A little over a year ago, I did an interview with the creator of the OMGFacts Twitter account, Adorian Deck. At the time, I was vastly impressed with what the young man had accomplished. He started the account for fun back in 2009, Tweeting interesting and amusing facts. Very quickly, he had amassed more than 300,000 followers. This growth spurt attracted the eye of 24-year-old Emerson Spartz. Spartz promised to help the account mature into a viable business in exchange for a piece of the pie. It’s starting to look as though he asked for a bit too much – or did he?
Mr. Spartz is definitely not new to the game. He has his ears tuned to what teens take viral – in more than one way. You’ll find him behind the popular GivesMeHope Twitter account and the go-to dating site for teens, Flirtlocker. The contract the pair signed indicated that Spartz would receive 100% of the rights to the OMGFacts brand and content.
Since that time, the Twitter account has grown to boast nearly two million followers. The pair have added a YouTube channel and a website. With all of this growth, you’d assume that the boys are making money hand over fist. It’s not clear how much money Mr. Spartz may be making, but young master Deck claims to have netted a mere one hundred dollars. He has now filed a lawsuit against his partner, claiming that the original contract was “predatory” in nature, created simply to wrest control of the account away from the creator.
While it’s easy to feel bad for Adorian, I’m not sure how he has a case. He willingly signed away all rights to the content AND the brand itself. To come back more than a year later and claim that the contract was designed to “wrest control” away from him seems to be rather redundant. Of course it was designed that way. It stated it outright in the papers both parties signed.
One has to wonder where Adorian’s parents or guardians were during this changing of the guard. Since Mr. Deck was under the legal age of consent at the time and could not legally sign a contract on his own volition, his guardians would have had to agree. I’d assume a lawyer was involved to advise them. Don’t you think that any one of those adults would have advised Deck not to give up complete control?
And, of course, if it turns out that no adults were involved and Deck simply signed the paperwork… then we have a whole new ballgame, y’all. I don’t know – what do you think? Do you feel there’s a bit more to this story than we’re being told thus far, or is it simply a sad case of a young man taken advantage of without a leg to stand on now?