A US judge has given a temporary restraining order that makes Twitter provide access to their Firehose but the question of who should have access to the millions of tweets created everyday is now under examination.
According to news agency Reuters, a judge from San Francisco allowed PeopleBrowsr Inc, a company that analyses tweets, to have access to the Twitter fire hose to enable them to continue with their business.
The Twitter Firehose is the stream of tweets that are posted everyday and PeopleBrowsr Inc have used the information from the Firehose to be able to provide information to their various clients who range from technology blogs to the US Department of Defense.
According to the report PeopleBrowsr Inc have been buying the information from the Twitter Firehose since July 2010 and they had been paying Twitter on a month by month basis for this information.
However in July this year Twitter cancelled the contract between themselves and PoepleBrowsr Inc and stopped allowing them to have access to the stream of more than 400 million tweets per day.
PeopleBrowsr were not the only company that paid to use information gained from Tweets to run their business but Twitter has now clamped down on who and how their data is accessed, leaving many businesses that rely on this information to build businesses and products without any means of making any revenue.
John David Rach, the founder of PeopleBrowsr said in court that the decision by Twitter to cancel the contract had led to “commercial disaster” for his company, he added that public statements from Twitter had also been contradictory to his experience with the mnicroblogging site.
He said: “Twitter has repeatedly and consistently promised that it would maintain an “open ecosystem” for its data”
Twitter have responded to the temporary injunction by arguing that “This is contracts 101. We believe the case is without merit and will vigorously defend against it.”
Twitter has access to every Tweet that is ever written but the information within those tweets is worth a huge amount of money and many companies now rely on information gleaned from Twitter to drive marketing campaigns and production.
The result of the case, which will be back in court in January, will be being watched very closely by many who are linked to Twitter as the repercussions of the final outcome could be very far reaching across the internet and social media.