pictures and stories to be sure I have a copy even if the site goes away, or is inaccessible.

  2. Chilling prospect of precious photos, notes, letters lost forever in cyberspace or inaccessible to family members. Same thing goes for digital photos that "live" in a digital camera or become lost somewhere in an unknown file on a laptop. Families need to take steps to preserve the precious memories of their loved ones. Have photos printed or placed on a CD and give copies to others. Put stories, photos, etc. into a book. A book will be on the shelf 100 years from now to be read and enjoyed by future generations. Computers stop working within a few years--or become obsolete--often with their contents irretrievable.

    Anita Reyes, Director of Learn Online Academy. Visit my website for more information on how to help people write and preserve their life stories and photos: http://www.omnicareworld.com/