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Business Social Media Accounts Are Property of the Bankruptcy Estate

A bankruptcy court recently held that a business’s Facebook and Twitter accounts were property of the estate. In In re CTLI, LLC, Case No. 14-33564 (S.D. Texas April 3, 2015), a former owner of a Chapter 11 corporate debtor refused to relinquish control of the debtor’s social media accounts. The former owner claimed that the Facebook and Twitter accounts were his personal accounts, but the Court disagreed and pointed out the numerous posts related to the business’s operations. “[B]usiness social media accounts are property interests. Like subscriber lists, [they] provide valuable access to customers and potential customers.” The Court further noted that its ruling did not deny the former owner his personal goodwill because any followers representing such goodwill are free to follow the former owner to his other social media pages.

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