Who Owns Social Media Accounts? (Part 2)

Last Monday, I asked the following question: "What happens to an employee's social media account when the employee leaves a company?" The very next day, a California federal court began to sketch the outline of an answer. PhoneDog v. Kravitz (N.D. Calif. 11/8/11) [pdf] concerns the...

Case of the Week: How Much is a Twitter Account Worth?

How much is a Twitter account worth? According to PhoneDog v. Kravitz (N.D. Cal Nov. 8, 2011) , Twitter is quite the profitable endeavor! In PhoneDog , an employee had a work-related Twitter account. When he left PhoneDog, he took his Twitter account and its 17,000 followers with him. Now, PhoneDog...

Illinois Passes Password-Privacy Law

The Illinois Senate approved a bill banning employers from requesting the Facebook passwords of employees and applicants on Tuesday, reports the Chicago Tribune . If Illinois' Governor signs the legislation, it will become the second state in the country to pass such a law. Maryland was the first...

The NLRB's New Webpage Targets Your Employees

Twitter was atwitter yesterday and today with news of the NLRB's new webpage, titled Protected Concerted Activity . The introductory text on the page states: The law we enforce gives employees the right to act together to try to improve their pay and working conditions or fix job-related problems...

Discovery of Plaintiff's Social-Networking Profile

An employer facing litigation brought by a current or former employee often has good reason to seek discovery of the plaintiff-employee's Facebook posts. For example, an employee who alleges that she was subject to an unlawful hostile work environment in violation of Title VII must show not only...

New model jury rules specifically address use of social media

Got a jury trial coming up? Concerned about jurors using social media to discuss the case or conduct independent research during trial? As you may recall from this blog post , if you are counting on the court to independently instruct jurors not to get their Twitter on, well, don't hold your breath...

Social Media Round-Up

There have been a number of interesting social-media stories in the news headlines recently. And, although I'd love to devote a post to each of them, my day job makes that ambition a bit unrealistic. But they are worthy of mention, so I'm going to so in today's post. Here goes! Anti-Government...

Court grants access to plaintiff's social media in discrimination case

Many times on this blog (e.g., here , here , and here ), I've discussed the discovery of a plaintiff's social media information in pending litigation. More often than not, these issues arise in personal injury actions where the defendant believes that the plaintiff's injury isn't as a...

Employers or employees: who owns social media accounts?

Courts and businesses are grappling over the issue of who owns a social media account-the company or the employee responsible for maintaining it. The most high-profile case is the ongoing dispute between PhoneDog and Noah Kravitz over the company's Twitter account (which Kravitz took with him when...

Pennsylvania Law on Ownership of LinkedIn Accounts - COTW #136

The latest Case of the Week is the resolution of a case I've covered previously . The case is Eagle v. Morgan (memorandum with findings of fact and conclusions of law here) from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania federal court, applying Pennsylvania state law. You can read the Court's...

Spoliation of Facebook Evidence

Discovery of social-media evidence can be a valuable tool, particularly in employment and personal-injury litigation. Employers' lawyers should be aware not only of the potentially relevant evidence in a plaintiff-employee's Facebook account. They also should be very aware of the ethical...

Who Owns Work-Related Social Media?

Who owns the social media content created and maintained in the course of employment? Work product is traditionally the proprietary interest of the employer. But there's something different about social media content. A blog created by a company employee during company time on a company computer...

Ownership of LinkedIn Content: Eagle v Morgan

Who owns your LinkedIn content? As described in my last blog post , the battle over who owns social media content, and particularly LinkedIn connections and any other social media "customer" list, has yet to come. LinkedIn content will likely be where employers and companies may have a...

Who Owns "Publicly Available" Social Media Content?

Who owns your LinkedIn connections? I’ve blogged about the ownership of social media content a few times already ( here , here , and here ) and I continue to believe that the real battle will be over connections made in the course of business. Are these connections your extended network that...