Noah Kravitz worked for PhoneDog.com four years, started their Twitter feed, and kept it after he left with company blessing. Lawsuit time: the company now wants $340,000.
Kravitz set up the Twitter account and grew the follower base to about 17,000. When he left the company, on good terms, he was asked to keep the active active by posting now and then, which he did. That's why he was so surprised when the company sued him, asking for $2.50 per month per user over eight months, or $340,000.
Two really fun (if you're a lawyer) questions may be decided by this case. First, who owns a company Twitter account, although the early strong bet is the company does, but legal arguments will be made about seven different ways. Second, how much is a Twitter follower worth? That's a much more fun question.
Individual is right
That talent was the marketable asset that customers (Twitter users) wanted to follow, so when the company loses an employee it has to accept that it loses that employee’s services.Christian Fredrickson on mashable.com
If they want the list they should pay a fair price for it. They owe him the $340,000 or the value of his intellectual property they didn't pay for while he wrote for them.redkcir-2009 on cnet.com
this just makes you want to sue these companies for privacy issues.BayviewMortgageInc on marketwatch.com
Twitter followers are neither a customer list nor a trade secrete. Both need to be confidential in order to hold value, and Twitter followers are most certainly not a secrete.aka_tripleB on cnet.com
Company is right
If the account was created to promote the company, it is fairly owned by the company. Often these accounts have a reference to the company in the username.Adena DeMonte on mashable.com
EVERYTHING YOU DO AT WORK IS CONSIDERED company PROPERTY and thereby covered by PROPERTY RIGHTSjsaba on marketwatch.com
Lawyers are crazy
Phonedog gets some really bad press with their newfound reputation for attacking writers.Jeff Smith on mashable.com
Good luck proving more than half of the accounts are ACTUALLY CUSTOMERS.SHMOD on marketwatch.com
Twitter accounts are owned by Twitter. I think Twitter should have the say in who gets to use it.paulej on cnet.com
Would you pay $2.50 per month to NOT follow, read, or hear about most "TwitCelebs" activities?