That debate has now landed in court. A San Francisco judge 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 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 Firehose.
PeopleBrowsr, has continued to buy data on a monthly basis until this July, when Twitter invoked a clause that allowed for terminating the contract without cause.
The case could provide the first, in-depth look at issues related to one of the industry’s prominent players.