Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Who owns your e-mail?

Here's the deal. I have a g-mail address. I made a "drive" out of the g-mail address, so now if I want data storage to be duplicated somewhere other than my hard drive or standard removable medium, I store it in g-mail. Google people are real nice about the free storage. And since I never actually learn anything of much importance, I don't use up much of Google's memory. Couple drops, is all.

Here's the question. Assume for a moment that I know something valuable. (If I did, do you think I'd be wasting my time on silly questions like this?) I store my valuable information, say, a treasure map, on my g-mail account and then promptly die leaving no other copies of the information around. Who owns the information?

If you e-mail from work, I guess your workplace owns the e-mail files, right? And Yahoo says it owns the e-mail of a fallen soldier in Iraq because it owns the medium it was stored on. (His parents want to see what he may have written.)

I predict interesting legal questions to come. And I predict I will be outraged. (I pretty much always am outraged.)

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