Sep. 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM ET
When the folks at Netflix decided to split up the DVD-by-mail and video streaming aspects of their business, they seem to have forgotten to do one tiny little thing: Check whether the Twitter account corresponding to their newly created service's name, Qwikster, was available.
Sure, this seems like a minor detail to fret about, but it can lead to quite a bit of confusion if overlooked. After all, don't you think that users of Netflix's spin-off service might wonder why messages from the @Qwikster Twitter account (warning: NSFW) have nothing to do with renting DVDs?
You see, that particular Twitter account currently appears to be owned by a fellow named Jason Castillo. And Mr. Castillo, a student, has interests revolving around girls, vulgarities and recreational drug use. (It's perhaps worth noting that his Twitter user icon is an image of Sesame Street character Elmo holding a marijuana joint.)
We're sure that Netflix will try to gain control of the @Qwikster account, but — if Business Insider's Alyson Shontell is correct — they may not have much luck:
While Netflix secured the Qwikster domain, there is no record of a trademark filing for "Qwikster." ... Unfortunately for Netflix, unless you own a trademark, you can't force a current tweeter to give up his or her handle. Twitter also doesn't let users buy handles from others.
Since Jason Castillo, the person who currently owns the Qwikster handle, is an active tweeter and hasn't impersonated the movie delivery company, Netflix may not be able to stop the high Elmo icon from tweeting raunchy status messages.
Of course, Netflix might just get lucky and be able to wait this one out because according to Castillo's first tweet, he created the @Qwikster Twitter account because he forgot the login credentials for his original one. With a little bit of luck, the absent-minded man will abandon this account for a few months and Netflix will be able to snatch it up thanks to Twitter's inactive account policy.
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