Business Disputes Over Social Media Accounts: Legal Rights, Judicial Rationales, and the Resultant Business Risks

McGarvey Hidy, Kathleen

This Article examines the risk exposure of business organizations involved in disputes over rights in social media accounts. The complexity of both the legal rights asserted and the judicial rationales used to adjudicate these rights triggers unique risks for business organizations. Increasingly, business organizations rely on social media outreach to perform core business operations such as advertising, marketing, marketing intelligence, and sales. These uses engender litigation and create judicial precedent in which courts struggle to define and delineate the legal rights and remedies applicable to these disputes. There are unresolved legal issues resulting from conflicting analytical frameworks advocated by litigants and used by courts to adjudicate these disputes. Operating in this complicated legal environment poses unique risks for business organizations. This Article analyzes those risks and proposes risk mitigation strategies.

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Columbia Business Law Review

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November 26, 2019