Whose Social Network Account? A Trade Secret Approach to Allocating Rights
80 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2012 Last revised: 3 Oct 2015
Date Written: December 10, 2012
Who has the superior right to a social network account? This is the question in a 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 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 the 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.
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