Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lawsuit May Decide Who Owns Your Twitter Account

By Rachel Swan
Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 2:30 PM

An Oakland writer might be the subject of a precedent-setting lawsuit to decide to whether or not a business can expropriate the Twitter feeds of current and former employees. Noah Kravitz garnered 17,000 Twitter followers as a product reviewer and publicist for the site PhoneDog, The Guardian reported. He left the company with the understanding that he could keep the account for personal use, so long as he tweeted on behalf of the company from time to time. Then his former employer sued on the theory that Kravitz has stolen the company's customer database. PhoneDog is seeking $2.50 per follower in damages, which would amount to a total of $340,000, The Guardian reports. Kravitz, who is now the editor-at-large for TechnoBuffalo.com, is suing PhoneDog for backpay, as he announced on a wildly popular KQED Forum broadcast this morning. He expects the company launched this counter-suit for leverage, and he compared his resignation to "an amicable divorce" that required the divvying of assets — including social media. That said, it could have far-reaching consequences.

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