Retweet.com launches… and they're *still* using Tweetmeme's code

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Retweet.com is a brand-new retweeting service that wants to steal Tweetmeme’s crown. We covered them before when it appeared that wasn’t all they were borrowing from Tweetmeme. But it seems Retweet.com are ploughing on, undaunted by the consequences (moral or otherwise) of using code from other platforms.

picture-19Today, Retweet.com launches with a $10,000 promotion backed by yet more of Tweetmeme’s code. On the right, you’ll see an error message Retweet.com spat out at me a few moments ago, when I tried to submit a URL via its submission page. Take a look where it gives the name of the table the error has occurred in.

We said that Retweet.com’s reputation was going to be stained by the previous episode. Where does that leave it now?

In related news, Tweetmeme announced today via its blog the one of the features coming in its relaunch next week will be retweetable comments. Here’s a sneak peek at what they’re going to look like:

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tyson_Quick/753414354 Tyson Quick

    I can assure you that Mesiab Labs isn’t using any of tweetmeme’s code. We value every opinion of the products we release, but its clear that since Tweetmeme is a UK based company that techcrunch is really giving its all to put a bad image on our FREE web based application to persuade the public to run in FEAR!! Strangely enough, nobody from Mesiab Labs has been in contact with you TC.

    • Samuel Ryan

      You’re hilarious, you really are. “@citricsquid that’s the kind of uninformed sensationalist rumor-milling that passes as journalism these days. I advise due dilligence.”. Yet you haven’t addressed the screenshot in the post.

      If you’re going to lie, do it well. Idiot.

    • http://beepl.com Jan Paricka

      I wonder if anyone will comment on that… Techcrunch? Hello?

  • http://www.armintalic.com/ Armin Talic

    I’d usually stay clear of a conversation that might spark controversy, but I think in this case I’ll chip in.

    Firstly, I’ll make an observations.

    Having seen how retweet.com have gone about handling this issue, I personally have no confidence in using their system. Conflict rarely leads to good publicity.

    Secondly, my professional opinion.

    If you’re going to take on ~$1.4M in VC, with the intent of piggybacking off the back of someone elses architecture, you might as well give that money back. How do you know tweetmeme.com are doing it right? They’re simply the biggest ones doing it.

    retweet.com has out right copied portions of code from tweetmeme.com, but that’s really a non-issue as it’s a fact. How they react and position themselves in the long run will determine their longevity.

    • waha?

      Disregarding legality — it doesn’t take much to call a piece of code “different” — I have to agree with Armin about piggybacking. Essentially, retweet.com is not innovating. Long term, I have to believe this will lead to failure.

  • http://twitter.com/mattkirman Matt Kirman

    That is really, really strange. They are obviously using (or have been “inspired” by) Tweetmeme’s code. If they were using the open source WordPress plugin surely the code would be trying to connect to a WordPress database, not one named Tweetmeme. It doesn’t add up.

  • Martin

    That’s strange … error 1146 is MYSQL … how much server side code do you need to rip off where the database schema is still from Tweetmeme?

    Trying the submission now throws the same DB error but no context information. It’s almost like somebody has hased out the error message within the page to stop the table names appearing :)

  • http://www.chris-alexander.co.uk/475 Chris Alexander - My Face On The Internet

    […] shots. I guess this is a bit egotistical of me, but check out the shots of me on TechCrunch.com, Uk.TechCrunch.com, and Mashable.com… My face on Techcrunch.com My face on Techcrunch UK My face on […]

  • Jeff T

    ah not this babble again! I just reminded myself why I rarely come to TechCrunch UK.. headed back to TechCrunch or Mashable

  • John Wards

    Erm, how is naming a table in a database stealing code?

    Unless Nick can go erm that is exactly the table name we use this is a non issue.

    If it is exactly the same table name, then he needs to look at his security/former employees.

  • http://bastianlehmann.posterous.com Bastian Lehmann

    At first i wasn’t going to say anything but you guys know me, it’s just not my style. To cut it short, the guys who launched Retweet must the some of the biggest Morons I’ve seen in a long time.

    That in itself would not upset me, but the pure fact that they just come along and bluntly copy not only the idea, but also the design, the way the site works, even the artwork up to the tiny Retweet button and the naming of the categories just makes me sick.

    I understand that there are cultures where copying a product is a sign of appreciation, and if the guys behind Retweet have such a cultural background than that is a totally different story.

    For now i assume they do not. For now, i assume they think that we all are idiots. Because rather than using their brains to invent something new, to at least try to modify an existing service in an intelligent way, to launch with at least one single innovative and new feature, they think they can get away with a cheap copy of something someone else created.

    I understand that no one owns an idea completely. I also understand that Nick didn’t invented the first meme tracker ever. I also appreciate a competitive environment because i believe it ultimately results in better products.

    What i f”@# hate is, if someone just comes along and takes what you have and put’s it right on his own head.

    That’s what Retweet did! Well, the truth is they tried. If you take a close look at both services you will see that Tweetmeme is still way ahead. Nick and his team have some nice features like a live view and channels that were probably not that easy to copy.

    Oh and sorry for the rant.

  • http://www.nemisys.uk.com John Duffy

    Maybe Retweet aren’t quite understanding the issue, someone should try to explain in their own language:

    “Imagine that Retweet allowed you to take someone else’s Tweet and pass it off as your own … do you get it now?”

  • http://www.arteki.com Gaby

    How did they even get access to tweetmeme’s database structure? That’s not the sort of thing you can usually see in other people’s code. I hope this whole thing gets uncovered so we know what’s really going on.

    Thanks for keeping us updated.

  • Rick thompson

    I’ve noticed how techcrunch has some obsession with this tweetme service and it’s f’ing annoying! Blog about something useful.

  • Timothy

    To me, retweet.com looks like tweetmeme with a different CSS file.

    Tweetmeme should be sueing Retweet.com – clearly!

  • http://www.solidstategroup.com Ben Rometsch

    If they have exactly the same database table names, I’d hazard a guess (although it’s only a guess) that they have at one point had access to the original codebase.

    If you had written the database schema yourself you wouldn’t name the tables with that of your competitor…

    • Dan Field

      Its not showing that the table names that are the same as the tweetmeme schema, or showing that any code is the same.

      The error message shows that their database is named “tweetmeme_web”, that’s all.

      Not an indication of using their code but a sure indication that the whole project has been based (Ideas copied) on the functionality of tweetmeme.

      Competition is good though, and its good to see that Nick has already started to implement new features into tweetmeme.

      • http://www.solidstategroup.com Ben Rometsch

        Answer my question: If you had written the database schema yourself you wouldn’t name the tables with that of your competitor…

      • Dan Field

        No, I wouldn’t… but I can see how they would when copying the functionality of tweetmeme.

        Remeber, we don’t know if the tables are named the same way as the tweetmeme schema, all they have done is named their database after tweetmeme.

        They would say tweetmeme is the inspiration for their system… others (Myself included) would say they have copied tweetmeme.

        I don’t think they have copied the schema or any internal code though – just the idea and functionality.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting what they have done but the title and content of the article are a bit missleading – there is no evidence that they are *still* using the code, all we have seen is that they have named their database (Not tables) after tweetmeme.

        Twitter: dan_jf

  • Wille

    Wow, that database error message implies that it’s not only front-end code, which is relatively easy to copy/steal that’s in play.

    How in the world did they get their hands on TweetMeme’s database schema and backend code, if that is the case?!

    • Rob

      I am thinking that these two are from the same company and they are creating their own competitor to deter new entrants into the arena. Think about it… there is no way the DB schema would have the same naming convention unless the same guys were behind it.

  • http://crenk.com Steven Finch

    They have the killer domain so why dont they actually try to do things differently??

  • http://www.alseek.com/search/archives/22226 web: Retweet.com is No Competition for Tweetmeme | Alseek:The Academic Search Engine

    […] code? Apparently even by launch day, they were still using it…or at least it appears that way. As Milo Yiannopoulos and others discovered when receiving errors on their link submissions, the table name referenced in […]

  • http://www.family-learning-center.com/computers-technology/read-write-web/retweetcom-is-no-competition-for-tweetmeme/ Retweet.com is No Competition for Tweetmeme | Family Learning Center

    […] Apparently even by launch day, they were still using it…or at least it appears that way. As Milo Yiannopoulos and others discovered when receiving errors on their link submissions, the table name referenced in […]

  • http://furnish.co.uk Simon Hill

    A request to Milo, Mike, etc… Please don’t write or tweet about retweet.com ever again.

    Here’s how it plays; retweet.com commits some moral outrage -> you write about it -> they use the techcrunch platform to respond saying how great their service is -> people try them out. You’re HELPING THEM. They do not deserve the publicity or the pagerank.

    Never mention their name again. Please.

  • http://www.indiacallingcards.in/retweet-com-launches%e2%80%a6-and-they%e2%80%99re-still-using-tweetmeme%e2%80%99s-code-08-calling-cards/ Retweet.com launches… and they’re *still* using Tweetmeme’s code « India Calling Cards

    […] Link: Retweet.com launches… and they’re *still* using Tweetmeme’s code […]

  • http://ithinkeducation.net/?p=6231 Links for 2009-08-20 [del.icio.us] « iThinkEducation.net!

    […] Retweet.com launches… and they’re *still* using Tweetmeme’s code Retweet.com is a brand-new retweeting service that wants to steal Tweetmeme’s crown. We covered them before when it appeared that wasn’t all they were borrowing from Tweetmeme. But it seems Retweet.com are ploughing on, undaunted by the consequences (moral or otherwise) of using code from other platforms. […]

  • http://www.neurosoftware.ro/programming-blog/blogposter/web-resources/retweetcom-is-no-competition-for-tweetmeme/ Retweet.com Is No Competition for Tweetmeme - Programming Blog

    […] Apparently even by launch day, they were still using it… or at least it appears that way. As Milo Yiannopoulos and others discovered when receiving errors on their link submissions, the table name referenced in […]

  • http://thenextweb.com/2009/08/28/tweetmeme-launches-massive-upgrade-version-2/ Tweetmeme launches massive upgrade to Version 2

    […] sees the service take a step forward following the recent launch of competitor Retweet.com (which, it has been claimed, uses Tweetmeme code). Tweetmeme is also working with JS-Kit to incorporate Tweetmeme into its Echo […]

  • http://teknoy.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/tweetmeme-launches-massive-upgrade-to-version-2/ Tweetmeme launches massive upgrade to Version 2 « Teknoy

    […] sees the service take a step forward following the recent launch of competitor Retweet.com (which, it has been claimed, uses Tweetmeme code). Tweetmeme is also working with JS-Kit to incorporate Tweetmeme into its Echo […]

  • saurab

    I think i can guess how the table names got to be based on tweetmeme.

    The people over at retweet must have asked some freelance programmers to build a “clone” of tweetmeme.

    It happens all the time on sites like oDesk, RentACoder, Elance etc…

    the freelance programmer in charge of developing the backend code of retweet.com must have modelled the entire functionality… and in doing so must have named almost everything based on the name “tweetmeme”.

    -saurab

  • saurab

    I think i can guess how the table names got to be based on tweetmeme.

    The people over at retweet must have asked some freelance programmers to build a “clone” of tweetmeme.

    It happens all the time on sites like oDesk, RentACoder, Elance etc…

    the freelance programmer in charge of developing the backend code of retweet.com must have modelled the entire functionality on tweetmeme… and in doing so must have named almost everything based on the name “tweetmeme”.

    -saurab

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