Are You in Danger of Losing Your Twitter Handle?

One big company wants a user to stop using his.

By Mathew Luschek
|  Thursday, May 26, 2011  |  Updated 11:35 AM PDT
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Big Business vs Twitter User

SPIN Magazine vs @Spin over Twitter handle.

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If you have a Twitter handle that happens to be the same as a large company, you may end up with a cease-and-desist letter in your mailbox, like the one a Portland man received.

Eric Rice, who is known as @spin in the Twitterverse, wound up with a few pages of legal mumbo jumbo from SPIN Magazine's legal boys. The letter stated his nickname has caused "a significant amount of confusion" among magazine readers.

The letter goes on to cite several misfired tweets from folks who didn't bother to Google "spin" and "Twitter" where the very top search result is SPIN Magazine's proper Twitter account - which, for the record, is @spinmagazine.

"It feels like I'm being bullied because a few people dialed a wrong number," Rice told NBC Bay Area Wednesday.

A comment on his Flickr page points out, that while he has received a few misdirected tweets, he is most likely not stealing followers from the music mag.  A  quick comparison shows @SPINMagazine has managed to get almost 83,000 people to the right place, while @spin has just over 4,000 followers.

Should users be bullied just because they got to the game early? Twitter's terms of service appear to be in Rice's favor, as he is not impersonating the company, involved in the music industry, or even a business.

Stay tuned to the Internet to see who triumphs in the case of "Big Business Trademarks vs Social Media Users."

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