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Defending Its Turf, TweetMeme Is Already Threatening To Sue ReTweet

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It hasn’t even been 24 hours since we wrote about the impending launch of TweetMeme competitor ReTweet, and already TweetMeme founder Nick Halstead is threatening ReTweet with a lawsuit. He takes being king of retweets very seriously.

It is not so much the apparent flat-out copying of TweetMeme’s Website design (ReTweet has not even launched in private beta yet), that bothers him. After all, TweetMeme itself was highly “inspired” by another news aggregator, Techmeme. What bugs him is what he claims to be almost exact copying of code. Halstead writes on the TweetMeme blog:

What caught my attention was that some industrious individual (@travisketchum) had left a comment on the TechCrunch article that he had been doing some digging around on the website and had found a link to their development environment. What we found ourselves was that our retweet button Javascript and the WordPress plugin code seemed to have been directly copied from ours.

Update: ReTweet (or at least its holding company Mesiab Labs) responds.

He had to look no further than the code for the retweet button itself. The code below is what he found, which he says is “an exact copy of our own retweet button code with the word ‘tweetmeme’ replaced with ‘retweet’”.

(function()
{
var _url=window.location.href;
var _url=_url.replace(/((?:\?|&)?fbc_receiver=.+)?(?:#.*)?$/,””);
var url=((typeof retweet_url==”string”)?retweet_url:((typeof retweet_URL==”string”)?retweet_URL:_url)).replace(/\+/g,”%2b”);
var source=(typeof retweet_source==”string”)?escape(retweet_source):((typeof retweet_SOURCE==”string”)?escape(retweet_SOURCE):false);
var style=(typeof retweet_style==”string”)?escape(retweet_style):((typeof retweet_STYLE==”string”)?escape(retweet_STYLE):”normal”);
var src=”http://174.129.199.128/meme/widget/tweets/”;
switch(style){
case”compact”:
var h=20;var w=90;break;
case”rednose”:var h=71;var w=60;break;default:var h=71;var w=60;break
}
src+=url;
if(source!=false)
{
src+=”&source=”+source
}
document.write(”);
retweet_url=null;
retweet_URL=null;
retweet_source=null;
retweet_SOURCE=null;
retweet_style=null;
retweet_STYLE=null})();

I just hope all of these startups realize that Twitter could just end up trademarking the term just like they did with Tweet.

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