Skype Tech Licensing Soap Opera Continues: Founders Sue eBay, New Buyers For Copyright Infringement

from the someone-screwed-up-big-time dept

Over the summer, we wrote about the bizarre and protracted legal dispute concerning whether or not eBay actually had the rights to the core technology in Skype. Skype’s founders, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, claim that they retained the right to the core technology in a separate company called Joltid, and that they terminated eBay’s license to that technology. There’s a legal battle already underway about that, but apparently that’s not enough, as Joltid has now filed a separate copyright infringement lawsuit against eBay and the list of investors who recently bought out a big chunk of Skype from eBay. The thing that still amazes me is that pretty much everyone realized right away that it made no sense for eBay to buy Skype. That was a bad idea from the very beginning. But finding out that the purchase price didn’t even include the core technology, and that Joltid had the ability to revoke the license, makes the purchase almost monumentally bad.

Filed Under: , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Skype Tech Licensing Soap Opera Continues: Founders Sue eBay, New Buyers For Copyright Infringement”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Psychosomatic says:

Yes, but

It is ultimately the users of Skype that will pay for this. Lots of folk use this to connect with each other; these guys have already won financially and if Skype folds their victory will be Pyhrric at best. And disastrous for Skype users.

You’ve already won the game, is there any point to going home with your bat and ball now?

Michael Kohne says:

I wonder...

It seems more than a little odd that Ebay’s lawyers would allow a deal to go through where they either didn’t own, or didn’t have a perpetual license to the core tech in the deal. I really have to wonder what’s written down for that one.

I have to say that the original deal was a completely stupid one – WTF does Ebay need a phone service for? But I can’t quite believe they were stupid enough to get caught out like this.

Dustin (profile) says:

Re: RE: I wonder...

True and IF it turns out that eBay did, in fact, acquire unauthorized versions of the source code, make unauthorized modifications, and disclose the software to third persons I say good on the Joltid guys.

If their allegations are true eBay made a bad deal (and probably paid less initially for it), tried to commit corporate espionage to get around it, got caught, and had their hat handed to them.

It’ll suck if this leads to the downfall of Skype, but eBay will have it coming and deserves the blame.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...