On Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 1:30 PM, MakeMoney <chicagolocalde...@gmail.com>wrote:

> I have a business plan and I am looking to role it out.  It involves
> using Twitter as a median.  I have already gotten interest from
> parties willing to pay for my service, but I beleive it may infringe
> upon how Twitter will eventually make money.  I do not want to invest
> in this service, and then have Twitter shut it down to replace it with
> their own.  I sent Twitter an email today asking them for a possible
> discussion time, but I am guessing they get a ton of these and most
> likely won't respond.  If not does anyone know the legality of using
> there service to make money?  And the legality of them being able to
> shut off my account?  Thanks.

Generally speaking, any company that uses its terms of service to stifle
competition is running the risk of violating anti-trust laws.  For that
reason, I seriously doubt if they'll even answer your email.  That's a very
dangerous conversation to have.  Companies have to compete on their
offerings, not by making deals with potential competitors.

Consider the fact that there are hundreds or thousands of software
developers who "use" Windows to compete with Microsoft.  Not only is that
legal, Microsoft has found itself in legal hot water when it tries to
prevent it.  Imagine, for example, if Microsoft tried to stop OpenOffice
from running under Windows.  The U.S. DOJ would jump all over that.

On the other hand, when you're dancing with the elephant it is easy to get
stepped on.  As I think Heidi Roizen used to say, "How do you know that
Microsoft likes you?  They crush you last."

A lot of people don't understand anti-trust laws and how they affect
communities and their conversations.  For example, it would be a huge
problem if developers here began discussing and comparing how much they
charge for their work.  That sort of conversation tends to be interpreted by
the courts as price fixing, which is unlawful.


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