Morning Advantage: Who Inherits Your iTunes Library?

You can't take it with you. And, apparently, you can't bequeath it to your next of kin, either. That’s according to an article by Quentin Fottrell at MarketWatch, which says that when we die, our digital books, music, and movies may expire, too. (Adieu, Adele! RIP, Rocky IV.) That's because we don't actually own the content—we're just licensing it. And many sites — such as Apple and Amazon — grant "nontransferable" rights in their terms of service contracts (you know, those long scrolling pages of legalese that no one actually reads?). While several states have passed laws giving relatives access to the social networking accounts of deceased family members, the laws surrounding digital files are still nebulous. So, cut the will-i-am out of your will, and leave The E Street Band to The Boss' estate plans. Your e-stuff's more ephemeral than you know.

DOCTOR, THERE'S A PAIN IN MY WALLET

Healthcare's Steep Markup (The Boston Globe)

It’s another example of healthcare gone wild. Liz Kowalczyk recounts the story of a man who walked into the hospital with a broken elbow and emerged with an acute case of sticker shock. After receiving the bill for a simple cloth sling — a whopping $83 — James Dichter decided to fight back. Since the cost of his health insurance had nearly tripled over the past decade and included a high deductible — and since he’d found similar slings online for $7 — he lodged complaints with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Senator John Kerry’s office, and his insurer, Tufts Health Plan (which is now investigating), as well as with Surgi-Care, the medical equipment company that provided the sling. (Surgi-Care says the price was fair.) The Globe quotes Dichter saying, "Somewhere in our healthcare system, common sense has left the building."

DON'T BLINK!

The Literally Melting Middle Class (YouTube)

Head over to YouTube for a virtual viewing of a melting monument to America’s diappearing middle class. Artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese hope to send a message at both parties’ national conventions with their 2,000-pound ice sculpture, entitled Morning in America. (It’s disappearing almost as fast as The American Dream.) The artistic duo funded this cool installation with money raised on Kickstarter. The vanishing act takes about 4 ½ hours in Tampa sunshine, and about 45 seconds on YouTube.

BONUS BITS:

Price Points

The Kindle Wants To Be Free (Slate)
A Look at the Hottest and Coldest U.S. Housing Markets, By Price (The Washington Post)
The High Costs of Free Water (National Geographic)

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