The first lawsuit in the United States could settle the question of who owns a Twitter feed written by an employee of a company.
The blogger Noah Kravitz, who was to work to test new products for the company PhoneDog between 2006 and 2010, is now pursued by his former employer.
According to the text of the complaint, filed in July in federal court in California, when Mr. Kravitz has “suddenly resigned” in October 2010, his employer asked him to give up his Twitter account, titled @ PhoneDog_Noah, which was followed by 17,000 Internet users.
Mr. Kravitz refused to do so, simply change the title of the thread, just now @ noahkravitz. And since then he has been hired by a competitor, TechnoBuffalo, and uses its Twitter feed “to denigrate PhoneDog.”
PhoneDog is seeking $ 340,000 in damages, based on a value of $ 2.50 per user according to his wire, or 42,500 dollars a month for eight months.
Quoted Thursday by the New York Times, Mr. Kravitz testified that he had left PhoneDog on good terms, and with the consent of the company for it “‘tweets’ in the name (of society) from time to time “.
Yet he found the target of legal proceedings eight months later, he interpreted as a maneuver of reprisals after he claimed 15% of gross advertising revenue PhoneDog.
For its part PhoneDog defended himself in a statement released by the newspaper: “The costs and resources invested by PhoneDog Media to advance its reputation and its number of subscribers in social media are important, PhoneDog Media considers them his property “.
“We intend to act decisively to protect our client lists and confidential information, as well as our intellectual property and brands,” added the company.
A lawyer intellectual property issues, Henry Cittone, argued that the case would “set a precedent in the online world in terms of ownership of accounts on social media.”
“Many of our customers are concerned about issues of ownership of accounts on social media,” said Cittone, also quoted by The New York Times.