As more of our assets take a digital form, questions about defining ownership and property rights have become quite complex. Many in the entertainment industry have taken a contradictory stance, claiming that digital assets should be treated like physical goods on issues like theft and piracy, while denying the right of first sale, when applied to such goods. A question that is bound to become an issue as people buy more digital music and movies is whether one can buy insurance for digital goods. Jerry Brito points to an article about one company, Nationwide, that has announced a new program whereby one can buy insurance for any legally acquired collection of digital music. So, if your house catches fire, and both your computer and iPod melt, you can get reimbursed for all of the money spent at iTunes. It's cool to see an insurance company recognizing the changing nature of personal assets, but this wouldn't be necessary if more services allowed users to download a file multiple times after an initial purchase. If an insurance company really wants to get creative, how about selling a policy that will reimburse you for the cost of your collection if the DRM format you bought your music in stops being supported?
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