LinkedIn may be a social network, but it’s all about business, and it’s not uncommon for companies to use it as an in-house tool. That’s what Linda Eagle did at Edcomm, a company she cofounded. After it was sold, however, the new owners fired Eagle and for a time kept control of her LinkedIn account with its 4,000 or so connections. They even went so far as to post the new CEO’s name, picture and credentials at Eagle’s LinkedIn URL. Eagle sued.
After almost two years of litigation, a federal judge has ruled on a dispute between an employer and former employee over control of a LinkedIn account.
The case turned on a specific Pennsylvania law about using the likeness of another individual, so the impact may be limited, but since there is so little litigation concerning LinkedIn or other social media sites, it is important to understand the issues and implications.