Elon Musk says ‘cheating is…’ after Twitter threatens to sue Meta over Threads - Hindustan Times
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Elon Musk says ‘cheating is…’ after Twitter threatens to sue Meta over Threads

Jul 07, 2023 06:34 AM IST

In the letter sent to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro argues that the Elon Musk-owned app's trade secrets were used to build Threads.

Twitter has threatened legal action against Meta over the new text-based app Threads less than 24 hours after its launch, news outlet Semafor reported. In a letter sent to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s lawyer Alex Spiro has accused the company of using the latter’s trade secrets by ‘hiring dozens of former employees of the blue-bird app’.

Elon Musk has threatened to sue Meta over Threads, an Instagram app, alleging it poached former Twitter employees to create a copycat app. (AFP)
Elon Musk has threatened to sue Meta over Threads, an Instagram app, alleging it poached former Twitter employees to create a copycat app. (AFP)

Reacting to the news, Twitter owner Elon Musk on Friday said that he supported competition but not ‘cheating’. Replying to a news article about the same on Twitter, Musk wrote, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”

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Read: Mark Zuckerberg's first tweet in 11 years jabs Elon Musk amid Threads launch

Spiro, who is also Musk’s personal lawyer, has alleged in the letter that Meta had engaged in “systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property” to develop Threads.

Twitter claimed that its former workers still had access to its confidential information, which was taken advantage of to build a “copycat” app “in violation of both state and federal law.”

"Twitter intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights, and demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information," Spiro wrote in the letter. He added that it is a "formal notice" for Meta to preserve documents relevant for a potential dispute between the companies.

Read: On Threads' launch, Twitter user quips 'built using Ctrl+C+V'. Musk responds…

Andy Stone, Meta spokesperson, in a Threads post, asserted that the engineering team at Threads does not consist of any former Twitter employees.

Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino, in an apparent reference to Threads, tweeted, "We're often imitated -- but the Twitter community can never be duplicated."

The lawsuit action is perhaps the clearest sign yet that Musk considers Zuckerberg’s ‘Twitter-killer’ app as a real threat.

Threads, which aims to take on Twitter by leveraging Instagram's billions of users, racked up more than 30 million sign-ups within about 18 hours of its Wednesday launch. It comes at a time when many are looking for Twitter alternatives to escape Musk's chaotic handling of the platform since acquiring it last year for $44 billion.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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