Is TechCrunch Really Suing Facebook For $25 Million?

    April 1, 2008

Over at TechCrunch, Michael Arrington has a post announcing that his company is suing Facebook for $25 million for allowing "advertisers to post ads using my picture and name to endorse their products without my explicit permission."

Doubles the risk of cancer

Really? No. Not really. Arrington goes into detail though to make his case convincing. "The key factor in determining whether a use is permitted or not in California (where I live) is Civil Code Section 3344 , which was first enacted in 1971."

"The law allows for recuperation of damages, attorney’s fees and injunctive relief, as well as unspecified punitive damages and statutory damages of $750/incident in the event a person’s ‘name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness’ is used ‘in any manner on or in products, merchandise, or goods, or for purposes of advertising or selling, or soliciting purchases of products, merchandise, goods or services, without such person’s prior consent."

Arrington makes it clear in the final paragraph that the lawsuit against Facebook is just an April Fool’s Day joke. "In a round of negotiations over the lawsuit with Facebook led by Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly , things got out of hand. When our team of lawyers offered to settle for a mere $50 million, Kelly told me Facebook would ‘bury you and bury your crappy blog’ if we filed the suit".

"He then threw his steaming hot triple soy latte espresso at me, which caused extensive second degree burns over the top half of my body. Later on, he also unfriended me."