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Twitter in legal spat over data clampdown

Published on Nov 30, 2012 6:02 AM
 
Twitter Inc's steadily tightening grip over the 140-character messages on its network has set off a spirited debate in Silicon Valley over whether a social media company should or should not lay claim over its user-generated content. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Twitter Inc's steadily tightening grip over the 140-character messages on its network has set off a spirited debate in Silicon Valley over whether a social media company should or should not lay claim over its user-generated content.

That debate has now landed in court.

A San Francisco judge on Wednesday granted a temporary restraining order compelling Twitter to continue providing access to its "Firehose" - the full daily stream of some 400 million tweets - to PeopleBrowsr Inc, a data analytics firm that sifts through Twitter and resells that information to clients ranging from technology blogs to the United States (US) Department of Defense.

As part of a broader revenue-generating strategy, Twitter in recent months has begun clamping down on how its data stream may be accessed, to the dismay of many third-party developers who have built businesses and products off of Twitter's Firehose.

 
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