Judge Says You Don't 'Own' The Facebook 'Likes' On Your Page
from the good dept
However, the court has pretty soundly rejected this, noting that there's no property right in Facebook "likes" and thus no property to unlawfully "convert."
Based on the record, Mattocks cannot establish that she owns a property interestin the “likes” on the FB Page. As explained in Part I.A, “liking” a Facebook Page simply means that the user is expressing his or her enjoyment or approval of the content. At any time, moreover, the user is free to revoke the “like” by clicking an “unlike” button. So if anyone can be deemed to own the “likes” on a Page, it is the individual users responsible for them.... Given the tenuous relationship between “likes” on a Facebook Page and the creator of the Page, the “likes” cannot be converted in the same manner as goodwill or other intangible business interests.Either way, it's nice to see a legal ruling that recognizes a lack of property rights in the likes other people give to your page. It would be even nicer if we stopped trying to declare everything a form of "property" when that makes no sense at all.
Even if Mattocks could claim an ownership interest in the “likes” on the FB Page,she cannot demonstrate that BET’s migration request was unauthorized or wrongful. After Mattocks breached the Letter Agreement by limiting BET’s access to the Page, BET asked Facebook to migrate the “likes” to the other official Series Page. Facebook then reviewed the FB Page in accordance with its corporate-brand policies and determined that BET’s request was valid. More, as already explained, no substantial evidence shows that BET’s request violated any other legal duty to Mattocks.