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Could Tweeting Lead To A Federal Offense?

Posted March 29, 2011 - By Joseph Baxter

Discussion: Could Tweeting Lead To A Federal Offense?

Can the wrong kind of tweeting end up becoming a federal offense? Possibly.

Jill Maremont was a Marketing Director for the Susan Fredman Design Group in Chicago. Design updates and promoting her product in general greatly involved the now-ubiquitous act of tweeting. Unfortunately, her career got put on hold for about nine months when she was hit by a car, suffering brain injury.

Yet, despite her being sidelined and disconnected from the Internet and all that stuff, her Twitter account remained oddly active for some reason.

It turns out her boss had gotten hold of the account, and was tweeting on it in her absence. Once Jill learned about this after her recovery, she was somewhat irate about the apparent hijacking of her account. Now, she's suing her boss, and apparently, a District Court judge in Northern Illinois thinks the case is valid.

The Lanham Act is a piece of federal legislation passed in 1946 designed to curb false advertisement and trademark infringement in general. Now, something that was signed into law by President Harry Truman is being utilized to make the buck stop at the Twitter user. This could make the concept of the fake account become a lot more serious.

What do you think of the idea of a tweet getting one into this kind of trouble with the law? A necessary precaution? Excessive?

Source: The Unruly Of Law

Comments are Closed

  • StarbuckUnited

    I suppose, in the most ignorant terms of the average person's thoughts....kinda amounts to identity theft. One is stealin' a name and a password to an account they do not own. This case seems more valid than most I've seen pasted on the web or local news.

    Posted: March 29, 2011 6:01 PM
  • _Illuvatar_

    I totally agree that this is a valid case. If I started tweeting on behalf of G4 or AOTS without your approval, would you be upset? The ideas I put up wouldn't be yours but I'd be saying they were. This could sway public opinion of G4 and perhaps cause you to lose viewers. Now imagine if you were a politician and I did this. And I use your twitter to change peoples opinion of you, and keep you from being elected, and possibly changing how the government will be run. That could be seen as a pretty big deal. Of course every case should be judged differently depending on the severity. Not all instances should keep you from ever being able to vote again.

    Posted: March 29, 2011 3:30 PM