Death 2.0: Dying in the era of technology

French Gaming Law Amended to Allow for Shared Liquidity

In what could be an important legislative victory for online poker players in France, the French Senate passed three amendments to the “Digital Republic” Bill. Of particular note is one of the amendments which permits the Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL), France’s online gaming regulatory body and sponsor of the amendments, to enter into agreements with other European nations to share player liquidity. To this point, France has been ring-fenced from the rest of the world, with French online poker players only able to play against other people in France.

A (roughly) translated version of the amendment gives a brief look at why such a change was needed. “….the steady decline of the gross proceeds of the online poker games can be explained by the fact that the French regulated market…is abandoned by some players who turn to illegal operators including poker tables, field global Action, are more attractive: in fact, over a table or a poker tournament players, the greater the reward, the higher the site is attractive.”

In other words, the ring-fencing of the French poker market has created a player pool that is artificially smaller than those at other sites that are open to the rest of the world. ARJEL has determined that French poker players have been willing to forgo French licensed sites and take their chances with “illegal” operators outside of the country who offer larger player pools and, in turn, more table options and greater prize pools.

There are certainly French sites that are of decent size and give players a solid gaming experience, but with only players from within France’s borders from which to pull, they will never be as large as some of their competitors. According to, the largest French-only internet poker room is with a seven-day average of 1,050 cash game players. That ranks as the sixth-largest online poker site in the world, nearly in a four-way tie with the iPoker Network (1,100 players), (1,100), and partpoker (1,050). has 900 cash game players, has 400, and has 260.

So that is the “why” of the amendment. Here is the “what” (again, Googly translated):

….the online gaming regulatory authority may allow an operator holds a license under Article 21 to offer starting players a verified account on a site subject accreditation to participate in circle games as defined in the first paragraph with the players holding an account on a site subject to approval by a member State of the European Union or State party to the agreement on the European economic Area.

“Circle games” are poker games, specifically Hold’em and Omaha, the only two poker games that have been approved by ARJEL.

One important detail here is that the shared liquidity can only be with sites “subject to approval” by an EU or EEA member country. Read that to mean “regulated” by such a country. The EU is composed of 28 nations, while the EEA includes the countries in the EU plus Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein. This is potentially notable because of one country that is not included in either of those groups: the Isle of Man.

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) licenses a number of online gaming sites, but the one that stands out is The way the amendment reads, it seems like French players, even those on, would not be able to sit at the same tables as players on, since is not licensed in an EU or EEA country. French players could sit with players on,,, and, but not

That would, of course, limit the ceiling on shared liquidity, but that’s not the only potential problem. Players on,, or any other PokerStars site that is not French, Spanish, or Italian play with people on Thus, some technological solution would need to be figured out to allow French players to play with others in Europe while weeding out non-EU, non-EEA players on the dot com site.

Similar situations might exist with other rooms and networks, but PokerStars is clearly the most significant.

The bill being amended, the Digital Republic Bill, is actually quite unique. Adopted by the French National Assembly on January 26, 2016, it establishes rules, regulations, and individual rights for the digital/internet environment. The bill was not simply created by a bunch of out-of-touch lawmakers, either. Instead, the public given a seat at the virtual table in an open process in which citizens could suggest additions and amendments. When completed, the bill covered issues such as:

1. Net neutrality – all content providers must receive equal access to speed and bandwidth by ISPs; ISPs cannot charge more for preferred access.
2. Data portability – e-mail providers must allow users to migrate e-mails and contacts from one provider to another
3. Right to maintain a connection – those who can’t pay for internet service can receive financial assistance
4. Confidentiality of private correspondence – e-mails are private, just like postal mail
5. Minors’ right to be forgotten – it is possible for a person to have internet evidence of themselves, such as an embarrassing photo, scrubbed from the internet if that data was posted when they were a minor.
6. Online review verification – online review sites must ensure their reviews are genuine
7. Public data – any information that is supposed to be available to the public must be maintained and easy to access
8. Improved accessibility – public administration websites must meet regulations to make them accessible to users with physical limitations
9. Digital death – people will have a way to make sure their digital presence is handled in accordance with their wishes after they die.

The importance of digital asset planning explained

The Human Aspects of Digital Presence After Death

The Human Aspects of Digital Presence After Death

This week I came across this article by Brandon Ambrosino that provides a look at the human aspects of how we will interact with the digital data left by loved ones who have died. He discusses how he visited his Aunt’s Facebook page after her passing in a way to offer some comfort by reminiscing with the memories she left behind. He provides a stat that by 2012 there were 30 million Facebook users with accounts that were dead. He goes on to ask an important question that many of us need to consider.

How is our continuing presence in digital space changing the way we die? And what does it mean for those who would mourn us after we are gone?


This question requires us to give some thought to determine how we want to be remembered. Then we need to prepare for how we want to accomplish that. He goes on to explain how Facebook provides us with digital autobiographies that can be viewed by loved ones after we pass that will provide a detailed picture of who we were. He also touches on some new services coming online that can present a virtual version of who we are in the form of digital avatars and may provided changes to how we grieve.

At some point in time, there will be more dead Facebook users than living ones. Facebook is a growing and unstoppable digital graveyard.

It’s a great article that discusses an area that few seems to get little editorial coverage and is becoming more important as we continue to provide rich histories of our lives online. Facebook and other online services aside, we are creating so much personal data in the form of photos, videos, and other important documents and we need to have a plan for protecting and passing it on.

To learn more about how you can take steps to ensure that you’re protecting your digital data and plans for passing it on be sure to read the digital legacy section of this site which continues to be updated with resources.

Who will get your iTunes when you die?

Do You Have a Digital Estate Plan for Your Online Assets?

Digital lock
Digital lock

In this digital age, people amass an electronic wealth of sorts in social media sites, photo-sharing sites, and online accounts. But what happens to this digital presence when its owner passes away? Who becomes responsible for the disposition and transfer of these digital assets?

Proper digital estate planning, including record-keeping, securely sharing records with attorneys and trusted parties, and creating a plan for the social networks and websites that house digital accounts, should satisfy these concerns.

Estate planning for basic digital assets

Basic digital assets can include multimedia, copyrighted materials, and credits in customer reward programs. “Photos, videos, and blogs that are online, in the cloud, or on a personal hard drive or flash drive as well as e-books, movies, music, and frequent-flyer miles are good examples,” says Michael Wernersback, Senior Regional Fiduciary Manager of Estate Settlement Services with Wells Fargo Private Bank. Digital assets may include social media accounts and content on sites like Twitter , Instagram , LinkedIn , and Facebook .

These electronic valuables can be fleeting as well as precious. Without the proper precautions, they may disappear upon death. Since digital estate regulations are few and social sites typically have their own rules, one of the worst things a person can do is to leave these matters unaddressed.

“When we serve as an executor trustee, it makes our job difficult if someone has done nothing to prepare,” says Wernersback. As with tangible property, if the owner does not keep digital assets in order — if there is no record and no access, or if someone has to wade through disorganized digital property — the executor may miss something, which could be lost forever.

Keeping records
“Take an inventory of digital assets,” says Wernersback. Do you have songs in an iTunes account? Do you have frequent flyer miles? Do you earn income from a blog or website? “Make your executor aware of these things,” says Wernersback. “Talk to your estate planning attorney. See what he or she recommends.” They may suggest adding a fiduciary authority to the will or trust to preserve digital assets upon death.

People also should determine whether they own each asset or simply have a license to it. User agreements often include clauses that define whether an asset can be transferred upon the death of the original user. Reading these user agreements can be very helpful as you formulate your digital estate plan, advises Wernersback.

What to share, what to conceal
Consider recording user names and passwords for assets to enable access after death, but be careful with whom you share that information. “When you pass away, the information is readily available, and people can go in and start managing those assets. But if these passwords fall into unauthorized people’s hands, they have immediate access to all of your information,” warns Wernersback.

Remember that user agreements or prevailing law may prevent someone from using someone else’s password to gain access. “That is another question for the estate planning attorney,” Wernersback cautions.

Being too open with sensitive digital assets, such as those of a financial nature, may not be a wise move, according to Wernersback: “Keep in mind that a will is a public record. Obviously, you don’t want to list your digital assets for everyone to see, and passwords should not be included in a will,” he says.

However, for less financially or legally sensitive assets — photos, movies, and sentimental treasures from the cloud or Flickr — sharing freely with loved ones is not only acceptable but also may be a good idea, says Wernersback. “You may want to grant access to these less sensitive assets before death so that they have immediate control,” he adds.

Status of digital estate law
“People are just now moving their lives online, and the law usually lags behind the technology,” notes Wernersback.

“Only 10 U.S. states [Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island] have passed any digital estates laws,” says Evan Carroll, co-author of Your Digital Afterlife . These laws grant rights to executors or others, given adherence to certain conditions. Consult your estate planning attorney about proposed laws in your state.

Digital Assets: Your Online Life After Death

Digital Assets: Your Online Life After Death


With rapid advancements in technology there is the increased likelihood that you have created a digital presence and online identity. As time goes by many of our ‘possessions’ are becoming digitised, creating a new category of personal property that being the ‘digital asset’.

What is a digital asset?

A digital asset is anything you may own, or have rights to, that exist either online or on hard storage devices. Some examples of your online assets include email, social networking, iTunes, cloud storage and financial accounts. Hard storage devices include assets such as computers, laptops, USB, smart phones and any other external storage drives which are locked by way of encryption.

Why is important to consider our digital assets in estate planning?

Whilst we are creating personal digital assets at an unprecedented rate, the laws governing them have not developed simultaneously. It remains unclear where the notion of digital assets fits among other traditional concepts of property. Therefore in order to protect these assets, it is important to make separate provision for dealing with them in your estate plan.

It is important to deal with these assets for various reasons. This includes the prevention of identity theft, to have your history and memories recorded and your wishes expressed, to continue the management of any online business, to assist your executors in the estate administration process and also for preventing any litigation which may be required in being able to gain access to such assets.

Furthermore, whilst the value of a digital asset may vary, the particular type of value of the asset may be significant for a loved one or beneficiary. For example, the asset may have sentimental value such as digital photos, or it may have significant monetary value such as a professional blog or writing.

How do I include digital assets in my Estate Plan?

The first step is to create a digital inventory of all your assets. This inventory will need to include the names of all your assets and where they are stored, as well as all the usernames, passwords and secret questions which will allow a nominated person to be able easily access them upon your incapacitation or death.

It is then important to think about what you’d like to happen to these assets upon your incapacitation or death. For example, would you like to have your Facebook account closed down or memorialised? Is there someone in particular you would like to have access to your iTunes account?

Once you have made the inventory and considered what you would like done with your assets, it is then important to make your wishes legally binding by formalising them in a Will and Enduring Power of Attorney.


The most important part of planning for incapacity is to execute an Enduring Power of Attorney. This document will allow you to appoint someone that you trust to deal with your digital assets effectively and properly in the event you are incapacitated and can no longer control the accounts yourself.


Your Will is the document which addresses how your assets will be dealt with upon your death. Therefore it is important that your Will make provision for and include a clause that will give power to your executor to handle and manage your digital assets in accordance with your wishes and the terms of your Will.

Your executor, being the person you have nominated to administer your estate, should also have access to your inventory of your digital assets. This allows them to know what assets exist and where to locate them. The inventory should remain separate from the Will and should be updated as required.

The concept of ‘digital assets’ is no longer an idea of the future but rather it is very real and present right here and now. Therefore, it is prudent to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to your digital assets and your estate planning needs. A solicitor is best equipped to provide you with appropriate advice on how to best to structure your affairs in order to ensure your digital assets are dealt with effectively in your estate plan. For advice on Wills and Estate matters contact Jason Coluccio or the team at Welden & Coluccio Lawyers.

Who will get your iTunes when you die?

An electronic immortality

Human fascination with immortality stretches back to the time of Greek mythology with history littered by charlatans, oddballs and megalomaniacs either claiming or seeking the secret to eternal life.

However, the modern tech-savvy generation has discovered, quite by chance, that an immortality of sorts is now freely available via the digital footprint they leave should they meet an untimely end.  It’s estimated that on Facebook alone, more than 30 million accounts belong to people who are deceased.

As if the pain of coping with the death of a loved one isn’t difficult enough, friends and family must now consider the implications of the deceased’s online life to go with their material existence.

Your online footprint
Think for a moment about your own digital presence.  You’ll almost certainly use online banking and shopping facilities, perhaps an online wallet like PayPal, email accounts, a frequent flyer program, a social media presence via Facebook or Twitter, along with potentially thousands of personal files, receipts and photographs.

Most people already understand the importance of estate planning to help pass on worldly goods such as housing, savings and mementos to their beneficiaries.  But how will your heirs even gain access to your computer and your passwords?

Like so many laws relating to the digital world, many are outdated or irrelevant, and several online services have already established their own policies.  For instance, Twitter allows family or friends to download a copy of your public tweets and close your account.  You need to nominate someone in advance to provide their name and contact details, their relationship to you, your Twitter username and a link to or copy of your obituary.

Digital executors
No laws currently exist in Australia to grant a Will’s executor automatic access to someone’s social media accounts.  However, there are still several options available to help decide on how your online legacy is managed.

The first step is to create a Digital Will.  In addition, you will need to select a trustworthy digital executor to handle arrangements for your digital assets and digital legacy once you are gone.  Similarly, if you run your own business, it will have its own digital incarnation and its own digital legacy to maintain.  Some Australian Will makers offer Digital Wills so people can ensure their online legacy lives on – or fades away – in accordance with their wishes.

Online vaults for safe storage
An increasingly popular alternative is to store important documents and passwords in an online vault.  The likes of SecureSafe, Legacy Lockboxor Assets in Order pledge to provide secure online storage of passwords and documents.

Password management accounts can be set up using software such as Norton Identity Safe while Google recently introduced a new program called Inactive Account Manager, which enables you to choose in advance exactly what you wish to have done with all your Google data – from Gmail accounts to YouTube videos.

Considering how much of our communication takes place online these days, it’s worth investing some time thinking about your digital footprint and what is required to manage it when you’re gone.  A good time to do this might be when next reviewing your Wills and Powers of Attorney.  With a little thought and preparation, you can leave a lasting legacy to your loved ones, well beyond photos or videos, and avoid complications associated with your ‘digital immortality’.