Court Rules that Ex-Employee Keeps LinkedIn Content and Contacts


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.

The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.

Search Tips:

You may use the wildcard symbol (*) as a root expander.  A search for "anti*" will find not only "anti", but also "anti-trust", "antique", etc.

Entering two terms together in a search field will behave as though an "OR" is being used.  For example, entering "Antique Motorcars" as a Client Name search will find results with either word in the Client Name.


AND and OR may be used in a search.  Note: they must be capitalized, e.g., "Project AND Finance." 

The + and - sign operators may be used.  The + sign indicates that the term immediately following is required, while the - sign indicates to omit results that contain that term. E.g., "+real -estate" says results must have "real" but not "estate".

To perform an exact phrase search, surround your search phrase with quotation marks.  For example, "Project Finance".

Searches are not case sensitive.

back to top