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December 20, 2014, 08:07:52 AM
539626 Posts in 40876 Topics by 5157 Members
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Ash
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« on: June 17, 2013, 03:06:16 PM »

Most of you know that I own and operate Eastern Iowa Airsoft.
I created a facebook group page for my business and it had well over 200 members.  They were both members and my customers.

A couple of months ago one of my most trusted admins removed me from the group, took it over, renamed it, and is now using it to host events and make money.
I did not know that admins could do that until it was too late.  Apparently facebook has since added tools so people like me can restrict what my admins can and can't do, but I didn't know about them until after all this happened.

Is this considered a legitimate form of theft? 
He and a few of his cohorts stole my entire customer base.  I have proof in the form of screenshots and messages between me and that particular admin that shows him admitting what he did.

What do you think I should do?  I put countless hours of my time and energy into that group.  It was part of my livelihood and was a significant source of income.
All of that is gone now.
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Bushma
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 03:11:18 PM »

I not a lawyer, and I haven't even played one on TV.  With that in mind here's my thought.

I don't think you could take him to court for theft, but I think you'd have a case for Cyber Squatting.
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 04:15:46 PM »

Call a lawyer.  If the lawyer thinks you have worthwhile case, he'll file a civil suit against the guy.  You could also try small claims court.  My guess is, if you can find a lawyer who will at least write a threatening letter to the guy, the guy will back off and give everything back to you.  Hell, I'm sure he doesn't want to pay for a lawyer to defend him.

 
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 04:43:07 PM »

Burgo's right; you'll have to contact an Iowa lawyer to see what you can do about it, and what it will cost. It's certainly a new area of law without lots of cases or precedents. You have a case but you may have issues proving it and figuring damages, and it may not be worth it. Make another page with your company's name and try to lure your customers/fans back in the meantime.

You also might want to check out this if you haven't already: http://townsvillesocialmediamarketing.com/facebook-page-stolen-by-admin-or-ex-employee/

Good luck!
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Bushma
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2013, 07:53:46 PM »

If it'll help, I'll watch a bunch of episodes of Perry Mason and Matlock then I'll represent you in court!  If the trail doesn't go in your favor, then you can at least get another trail on the grounds of having an incompetent lawyer!
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