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Pippins Talks Influencer Account-Ownership Dispute in Bloomberg Law

February 8, 2024

Raqiyyah Pippins, co-lead of the firm’s Consumer Products & Retail Industry sector, was quoted in the Bloomberg Law article, “Hayley Paige Account-Ownership Row Is a Warning to Influencers.” The article discusses the ongoing trademark and contract dispute between an influencer and her ex-employer, a dressmaking brand who staked a claim to her personal social media accounts.

Pippins told Bloomberg Law that the dispute illustrates the need for influencers to ensure their rights in their accounts are clear and understood by all parties. “More thought has to be taken to whether there is a point where you could be transferring your rights in a way that was not anticipated,” especially since “influencers, in particular, start to commercialize what they may consider their personal accounts more in this time period,” she said.

In 2022, after creating a novel six-factor test to determine who rightfully owned the influencer’s accounts, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the influencer to relinquish control of her accounts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit later rebuked the district court’s creation of the test, arguing that the disputed accounts should be treated like any other form of property. “The Second Circuit went out of its way to note that the law applies to novel technologies and issues all the time,” Pippins said. “You don’t necessarily need a new test in order to establish some of these things.”

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