Tech & Work

Who owns your Twitter account?

Another court case arises over who owns an ex-employee's Twitter account.

In another case of the court cases not keeping up with technology, a man is being sued by his former company for continuing to use his Twitter account, which was created when he was with the company.

Here's the lowdown: PhoneDog has brought suit against ex-worker Noah Kravitz, claiming the @PhoneDog_Noah account that Kravitz used was the company's. And, the company says, the (roughly) 17,000 followers of the account are worth $2.50 a month, meaning that Kravitz owes the firm $340,000 for using the account for a period of eight months after he stopped working for PhoneDog.

Kravitz questions the monthly amount they arrived at and raises interesting arguments about account "ownership" and confidential company information. "Neither the account nor any of its followers are properties of PhoneDog," he states in a court document. "The account itself is the exclusive property of Twitter, not PhoneDog. The account's followers, on the other hand, are humans and ... humans in the United States are not 'property' and cannot be owned."

Interesting argument. What do you think?


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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