NEWS29 November 2012

PeopleBrowsr wins temporay injunction against Twitter

Legal North America

US— Social media analytics agency PeopleBrowsr has won a temporary restraining order against Twitter forcing them to continue providing access to the Firehose service.

The duo agreed a one-year deal in July 2010 that would give PeopleBrowsr access to the Twitter Firehose feed, which provides access to around 90 million tweets. When this deal expired, Twitter said the two firms agreed a month-to-month deal that could be terminated without notice.

Twitter said that the application was “without merit” but was unsuccessful in getting it dismissed. The firm said: “Although PeopleBrowsr attempts to dress its case up as some sort of grand anti-trust or interference case, it is not. The operative facts could not be simpler, or more dispositive. PeopleBrowsr and Twitter negotiated, at arm’s length, an integrated contract with a one-year term, after which either party could terminate at will after giving 30 days’ notice. Twitter has exercised that contractual right.”

In addition, Twitter said, as demand for access to the Firehose service has grown, it has struck re-selling agreements with companies such as Gnip and had encouraged PeopleBrowsr to strike a deal with one of the resellers.

However, the application to have the order dismissed and the pair will go to court in January next year.

Jodee Rich, founder and CEO at PeopleBrowsr, said: “We relied on Twitter’s promise of openness when we invested millions of dollars and thousands of hours of development time. Long term supply is essential as this industry matures. We made this application to ensure full unrestricted access to the Firehose for our Enterprise and Government clients.”