In yet another example of where the legal barriers that pop up are often more disruptive than technology itself, Facebook’s rollout of its Timeline service may be delayed until a court gives them the all clear.
A federal judge refused late on Friday to grant a temporary restraining order to Timelines.com, a Chicago company that says Facebook’s timeline service may “eliminate” it. In return, Facebook has promised to limit access for now and to hold back on a full launch.
In refusing to grant the temporary restraining order, Judge Edmond Chang noted that Facebook has pledged not to broadly launch the feature before the parties appear in court again on Tuesday.
It seems like more and more the legal obstacles that can be tossed in the way of virtually anything are getting more attention than the change itself. I wonder if there are VC companies out there looking to invest in companies that could be used to get in the way of another’s activities with the payoff for their investment being the winning of a lawsuit?
Timelines.com was looking for a much broader court action rather than what appears to be just a slight delay in the full rollout of the service that Facebook hyped at their f8 conference last month.
In the end though this is likely to mean a settlement of some sort in which Timelines.com will make more money than they would with their site because after going to the site I was left thinking “Man, these guys just stepped in it if they are getting a Facebook pay day”. In other words, I didn’t stay long enough to see just how a site like that would make money but a “Facebook settlement exit strategy” looks like their best option.