Twitter settles with PeopleBrowsr over data access

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Twitter settles with PeopleBrowsr over data access
Jodee Rich, Peoplebrowsr CEO. [Credit: Peoplebrowsr]

Reaches agreement with Jodee Rich-run company.

Twitter has reached a settlement with social media analytics firm PeopleBrowsr, allowing the company to continue to buy Twitter's data until the end of 2013.


Beginning next year, PeopleBrowsr will have to purchase access to the full "firehose" of 400 million daily tweets through one of Twitter's authorised data resellers, according to the settlement's terms.

PeopleBrowsr, based in San Francisco and run by Australian entrepreneur Jodee Rich, sifts through Twitter and resells social media "intelligence" to clients that include media organisations and the US Department of Defense.

The legal dispute between the two companies flared last late year, when Twitter, which has been ramping up its operations as it approaches a widely anticipated initial public offering, began to exercise greater control over its content.

Although Twitter contends that individual users retain intellectual ownership over their tweets, the company has moved aggressively to block some firms from profiting off of its data.

PeopleBrowsr had been purchasing data from Twitter directly, rather than through a reseller, on a month-to-month basis before Twitter sought to end the arrangement last July.

PeopleBrowsr Kred CEO Andrew Grill said the settlement gave PeopleBrowsr the eight months it needed to "technically and commercially" figure out how to continue providing the same kind of analytical services.

"We got out of this settlement what we needed," he said.

Financial details of the settlement were not disclosed.

Twitter said in a statement: "We're pleased to have this matter dismissed with prejudice, and look forward to PeopleBrowsr's transition by the end of the year off of the Firehose to join the ecosystem of developers utilising Twitter data via our reseller partnerships."

Rich formed PeopleBrowsr in 2007. He was formerly the head of Australian telco One Tel until its collapse in 2005.

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