Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Handling Disputes Over Access To Employee Social Network Accounts

Zoe Argento, Roger Williams University School of Law, has published Whose Social Network Account? A Trade Secret Solution to Allocating Rights as Roger Williams University Legal Studies Paper No. 131 (to be published in Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review). Here is the abstract.

Who has the superior right to a social network account? This is the question at issue in the growing number of disputes between employers and workers over social network accounts. The problem has no clear legal precedent. Although the disputes implicate rights under trademark, copyright and privacy law, these legal paradigms fail to address the core issue. At base, disputes over social network accounts are disputes over the right to access the account’s followers – the people, sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands, who follow an account. This article evaluates the problem from the perspective of the public interest in social network use, particularly in use that blurs professional and personal roles. The article argues that the public interest is best served by resolving these disputes under a trade secret approach.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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