A Dispute Over Who Owns a Twitter Account Goes to Court

How much is a tweet worth? And how much does a Twitter follower cost?In base economic terms, the value of individual Twitter updates seems to be negligible; after all, what is a Twitter post but a few bits of data sent caroming through the Internet? But in a world where social media’s influence can mean the difference between a lucrative sale and another fruitless cold call, social media accounts at companies have taken on added significance.The question is: Can a company cash in on, and claim ownership of, an employee’s social media account, and if so, what does that mean for workers who are increasingly posting to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus during work hours?
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/26/technology/lawsuit-may-determine-who-owns-a-twitter-account.htmlAlso see:Man sued for keeping company Twitter followers
A man is being sued for keeping Twitter followers that he attracted while working for a US mobile news website.Noah Kravitz tweeted for Phonedog as @Phonedog_Noah, but later changed his username when he left the company – taking 17,000 followers with him.The company is now seeking damages of $2.50 (£1.60) per user, per month – a total of $370,000.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16338040Company sues ex-employee for his Twitter followers
A Twitter user is being sued for £217,000 by his former employer for taking his online followers with him when he switched jobs. Noah Kravitz, a writer from Oakland, California, amassed 17,000 followers on the social networking site when he worked for PhoneDog, a website providing news and reviews about mobile phones.He posted Twitter messages under the name @Phonedog_Noah, but in October 2010 he left the company, renamed his account @noahkravitz and took his following with him.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/dec/27/company-sues-ex-employee-twitter

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