An unspecified Twitter loss is Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation's gain, which means that Twitter parodies are not only funny, but also save the world. Or at least the cuter part of it.
La Russa and Twitter settled their lawsuit, which the Cardinals manager brought against the microblogging service for macro damages, including emotional distress worth more than 140 characters. But, you see, the lawsuit wasn't about naysayers (or parodists) being critical of La Russa, or about the four — four! — followers who noticed, or the fact that experts doubted the suit's merit. This was about the law.
"There is a law against improperly using a person's name without authorization and it wasn't authorized," La Russa said. "You can't sue everybody for criticizing you, but it seemed like that was the perception. It was improper use of the name, but it's been settled."
It's going to cost Twitter a probable donation to La Russa's ARF and his legal fees — which, of course, the skipper would not have accrued had he not sued in the first place.
UPDATE: Twitter, through its blog, is denying that the suit has been settled:
Reports this week that Twitter has settled a law suit and officially agreed to pay legal fees for an impersonation complaint that was taken care of by our support staff in accordance with our Terms are erroneous. Twitter has not settled, nor do we plan to settle or pay.
With due respect to the man and his notable work, Mr. La Russa's lawsuit was an unnecessary waste of judicial resources bordering on frivolous. Twitter's Terms of Service are fair and we believe will be upheld in a court that will ultimately dismiss Mr. La Russa's lawsuit.
What's more, the Twitterati folk seem to be using this particular case to launch a new feature: verified accounts. From now on, certain people will have super-duper-special seals to denote their authenticity. That select group of celebrities includes "public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes and other well known individuals at risk of impersonation," like this guy.