Sunday night’s announcement from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that the company was to be split in two was a bombshell that quickly became a joke. According to Reed, Netflix will continue to stream content, while a new company called Qwikster would handle DVD distribution. Unfortunately Netflix/Qwikster haven’t acquired the Qwikster Twitter handle from weed-smoking gangstaz, Jason Castillo.
The question is, could Castillo sell his Twitter account to Netflix and spend the rest of the year smoking fat blunts with the financial windfall?
According to Twitter’s Terms of Service, unless you have permission from Twitter, you can’t sell your Twitter handle:
Selling user names: Unless you have been specifically permitted to do so in a separate agreement with Twitter, you agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade or resell the Services for any purpose, where “Services” is defined as follows: Your use of Twitter’s products, services and web sites (referred to collectively as the “Services” in this document and excluding any services provided to you by Twitter under a separate written agreement) is subject to the terms of a legal agreement between you and Twitter.
Twitter won’t comment on private accounts, but I’m sure if Netflix and Jason Castillo approached Twitter with a deal that made sense for both parties, they would be more than happy to allow Castillo to sell his account.
Also: According to a search of the USPTO’s database, Netflix either hasn’t trademarked the name Qwikster yet, or they do so recently enough that it hasn’t been fully processed yet. In either case, it’s just another clue that this entire process was a rush job. One that might just greatly benefit the internet’s new favourite foul-mouthed, pot-smoking Elmo.