After 20 years at the University of Oregon, I have retired. So, I will begin posting about my new experiences here and hope you find them interesting.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Making arrangements for your "virtual" estate

I happen to see this link on Twitter and thought it was interesting since I am one of the ones who discussed my "virtual" assets with my estate planning attorney a few months ago when preparing  my estate plan documents.

I was primarily concerned about all of the effort I have invested in uploading images I have taken of art and architecture to Flickr so others could use the images in non-commercial educational materials to promote the study and appreciation of our shared cultural heritage. I maintain a Pro account on Flickr which costs a small amount per year. I wanted to ensure that part of my estate would be used to cover this annual fee for some years into the future so my social "legacy" was not lost.

I just wrote an article for Heritage Key about the problem of sustainability of virtual environments created in Second Life when funding dries up or project directors turn their attention elsewhere. This is a problem with all funding models that rely on subscriptions for base revenue. I much prefer the model Google uses for Blogger. Blog accounts never expire so all content created and posted to a blog becomes an eternal data archive (at least as long as Google remains a viable entity).

I have already set the licensing on my online image archive to "Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike" so permissions for non-commercial use should not be a problem. As for dealing with inquries about commercial uses of my work after I have "crossed the rainbow bridge" as it is put in the pet world, I am leaving instructions about my online accounts in my estate plan with a request for my heirs to deposit any resulting revenues into a trust account I have established and split the proceeds according to the instructions in my will.

If I have a little time to prepare for the end, I can change the contact information I provide in my online profiles. But, someone may just find me slumped over my computer one day like one of my colleagues last weekend. I still have a lot of information to share so I hope that day will not come soon but life offers no guarantees either in the virtual world or the real one.
Post a Comment

Share your knowledge with Information Age Education!

Information Age Education (IAE) is a non-profit organization with a goal of helping to improve the education of people of all ages around the world through technology. IAE assumes that every person is both a lifelong learner and a lifelong teacher. As a teacher, each person helps themselves and others to learn. The Information Age Education (IAE) project will grow and prosper through the volunteer work of people who:

1. Contribute content and/or edit the content provided by others. The IAE-pedia is a Wiki available at http://IAE-pedia.org.

2. Contribute open source books and articles for students of all ages, for publication at http://i-a-e.org.

3. Contribute ideas and/or discuss the ideas presented by others. The key contact people are Dave Moursund (project director) and Ken Loge (technical consult, multimedia wizard, and Web Master). Contact them by email with your ideas for content and for Website design.

4. Share the Information Age Education ideas with others, and encourage others to contribute their volunteer content and ideas.