PeopleBrowsr Wins Temporary Restraining Order Compelling Twitter to Provide Firehose Access

By PeopleBrowsr, November 28, 2012

San Francisco, CA (November 28, 2012)

PeopleBrowsr and Twitter appeared in San Francisco Superior Court today. PeopleBrowsr won a restraining order compelling Twitter to provide full Firehose access. The court rejected Twitter’s contention that the application was without merit. A hearing date for a preliminary injunction has been set for January 8th, 2013. “Today’s decision was a good result,” said Jodee Rich, Founder and CEO of PeopleBrowsr.

“We relied on Twitter’s promise of openness when we invested millions of dollars and thousands of hours of development time,” said Rich. “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.”

Today’s decision comes after a strong four year relationship between the two companies building Firehose Analytics. PeopleBrowsr develops APIs and social data intelligence on the foundation of Twitter’s public tweet Firehose of more than 400 million tweets per day. “PeopleBrowsr has used the Firehose to build pioneering and broadly adopted products like Kred, the world’s only open, transparent and real time social influence measure,” said Andrew Grill, CEO of Kred.

Twitter’s recent strategy change and new restricted access policy has raised concerns over growth and competition in a tightly controlled market. Earlier this year, Jack Dorsey said at the DLD conference in Munich, “Twitter is an information utility”. PeopleBrowsr believes it is important for Twitter to maintain an open ecosystem for its unique data.

Twitter has built its business on the promise of openness. Many of the core features including retweets, hashtags, @replies and $tags have been created by the developer community. They have created the applications that enabled Twitter to grow and prosper. Robert. G Harris, Professor Emeritus in the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and expert in competition and patent policies, an expert witness in the case said in an affidavit “Twitter promoted its ‘open ecosystem’ to encourage third parties to risk their time and money building businesses that depended on Twitter to survive”.

Court Documents:

Expert Witness Declaration

Expert Witness Declaration 2

Expert Witness Appendix

Jodee Rich Declaration

TRO Complaint 

TRO Application 

TRO Memorandum

TRO Summons

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