Who owns your Twitter account: Your employer?

By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - November 15, 2011.

Twitter logo

Here's an odd story: An employer asked its departing employee to give it back the Twitter account he'd been using while employed. He said no, so the employer sued him for $340,000. Say what? It's The Long View...

We already know that you can't stop employees' free speech on Facebook. It also appears that LinkedIn contacts can be treated as trade secrets in some jurisdictions. But this employer wants its ex-employee to hand over the password to his Twitter account, and pay damages of $2.50 per month for each of its 17,000 followers. The eight months between the end of the employment and the lawsuit account for the total of $340,000. Yes, three hundred and forty thousand dollars.

Noah Kravitz worked for PhoneDog...as a reviewer and video blogger. He used the "@PhoneDog_Noah" twitter account...amass[ing] approximately seventeen thousand followers. When he left, PhoneDog asked for the account "back" but he demurred.
PhoneDog sued, asserting claims for (1) misappropriation of trade secrets, (2) interference with economic advantage; and (3) conversion. ... The court rejects the [2nd] claim, saying that PhoneDog's allegations were muddled.

To continue reading this article register now

Shop Tech Products at Amazon