Not a cheery subject but one that should be thought about. I am especially reminded of this for personal reasons (by the way, i'm fine, thanks for asking)
How many of you have made arrangements (or are considering it) about what happens to your images and online libraries, should you die?
Or have you done nothing?
Personally, I have already documented all the account details and locations of my many image outlets, and made specific references in my will, as to what should happen to them should I 'shuffle off this mortal coil'.
Maybe someone can add something that maybe we haven't thought of?
What about if you don't have anyone to hand anything on too? what happens then to your account? do the site owners just continue to sell your stuff forever, and your commission stacks up somewhere indefinitely?
It's been very much on my mind lately for reasons I won't go into. I'm fine though. Here are a couple of things...
Make sure which each online platform that another person actually CAN take over your account. I believe it isn't always possible...for instance, Amazon wouldn't allow it.
Also, double check what you will need for another person to take over your accounts. You may a death certificate, certified will, proof of executorship, etc. You'd have to keep an updated list of your sign-in names and passwords.
Our daughter used to be in business with me and "technically" controls our small corporation. She is very tech savvy (with a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology) and has full access to all of my login/password information. She can/will help my wife manage everything should something happen to me.
Having a copy with all your access passwords etc. in a fireproof place which would be wise for anyone to have and folks we leave behind to be able to find and access. I was just stating that to my hubby who has a tendency to chance passwords but not always tells me about the change. While in Italy he would consistently change my Amazon pw. I told him we need to put all our pw in order. PayPal might be an issue. I am not sure if you can have more than one person on a account.
Peggy..if we can log into paypal from our computer and also log into our bank, coulld not someone we give the passwords to also do that? So paypal goes to a bank account. If you can have another person access your bank account would that work?
All really good points, and I appreciate the sharing.
What happens though to someone account (images) on a platform if they die and no provisions are made? Do those images stay for sale on that platform indefinitely? with the funds accruing?
There must be a protocol? (Abbie?, when you have nothing else better to do)
I guess I am not old enough to think about it. But even if I were old or ill I don't have anyone interested on my stuff. I guess the first who find my papers with link and passwords can decide what they want to do with it. I am used to have my things taken away from me anyway. So after I die I will care even less.
My bigger concern is me losing access to my own accounts. After the last talk we had about Paypal, came to my mind that I actually have an old paypal account in an old email address, but the company who was providing the email service does not exist anymore so I can not obtain a new password to access that old paypal account. I have no idea what is linked to it and if there is any money there. And if my phone crashes now I am sure I will have no more access to the paypal accounts I have today.
Marcio, age doesn't really matter. although I know in reality does. Most people dont think of these things until a bit older.
It's a very valid point , you don't care what happens to your work should something happen to you.Time will also change that viewpoint.
In the UK, copyright stays with the author/owner until 70 years after death, and it doesnt have to be written down and registered somewhere, unlike the US (ref. David (always the wise man) Bridburg's comment)
So apart from us actually making plans, I was interested in what the hosting platform does. Imagine, artist dies, nobody takes over their work, the images still sell. The dead artist bank accounts are now closed, the work still sells.....what happens to the artists commission? I expect its in the clauses we all signed up to, I just haven't re-read it. Note to self, go back and check them when you have time.
If there is no relative interested you could most likely make your favorite organizations the beneficiary. For instant if you are an animal lover a shelter, or cancer cause etc.
When it comes to banks you will very likely need a power of attorney and death certificate to get to the funds. Normally a band account is frozen until the estate sorts everything out. So I don't think you could simply go into paypal and start moving around money. That is something I have to look into myself.
I don't really understand why we have to go through a middleman like paypal.
I would think if you give someone access to your online accounts they should be able to change the paypal account to theirs, as well as the credit card for the yearly fee. Hopefully Abbie will chime in.
Norman and Aimee, yes, I think that may work. You know what though? I think it's a good idea to check these things out beforehand just to make sure there wouldn't be a problem.
I've been settling my Mom's affairs since her death in May. Even things like her phone service, electricity, gas, insurance, all needed proof that I had the right to terminate their services. I had to provide a death certificate and a certified will to most of them.
I do know for a fact that another POD (not here though) will simply continue to sell your work and keep the money themselves if nothing is arranged.
I know there have been a couple of discussions about this on FAA but I couldn't tell you where they are. I believe the only requirement for passing your account onto another is a death certificate.
These days, with the crazy situation with the virus, it's probably best not to leave these things until you're older.
I know that I should make some kind of provision for this as I'm not getting any younger and the times are uncertain now. But my family do not really care much about my work and my sales are not big income generators. Maybe they would be more interested if they were. ;-) I have all of my online passwords handy in case they are needed by my next of kin. I suppose I won't care once I'm dead so they can do or not do whatever they want with my online stuff. I expect my physical work stored at home will end up in the dumpster anyway.
There are many artist who have passed away from our FAA family and I see their images all the time continue to sell, like an annuity almost.
But as Seth Godin Says (seths.blog) there is a difference between an entrepreneur and a freelancer. In other words, I don't intend to pass my business on to someone else, as I was raised in a family business and my parents' closed it before their death.
If my family wants to continue it they have the information in my lock box. The people who have my pictures after my death thus will have a treasure, at least I'd like to believe that.
Depending on timing - after I'm gone - one of the things will be the credit card will be cancelled = the account will close and images will disappear. I have them all on back up - but there is no one that will care two cents and even those will either end up in the trash or perhaps be deleted or reformated and used for something useful. I think I have a couple of years left - but it's one of those things I don't worry over - I'll be gone.
The only point in the Contributor T&C's states if you dont have a paypal account you wont get the commissions.
Therefore as i've asked already, I assume that if your paypal account closes for whatever reason (death, or failure to keep it open) then FAA will keep the commissions after the first failed attempt of payment, i expect its discretionary, but really that should be made clear in the T&C's
It's a real thing and a real possible scenario.
Im sure Abbie will clarify when she has time.
I have a son by the same name, so I was thinking if I do start selling significantly then I’m sure he’d be willing to take over the account. If I’m not selling significantly then I wouldn’t force on him the management of my account after all it’s my hobby not his. If the latter was the case then I would leave them here in FAA. So any future family with a similar interest to me could look them up and maybe restart the account. That scenario would be interesting and if that happened and there was a tidy some of cash waiting to be found, beyond the grave I’d be delighted the cash and artworks went to a family member with similar interests to me.
I would though ensure that FAA knew of my intentions by leaving instructions for my son to get in touch.
I actually think about this all the time. My husby, who is fortunately on the same PayPal account, will inform Abbie I am finally out of both their hair and take over this account (Abbie, you might want to ask where you can find the body... just sayin'). All the other places on which I sell that would require action on said husby's part when a sale is made are to be closed immediately because he breaks things and I will haunt him endlessly if he even tries.
I have it in my will for my Daughter to take it over. In fact I spoke with her today and we are going to set up some time together so she understands what it entails.
Hans, I'm sorry you are feeling alone. I've had my share of that feeling even with having family. Just a thought, I wonder if there is an art student at a college who could benefit from some mentoring from a pro, and he/she may want to take it on for you? Just a thought.
Here's a wild and crazy idea, since I just noticed this interesting topic. For those of us who don't feel like there is anyone who will want or need to manage the FAA account, why not dedicate your art to the Public Domain (PD)? Maybe FAA can create a separate donation site for artists, sort of a Public Domain for former FAA artists. It could even have the same search functions.
This might allow an artist to live forever! At least via their legacy, assuming a short bio is included with each artist's donations. It could bring a ton of attention to FAA as a major new source of free images that have been donated by former artists. So the promotion of all FAA active artists would likely get more attention. Could it be a win-win?
In Europe, copyright protection lasts for the life of the artist and 70 years following the death of the artist (or 70 years following the death of the last surviving coauthor in the event of co-authorship). It's obviously unrealistic to expect someone to track down some person's death date and potential heirs, unless they're especially notable. Which means that for an artist in Europe who wants to dedicate their work to the public domain, I have no idea how they would do that, since each country may have different procedures.
But in the U.S. it's quite simple. Anyone can, while living or through their will, dedicate their artwork to the public. And if it's PD in the U.S., it can be used by anyone in the world. Here's an article that goes into detail about one form of Public Domain, called Creative Commons.
One way this could all be done is if FAA creates an online dedication form that lets any user state their desire to donate their images to the PD, before or after death. But a new question arises about who pays for this new FAA PD site's management? FAA could ask for a one-time fee, like $10, from the dedicator. Or FAA could just assume the added PR benefit to everyone would be good enough. Wild and crazy idea to think about.