However, given Twitter's recent behavior of backpedalling on expectations they set for developing on their platform, and their disrespect for developers who've been cheerleading and building apps for them the last 6 years, I'm glad to see someone fight back the best they can. If for no other reason than to illustrate that they're acting like jerks. Unfortunately, given Twitter's response and hand waving dismissal, I don't think they received the message. They could have at least paid a little lip-service. Ya' know, act like they give a damn.
I agree that Twitter backtracked on their API and platform, but a bogus lawsuit is the exact opposite of the right way to fight back. Even though App.net and others have their flaws, that is the "right" way: developers have to steal people's attention away from Twitter instead of going for a lawsuit that doesn't make sense.
yes, that's pretty much the state of things in the US. Anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason; granted if someone files for something stupid it will almost certainly be laughed out of court immediately, but you will still have to spend time and money defending yourself from it.
And this is in no way limited to companies. You can be sued for asking the guy behind you in line to talk into his cellphone quieter. That'll almost certainly be dismissed with prejudice, but you'll still need to either research the law yourself or contact a lawyer to deal with that idiot.
In a situation like this, people should be publicly shaming PeopleBrowser (people publicly shamed Twitter for going back on their API!), and I'm happy that the tone of the TechCrunch article at least portrayed PeopleBrowser in a negative light.
Where the legal system fails, social pressure is the next best option.
"What we didn't know about <him> was that he was a retired lawyer, and which is one of the dangerous breeds of lawyer because they have nothing but time to crawl right up your ass"
-Stephen Colbert 
Unless Twitter is grossly misrepresenting the facts, PeopleBrowsr knew perfectly well what terms they were getting their access on. The contract expired 16 months ago and has been automatically renewed on a month-by-month basis, with a 30 days notice period. Twitter then gave notice.
They might want to consider PR though. But, to be honest, I think they have considered it, and their position is "we don't care what the neck-beards think about us anymore, @katyperry is trending!"
So I'm a neck-beard and I take offense to this. It's practically what they want.
Taking sides in a legal battle based on which party dots their Is with little hearts, instead of based on logical arguments and legal precedent, is ignorant.
Increasingly I think they're no more a tech company than say, Warner Brothers. Warners rely completely on tech for creating and distributing content but it's not ultimately what they produce which is of interest and / or value. Ditto Twitter.
I've been a member since 01/2007 and have been developing against their API for nearly as long (though for what I imagine are rather obvious reasons, I haven't been near it recently). I've seen more fail whales than I could possibly count. I've sent 5000 tweets over the last nearly six years. I'm even listed as a contributor in the original O'Reilly book on Twitter API development.
I've seen it slowly become less and less useful and usable. I've watched them make their developers and contributing users hate them as they struggled to find a business model (who else remembers the #dickbar ?). I'm now watching them destroy their ecosystem as they try to execute on their chosen business model.
Twitter, I am disappoint.