Celebrities and Twitter Name Squatting: (the REAL) Kelly Cutrone vs. (the FAKE) Kelly Cutrone

Next month, I’m scheduled to make an appearance in Miami for the Annual Women in PR Summit.  I’m going to speak to publicists about protecting their work and other valuable assets from infringement.  It’s going to be awesome.

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Kelly Cutrone.

The keynote speaker for the Summit is Kelly Cutrone.  If you don’t know how Kelly is, well, she’s a high powered fashion publicist, best selling author, and currently a judge on Tyra Bank’s longtime running show, America’s Next Top Model.  Learn more about her here:  Personal Blog + Company Website + Wikipedia

As I browsed her Twitter timeline (@peoplesrev), I noticed two tweets made by her.  She complained there was a fake Kelly Cutrone twitter account and”cc’d” her manager (who is also an entertainment attorney) showing that someone was using her name as a Twitter ID (@kelly_cutrone).  And, apparently, she was not cool with that.

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So, what is Twitter’s stance on this issue?  What can a celebrity (or anyone, really) do when some random person has a Twitter account using their celebrity name?  Twitter’s policy is that parody accounts are TOTALLY allowable, while impersonation accounts with the intent to deceive the public are not allowable, and using protectable trademarks with an intent to deceive, a likelihood to confuse the public, or for financial gain are not allowable. Here’s an in-depth article on the matter, if you’ve got some time.

When you click on the @kelly_cutrone account, it is designed for tweeting famous Kelly Cutrone quotes.  Sometimes, the account retweets mentions of @kelly_cutrone by users who aren’t aware that the REAL Kelly is at @peoplesrev.  That’s a little misleading, isn’t it?

I don’t know what happened in this situation, but the @kelly_cutrone account hasn’t tweeted since July 13th, which is a day or so after the REAL Kelly exposed the @kelly_cutrone account.  Maybe she scared them.  That’s a win for her.  The account is still open, although inactive.   If the name/account could be reassigned to the REAL Kelly, then that would be a double win for her.  – tma

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