Who Actually Owns Your Facebook Page URL? The Lawyers Are Out Again…

“As corporate content becomes more tailored and engaging, social media sites such as Facebook represent a brighter future of greater customer dialogue and interaction than the current corporate website with static content and pictures of people shaking hands.”

This is the view of Simon Myers, from the consultancy firm Figtree Network. So what can you do when you suddenly lose one of the social media strings of your marketing bow?

Myer’s quote appeared in an article about German pharmaceutical firm Merck KGaA discovering that ownership of their Facebook page URL has now been handed over to their US rival Merck & Co. The two companies both stemmed from the same firm set up by a pharmacy owner in the German city of Darmstadt in 1668. The business was split in two after World War I as part of the reparations package imposed on Germany.

A spokeswoman from Facebook said that they are currently looking into the matter. According to Merck KGaA, they had entered into an agreement in March 2010 for exclusive rights to http://www.facebook.com/merck, and had subsequently assigned administrative rights to the page to a number of its employees.

After discovering on October that the site now belonged to Merck & Co, lawyers acting on behalf of the German firm sent a letter and numerous emails to Facebook staff asking to discuss what had happened to their page. However, Robert Horowitz – Merck KGaA’s lawyer – said that Facebook’s staff  “either did not understand the problem… [or were] intentionally giving unresponsive answers”.

This not the first time that a Facebook page URL has suddenly been changed or the page removed entirely. A lawsuit was filed earlier this year over the Facebook Timelines feature, after ownership of the address www.facebook.com/timeline was questioned by the Chicago company Timelines Inc., who lost their Facebook page at the same address.

Going back to Simon Myers’ quote, businesses are investing a significant amount of time and resources into their social media presence. This dispute between the pharmaceutical companies is but another example of why you should make sure you back up the content generated on a social media platform.

If you work for a marketing agency or are in charge of maintaining your own company’s Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts, you would do well to look at SocialSafe Enterprise. With the ability to backup 10 Facebook Pages and up to 10 Twitter accounts, you can be sure that whatever people are saying about your brand won’t be gone forever if you discover that your Facebook Page has been deleted.

About Andrew Robertson

I'm Andrew, I work as the Social Media & Marketing Assistant at SocialSafe. I've been writing blogs on here for over two years now, so you'll find pieces from me about anything relating to social media and tech, as well as the changing face of personal data. There's also room for the occasional post on some slightly off topics stories... just for the sake of variety!!

2 thoughts on “Who Actually Owns Your Facebook Page URL? The Lawyers Are Out Again…

  1. First of all I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and
    clear your head before writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems
    like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin.

    Any recommendations or hints? Appreciate it!

    Like

  2. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this blog.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get
    that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance.
    I must say you’ve done a superb job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads super fast for me on Safari.
    Superb Blog!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s