said 1 year, 4 months ago:
It’s a twitchy little area of the law, especially when there’s no contract. However, in that particular case, I think it’s clear that the company owns the first set of twits, but the second set is wide open.
I mean a judge could go either way, depending on if the second set of followers were somehow influenced to join the list because of company ties or influence or because of recommendations by the first set. Otherwise, I think the guys 5,000 second set of followers can safely be regarded as his property.
But courts have little to do with law in civil cases once they get passed the summary judgment stage, and more to do with who has the best lawyer. Unfortunately, most of the time that has to do with who has the most money.
So I doubt the outcome of this case will shed any final light on what the law really says about the issue. I think it will be up for grabs depending on every single judge who hears these kinds of cases. Since most people settle before trial, it may be years before we hear of another one.
No matter what happens, though, it was social media genius to publicize the suit — for both parties. Neither one loses and both win.
But since they’re in this business, they both know that. It does make me wonder how the judge will feel about it though. It could actually piss him off at both parties, making sure neither gets what they want just out of spite. Judges can be quirky that way.