Twitpic, the service on which I published that Kaka picture (pre-smartphone!), is shutting down. The reason? Twitter has been clumsily throwing their weight around via one of their lawyers threatening to lock Twitpic out of their API if Twitpic didn't give up their trademark. Lawyers. The only people hated more than us ad-folks.
So Twitpic are packing up the whole service and going home.
Read the statement on twitpic's own blog here
We originally filed for our trademark in 2009 and our first use in commerce dates back to February 2008 when we launched. We encountered several hurdles and difficulties in getting our trademark approved even though our first use in commerce predated other applications, but we worked through each challenge and in fact had just recently finished the last one. During the “published for opposition” phase of the trademark is when Twitter reached out to our counsel and implied we could be denied access to their API if we did not give up our mark.
Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours. Therefore, we have decided to shut down Twitpic.
Calm down, you will be able to export your images and videos, Twitpic just has to make this available in the next week or so. But now that Twitpic is gone, Instagram leads to alink-out into another app and Twitter has suggested timeline changes that would effectively turn twitter into Facebook, which has made users go beserk, this feels like an end of an era. Twitter isn't the cool new kid on the block any longer and attempts to tame it might kill it.