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Court Rules that Ex-Employee Keeps LinkedIn Content and Contacts

04.17.13

Ownership of Social Media content and contacts got a little clearer by a court ruling. But in the case of LinkedIn users, they give LinkedIn an irrevocable and perpetual license to everything posted. That means LinkedIn has an ownership claim to everything posted, as a result LinkedIn really has an ownership claim to all content and connections.

Nevertheless on March 12, 2013 US District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter ( Eastern District of Pennsylvania) ruled that Dr. Linda Eagle’s former employer Edcomm did not own Dr. Eagle’s LinkedIn content and connections rather they “belonged to Eagle alone and she was individually bound by the User Agreement.”

Although Dr. Eagle won the case, but she got no damages. To learn more about Dr. Eagle’s lawsuit and Judge Buckwalter’s ruling please read my eCommerce Times April 2013 column entitled “Who Gets LinkedIn When an Employee Is Kicked Out?”

Based on Dr. Eagle’s case we will likely see contracts between employers and employees that spell who owns Social Media content and connections, which contracts will likely be tested in courts.
 

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