Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
competition, data, exports

posterous, twitpic

Twitpic Overreacts To Competitor's Tool That Helps Export Data

from the welcome-to-the-web,-twitpic dept

We were just discussing the Facebook/ mess, involving the question of whether or not a user can choose someone else's tool to access the data that they, themselves, put on another site, and it appears we may have another such case to look at. Twitpic, an online service for easily posting pictures to Twitter, is apparently quite upset that Posterous, an online blogging platform, has set up an automated system to export your own photos from TwitPic to Posterous. As soon as the exporter was announced, Twitpic not only blocked Posterous's tool, but got the lawyers involved. As the Posterous folks note, it's not clear how any of this actually breaks the law. Setting it up so users can access their own photos is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. In fact, for many user-generated content sites these days, offering export functionality is considered good manners. Going so far as to threaten legal action against 3rd party exporters is going too far.

Reader Comments

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  1. identicon
    porkster, 1 Jul 2010 @ 6:53pm

    3rd Party Software

    Isn't a browser "3rd party software" ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anti-Mike Fanclub Member #1, 1 Jul 2010 @ 7:13pm

    No, the 3rd party is defined as the party that you didn't invite.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    fairuse (profile), 1 Jul 2010 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Oh, that darn export thingy

    Indeed. But only in twitpic's eye. Also the compete angle is overblown. twitpic is not a blog in the sense Posterous is. I store pictures then post to twitter is its function. Posterous is a timeline blog with pictures. Who is stepping on who's feet. I speak from not having Posterous /user/account.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Andrew F (profile), 1 Jul 2010 @ 9:02pm

    It's an RSS feed

    What makes this even more ridiculous is that Posterous is just grabbing the pictures from a Twitpic user's public RSS feed. Unlike the Facebook / Power issue, there's not even a privacy concern since Posterous doesn't ask for user / password info.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Robert Sanchez, 2 Jul 2010 @ 2:44am

    If Posterous hadn't gotten all ballsy in Twitpics face, then most likely there won't be a problem today and both sites would have been ok with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    StevenBullen, 1 Jun 2011 @ 3:46am

    TwitPic Exporter/Backup

    I have written a web app that can export/backup all your TwitPic images. Importer is coming along nicely and will be available soon (starting with flickr). :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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