A judge has said a lawsuit can be delivered via Twitter. It's an interesting case, an odd idea and a pity there are going to be so many logistical obstacles.
The scenario is simple. Someone is posing as a (real) right-wing blogger - they've effectively 'borrowed' his name for a Twitter account and are putting notes up that the actual blogger finds objectionable. In British law, and I have no doubt other territories will have their equivalents, there is a thing called 'passing off', which means I can't pass myself off as someone else, they can't pass themselves off as me, and soforth. So the blogger doesn't need a trademark, he's protected.
Thing is, the Tweeter hasn't identified himself. So the judge has said the lawsuit can be delivered via Twitter - a link will take the Tweeter through to the text of the injunction.
Yeah...and then what? There are a great many things that can happen and only one of those involves the perpetrator actually being caught. The most likely is that he or she will ignore the lawsuit. If he or she can't be found then there's nothing to gain from coming forward. The second is that they shut the account down and start again under another name, and continue this sort of Twitter-tag for a while. The third is that he or she gets caught but denies having seen the Tweet with the lawsuit link (maybe you can prove someone opened a Tweet but I can assure you I have Tweetdeck running on my computer all the time so about 1500 people could 'prove' I'd opened their Tweets without any certainty that I'd read them unless I'd replied).
In fact the more I look at this, the less enforceable it appears and the more objections to Twitter as a means of delivery start to look. I'd be delighted if someone could prove me wrong but I just don't see how this can fly.
Details of the case are in a report here.