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Shock threat to shut Skype

     
4:48 am on Jul 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Interesting news , just a example of how big giant has been kept in control by two guys.

eBay says it may have to shut down Skype due to a licensing dispute with the founders of the internet telephony service.

[theage.com.au...]

7:36 am on July 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It won't even go to trial until next year. That's a relief. Hope they can work something out. It would not be nice to lose Skype.
8:30 am on July 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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An alternative is but a few lines of code away and an army of techies will fight to provide it first.
9:23 am on July 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The main problem with rewriting the system to circumvent the licensing problem is backward compatibility. There are many VoIP alternatives, including many using industry standards like SIP. But none of them has the critical mass of Skype.

Besides that, it baffles me that a company like Ebay agreed in 2005 to pay US$ 2,600,000,000 (yes, that's a lot of digits) for the system without obtaining the core of the program, just a revocable license.

10:54 am on July 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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eBay and Skype Dispute Rumbles On [reuters.com]
"Our plans to separate Skype have not changed," the company said in a statement. EBay said it would not comment beyond a regulatory filing it made on Wednesday.

EBay wrote in the quarterly filing that it recognized that pending litigation over the technology behind Skype could ultimately have an "adverse result," so it had begun to develop alternative software to the technology it licenses from Joltid Ltd for Skype.
"Skype has begun to develop alternative software to that licensed through Joltid. However, such software development may not be successful, may result in loss of functionality or customers even if successful, and will in any event be expensive," eBay said.

2:05 pm on July 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Joltid Limited alright...

Sad, sad. Despite many many alternatives, I've always stuck with Skype during thick and thin. If only anyone cared. Big Telco must be grinning.

Hope it all works out.

2:44 pm on July 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It's a stunner but welcome news for many of us in the VOIP field. Skype running on SIP would make compatibility with the rest of us a possibility, and Skype going under would put a ton of market share up for play.

I don't think either will happen though. This smells like a test of wills between the founders and Ebay over whether Skype goes IPO or gets sold back to the founders at a significant discount.

Telephony is in a really interesting place right now. You can carve out a good business using VOIP and PSTNs together, but that could all get wiped out in 5 years time if mobiles start running voice through wifi/wimax/whatever.

8:28 pm on July 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't welcome the news so quickly, customers losing functionality is a black eye on the VOiP industry in general. Joltid and eBay both had better be ready for class action level suits if the end result is loss of service, for any reason.

Incompetence in the eBay camp seems to be rearing its ugly head everywhere these days too, their affiliates scream that ebay can't even get their reporting right for any length of time. Perhaps its time to stop talking and review the level of accountability within their own leadership.

8:46 pm on July 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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When your business is still built around customers using landlines and mobiles, and you use VOIP to lower your costs of delivering international calls, Skype going under would be very welcome news.
4:50 am on Aug 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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That articles says a lot but not much.

What is the dispute about, and why are the creators/licensors trying to revoke the license?

9:08 am on Aug 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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