“Digital Estate” – Study Based on Inheriting a Social Media Account in Germany

The analysis is based on judgements of the Regional Court of Berlin (Landgericht) and German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof). The courts approved the possibility of inheriting access to Facebook user’s account. The reason of taking legal action by plaintiff was the lack of possibility to access to the account of her deceased daughter. It was caused by the change of account’s status into category “in memoriam”. Courts investigated similarity between inheriting access to Facebook account and inheriting private letters from relatives. The courts also pointed out, that entitlement to access to user’s Facebook account is part of the estate, because of liablity between user and provider. Courts’ legal assessment was based on Facebook’s general terms for which the user has basically no control in practice. In this article are considered the main problems of inheriting user’s Facebook account, for instance inheritance, liability components, the user’s accounts on social network, nature of content of the social network account.

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Wykonanie: Solmedia.pl