TwitPic should be embarrassed, this is just anticompetitive BS.
Also, let's not forget Twitpic's terms of service:
Data mining, "scraping", and/or unauthorized crawling of Twitpic by any means is prohibited unless explicit permission is given...
I bring these up because I'm sure when it's convenient for them, Posterous would point to their ToS to block something.
Had Posterous worked with Twitpic and got denied instead of doing an arrogant marketing campaign ("rescue"?), I would be 100% behind Posterous. Right now, it's Posterous posturing for the upper hand when they don't really have a case.
Twitpic have a publicly accessible http server. Sending it http requests is therefore something they've implicitly allowed.
Analogies rarely work -but it's sort of like how it's trespassing once I tell you to never come on my property again.
Of course not, and that's why there are tools to protect against phone and email spam, and that's why it's good to be polite and not abuse a service. Especially a free service.
If the load is causing problems for TwitPic, they should tell Posterous to increase the delay between requests when they're importing data. I doubt this is the case.
So the solution is to have both parties figure out how to transfer the data large amounts of data without affecting overall performance. It's a matter of being polite on both sides, and Posterous started the rudeness with this lame campaign, thus losing their moral high ground IMHO. Bringing in the lawyers is a bit blunt, but IMHO it's 100% Twitpic's right.
Service like Twitpic can actually protect themselves from this kind of problem by having APIs for data export, with the APIs having clear rate limiting and other specs any importer needs to adhere to. Then the lawyers are not needed and if the spec is breached, no one can complain if Twitpic blocks them.
This episode can backfire on TwitPic a lot if users decide to leave it, and even more if Posterous decides to open source its TwitPic liberation tool to http://dataportability.org/. These were brought up by same guys from Google's data liberation front (http://www.dataliberation.org/), which is actually endorsed by google: http://twitter.com/google/statuses/17271511025
What they don't get to do is force a business, unless it's part of a paid-for contract, to spend it's own resources and bandwidth to help an unrelated competitor (or anyone else).
My point was that it's not about user's "rights" about their data - none of those are really being taken away - I don't like the sense of entitlement everyone wants - it's just going to breed gigantic TOS documents and legal hassles. Twitpic may very well be making a very bad PR move here (rather than spending the money innovating and competing)
"Oh, they're trying to crack down on users exporting their data? Better export mine now then..."
@jazzychad: "ARGH. @twitpic is blocking the whole slicehost/rackspace cloud IP block again. /cc @cloudsupport @posterous"
"Of course Twitpic should allow export, but Posterous calling others "dying platforms" is an unnecessary dick move. Hence, pettiness."
Here's where they used the term "dying platforms": http://blog.posterous.com/make-the-switch-to-posterous
A bit rough? They're complete assholes about it.
> but Twitpic shouldn't respond to that by making it look like they want to make it difficult for users to export their data.
They're not, they haven't blocked anything (not even Posterous's IP block) and clearly said they don't plan on retiring the data export features.
By writing the tool they either get users or coverage. Win-win situation.
The blog post to Tumblr users still rankles me.
there is no hypocrisy here. We have an API that gives users 100% access to all their content on Posterous, including the original media that was uploaded, in it's full size.
This API can be found here:
There is nothing stopping people from writing Posterous exporters that go to other services. In fact, Wordpress released a Posterous importer a few months ago.
We support data portability. It's the user's content, not ours. It's our privilege to host it for our users, and we are working hard to be the best service out there.
But I think it's also not about what users theoretically could do (if they were able), it's about making it as easy to get data out as you are making it to get data in.
If you did that you'd look awesome. Actively demonstrating that you aren't at all afraid of the competition could be as powerful as all the import functionality.
Frankly, the guys at posterous would have been big morons if they won't already have thought about it before starting their "migrating from dying platforms" campaign. It doesn't imply moral or ethics; it's simply business sense that when you are accusing others of something, you aren't guilty of the same charges.
I can't see what TwitPic would get out of this. I could see a problem if Posterous deeplinked, but the images are the legal property of the users, so of course they're entitled.
Twitpic made a blunder with their service, they decided not to innovate and did not build a community around their service. It may not be too late, but, am out!