Bruce Willis is purportedly setting the wheels in motion to take Apple to court over the rights to his digital iTunes music collection.
The Die Hard actor, now 57, allegedly intends to leave all his personal digital music – worth thousands of dollars – to his daughters Rumer,24, Scout, 20, and Tallaluh, 18. But the relative infancy of digital media and DRM (Digital Rights Management) means under existing laws, he will not be entitled to do so. As things stand, and according to the terms and conditions of sale as accepted by the user upon purchase, tracks bought through iTunes are only ‘borrowed’ under a license and not out-rightly owned by the buyer, something many will likely not be aware. For the time being, it is understood Willis intends to set up a family trust to 'hold' his digital music collection so that it can later be passed on to his daughters.
His plight isn’t unique, of course. Consumers of digital media have been trying to claw back rights to their music ever since the start of the ‘digital revolution’, while legal disputes have been an unnecessary bi-product. But his case is notable nevertheless and will only serve to raise awareness of DRM to a public likely naïve of the kinds of rights afforded to them upon purchase of a digital track. According to The Sun, as well as fighting for the rights to leave his daughters his iTunes library, Willis is also “backing legal moves to increase the rights of downloaders” which may go some way in increasing the rights we consumers have on our digital library.
*Despite trying our best to check and re-check facts, the above story is in fact a hoax, as detailed by The Guardian.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.