Tony La Russa Sues Twitter Over Fake Profile

from the let's-try-this-again... dept

Video Savant has sent in the news that St. Louis Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa is suing Twitter, claiming that the company is guilty of trademark infringement, cybersquatting and misappropriation of likeness and name, because someone set up a fake Tony La Russa profile. He claims that he tried to contact the service and was unable to get them to take down the fake profile (which seems odd, since the company has apparently been pretty good about taking down fake accounts upon request). However, when he was unable to do that, he filed the lawsuit. Either way, it's difficult to see the lawsuit going very far. While (tragically) there is no section 230 or DMCA-type safe harbors for trademark, common sense should make it clear that it's not Twitter that's the liable party here (if there's any liability), but whoever created the account. Even then, it's difficult to see this getting very far. The use wasn't "in commerce" which should preclude most trademark claims, and the nature of the fake La Russa tweets suggests that anyone who read them would likely realize that it was a parody of the real La Russa. Still, there was a similar issue recently with Kanye West getting angry over fake users on Twitter -- but it hardly seems like something worth suing about. If the person is so famous, then it's not hard for them to (as West did) point out that the profile is fake, and it shouldn't much matter any more.
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Filed Under: cybersquatting, lawsuits, misappropriation, tony la russa, trademark
Companies: twitter

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  1. identicon
    Jojo Biggs, 4 Jun 2009 @ 12:18pm

    How would you know?

    He claims that he tried to contact the service and was unable to get them to take down the fake profile (which seems odd, since the company has apparently been pretty good about taking down fake accounts upon request).

    Seems odd? How would you know? Work there? Twitter is only 45 employees, makes ZERO money in profit, only has investor money and has to monitor millions of infringers everyday. You know what's odd? When Twitter collapses and requires to charge every text message a dime to a dollar. You'll be cursing and will leave immediately.

    What's odd is Mike Masnick, coming across like a new Mickey Mouse character, but has his head up his bar exam butt. That's what's odd. COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS A FELONY and the case is Playboy Enterprises Inc. v. Frena. Look it up, while you still have eyes and a brain that works, fool.

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