Ricardo, one of the most obvious followers of Ebay, launched its online auctions company four years after Pierre Omidyar's original. Twitter's emulators, Germany's shameless Samwer brothers, took only eight months. Blame globalization, and international access to news sites such as Techcrunch.
Twitter's Evan Williams may have every right to be angry, but he should be flattered, too, by the imitation. Pirates, whether they're replicating Hollywood movies, or internet startups, only pick the big hits. Ebay, despite annoying foreign copies, dominates the online auctions business; and the concept the Samwer brothers last stole, Facebook, isn't doing badly, either.