What are my rights to an on-line social siteusername?

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What are my rights to an on-line social siteusername?

I registered a facebook username ie facebook.com/username. This name was registered to my account. However without notification to me, the username was taken from me and has become a fan page for the username that I created. I registered the name and feel that it belonged to me. Facebook did not notify me or ask me permission to take the name. It still says in my profile that this link belongs to me, but when you type it in it takes you to a different page. I registered this name and am very upset that I am not owner of this page, what can I do?

Asked on February 17, 2011 under Business Law, Oregon

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I must first state that I have never read the user agreement with facebook and that is where the real "answer" to this question will lie.  But I am pretty sure - I would say at least 99% - that you do not "own" your user name when you registerwith facebook UNLESS your name has been registered in some other capacity, such as a business name, etc.   In other words, if Coca Cola uses facebook, that username can not be taken or reassigned.  I could be very wrong but I do not think that I am.  Check out the fine print and see what it says.  And notify facebook and see what they say.  Good luck to you. 


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