Earlier this year, LockerGnome talked with Adorian Deck, a 17-year-old college senior at the time looking to connect with others about social media and marketing. Now, Deck is a textbook example of marketing and entrepreneurship gone awry, as he is in the middle of a federal lawsuit regarding the ownership of his Twitter-based startup, OMGFacts.
Deck’s OMGFacts Twitter account tweeted and continues to tweet out facts about celebrities and pop culture. When the popularity of his account was realized, he joined into a partnership with Emerson Spartz of Spartz Inc., which has commercialized a number of Web sites, mobile sites, and apps. When Deck entered into the partnership with Spartz, he was a minor at the time, which Deck contends makes the partnership — during which he was only paid $100 total, despite his contributions — unenforceable.
Spartz tried to dismiss the lawsuit or move the forum of the lawsuit to Indiana based on terms in the contract. But this week US District Court Judge John Mendez dismissed the motion, and gave Deck an advantage to the lawsuit — especially since Judge Mendez acknowledged the point that Deck was a minor.
In fact, Venkat Balasubramani, a tech lawyer in Seattle, explains the meaning of this decision for Hollywood Reporter: “The court pretty much nukes the agreement, and this does not put Spartz in a great position in the dispute. It looks like control over the @OMGFacts brand will revert to Deck, and the parties will probably resolve this dispute in short order.”
Neither side will comment on the pending litigation, but Spartz has posted a very contentious blog post on his Tumblr account in his defense. I suspect that only Judge Mendez knows the truth to weigh in on both sides of the story, and the real facts — even to the casual observer — don’t look very good for Spartz.