The Courts, Are Involved In Social Media Accounts.
This was an article posted in my Paper.li newspaper Social Media Impacts You 2
Ex-employee sued over keeping work Twitter account MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – Feb. 24, 2012 – Does an employee who leaves a job that involves working with social media have the right to take his or her Twitter account and followers along? That’s the question at the heart of a case unfolding in U.S. District Court in Northern California. It pits Noah Kravitz, who worked as an editor and video blogger, against his former employer, PhoneDog, a Mount Pleasant, S.C.-based company that offers reviews, news and information about phones and related technology. By the time Kravitz left PhoneDog in October 2010, he had amassed nearly 17,000 followers. PhoneDog says in the lawsuit those followers should be treated like a customer list, and therefore are its property. The company is asking that Kravitz pay $2.50 per follower per month for eight months, or a total of $340,000. In his answer filed last week, Kravitz argues that PhoneDog is overstating the account’s value and that Twitter is the legal owner of the account. The lawsuit could touch the lives of many who are using social media not only to build their employer’s brand but to create valuable name recognition for themselves, said Eric Menhart, a Washington attorney specializing in cyberlaw. Unless there’s a written agreement, there’s no clear line that answers this question, he said. “If working for an employer creates value under an employment agreement, that value is effectively owned by the employer,” Menhart said. Chief Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled Jan. 30 the case could go forward. Rachael Horwitz of Twitter’s media relations office said Twitter does not comment on individual users for privacy reasons. Kravitz, who now works for a technology issues website in California called TechnoBuffalo, estimates more than half of his tweets were personal, his answer says. His attorney, Cary Kletter, said PhoneDog didn’t make an issue of his client’s continuing use of the account until Kravitz sued PhoneDog over money he said it owed to him. “No one has actually had a case exactly like this before,” Kletter said. PhoneDog’s attorneys did not respond to requests for comment. The company’s president and co-founder, Tom Klein, posted a statement on PhoneDog’s website claiming Kravitz agreed when he left not to use the Twitter account to promote other technology publishers. Barnett also reports for The Greenville (S.C.) News
© Copyright 2012 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
I personally believe that if it’s a company that wants to keep control of their social media there should be a social media policy in place. I also think that the account should be set up in the company’s name and employees should be administrator of the account.
I would like to know what you all think about this, please comments with your opinions. I am going to try to follow this story to find out how it ends up. I believe this case is going to set a president for social media and its future either way.