Author(s) Bruno Emanuel Silva Moreira Santos
Advisor(s) Cristina Dias
Synopsis With the modernization of technology, individuals have acquired new personal goods, in particular digital properties. The existence of these confirms the urgent need of the current legislation to give a response that grants juridical safety to their owners. Accordingly, these digital goods need a regulation for their transmissibility, either during their owners’ life or in death. That is the study subject of this Master’s Degree Dissertation. In the first part of this project, the Portuguese inheritance law will be analysed with the purpose of understanding what makes part of the succession range; which rights might be transmitted at the owners’ death and who may be the legal warden of those rights, i.e., who will be the successors of the deceased. The topic “digital preservation” will also be studied in the initial part of the thesis, with intuit of understanding how the accessibility of the digital goods can be kept, as the technological resources evolve and get out of date. Will be highlighted the vital role this preservation will have in the succession of the digital goods. In the second part, we are going to search for juridical answers to two fundamental issues. First, we are going to try to comprehend how digital properties can be transmitted during their owner’s life, particularly through contracts, either onerous or gratuitous (donations). Therefore, we are going to take into consideration the significant role of private autonomy in what concerns to contracts, as well as its corollary that results into the principle of contractual freedom. Finally, the possible existence of a Digital Inheritance is going to be scrutinized in the light of the current juridical provisions, in the legal system. Thus, the Digital Inheritance legal admissibility is going to be analysed, dividing up the digital goods into those which have patrimonial value and those which are not object of an economical estimate. Moreover, the possibility of making a will that includes these digital goods is also going to be comprised. We are also going to compare the Portuguese legal system to others, mainly to the Brazilian and American ones, to what extends the Digital Inheritance.
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