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The question that the courts are being asked to answer, in a suit brought by an employer against a former employee, is;

Does an employee who leaves a job that involves working with social media have the right to take his or her Twitter account and followers along?

 According to Ron Barnett, a writer for USA TODAY,

That’s the question at the heart of a case unfolding in U.S. District Court in Northern California. It pits Noah Kravitz, who worked as an editor and video blogger, against his former employer, PhoneDog, a Mount Pleasant, S.C.-based company that offers reviews, news and information about phones and related technology.

By the time Kravitz left PhoneDog in October 2010, he had amassed nearly 17,000 followers. PhoneDog says in the lawsuit those followers should be treated like a customer list, and therefore are its property. The company is asking that Kravitz pay $2.50 per follower per month for eight months, or a total of $340,000. In his answer filed last week, Kravitz argues that PhoneDog is overstating the account’s value and that Twitter is the legal owner of the account.

Eric Menhart, a Washington attorney specializing in cyberlaw says that, “unless there’s a written agreement, there’s no clear line that answers this question.”

This lawsuit has the potential to touch the lives of anyone who uses social media, especially if they use it not only to promote a a particular employer’s brand-name but to create valuable name recognition for themselves.

Rachael Horwitz of Twitter’s media relations office stated that “Twitter does not comment on individual users for privacy reasons.”

Note: It is generally accepted in employment practices that for any work performed for an employer that creates value for said employer while said employee is under an employment contract… that value is effectively owned by the employer.  


As I noted on my tumblr Blog is morning, it’s been a bad week for commercial cloud computing.

Portions of Amazon’s  EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute)  service have been down  since yesterday, incapacitating a number of Web services. Among them, Publishers Weekly is down, as is The Office of Letters and Light NANOWRIMO site, which is why you’re seeing ‘image’ or ‘content’ unavailable messages on this Blog site.

Cloud computing and the technology behind it is still evolving. While some, notably commercial retailers and web-based media services, are early adopters, there are many who are still skeptical of the state of the technology.

There has been significant recent negative media coverage regarding the privacy and security, or lack thereof, of cloud-computing service providers and the data their users store with them. Whether that will translate to losses for eCommerce sites remains to be seen, but the obvious concerns over stability and security of provider-based systems is and will remain to haunt the industry for the foreseeable future.


Rule Number Two: Redundancy in the data-centre is a necessity.

Rule Number Three: Redundancy in the home is a luxury.

We woke to no internet today. The router went down, taking our Internet and IPTV (television over internet) with it,  thanks to a flakey ‘made in china’ 19 vdc 700ma power supply dongle, which one cannot find a replacement for most days, and especially not on any given Sunday…

But of course it would have to be Superbowl Sunday !

… thereby forcing us to miss what was probably one of the best football games I’ll never see.

Go Packers !!!

Instead, I spent the better part of the afternoon rummaging through the spares bins for a replacement. I finally dug up a three year old ADSL router that I assumed …

Rule number one: Never Assume!

… Um, I meant thought might work.

I then proceeded to discover that the router configuration backs itself up to the hard drive inside the IPTV box, and without the ADSL channel connection I can’t access the drive, because the box won’t boot without it.

Thanks a heap.

With nothing but an old config file to work from, it took me the better part of the evening to guess-timate the equivalent settings for their back end to talk to my hardware.

Well, we’re up and limping, but I still don’t have IPTV service.

Reminder to self for tomorrow: Beg, borrow, steal or purchase another dongle or two and a couple of spare routers, get a hard-copy print of the configuration files and set up a redundant connection… and connect them to the UPS box.

… and delete rule number three.

From The Moosylvania Page


The Outer Alliance is a group of SF/F writers who have come together as allies for the advocacy of LGBT issues in literature. Made up of individuals of all walks of life, our goal is to educate, support, and celebrate LGBT contributions in the science-fiction and fantasy genres.


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