Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are powerful business tools for marketing products and services and building brand recognition. However, the undeniable advantages of using such tools cannot be discussed without addressing the legal risks. To minimize the risk of becoming a plaintiff or defendant in costly litigation, companies must be aware of the legal pitfalls, and actively take steps to address the risk.
Who owns your social media accounts?
Social media accounts and content are created, established, developed and updated by individuals. The individual that creates the content therefore may have rights in the account. Issues often arise when the individual that developed a valuable social media presence for your company is no longer employed by your organization. What if the individual refuses to divulge the login credentials? Who “owns” the Twitter followers? Who owns a blog that was created and maintained by the former employee? Who owns your employees’ LinkedIn accounts?
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