Google legal eagle flies to Twitter

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Google legal eagle flies to Twitter

Mon Jul 13, 2009 @ 11:58AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

MacgillivrayThis one's not entirely shocking. Twitter has poached Google's Alexander Macgillivray to be its general counsel.

Macgillivray served as deputy general counsel for products and intellectual property at Google. At the company, the 36-year-old lawyer was involved in crafting the settlement with book publishers and authors and was part of the team fighting big copyright lawsuits, including Viacom's claims against YouTube.

Twitter hasn't gotten into as much legal trouble so far. 

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa sued Twitter earlier this year for trademark infringement after an impersonator made comments using La Russa's name. The case was later settled. Twitter has also been on the periphery of a defamation battle involving Courtney Love, although the service itself was not a defendant in that lawsuit.

However, it's fair to say that Twitter will be seeing more legal action soon. For instance, Twitter users are increasingly using the service to share music and share videos with each other. The development of Twitter apps has been a little slow, but if the company plans to build out its network, open it to developers, and realize the full potential of micro-blogging, having a seasoned lawyer like Macgillivray on board makes sense.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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