by Mike Masnick

Skype Founders Use eBay Cash To Atone For Their Kazaa Sins

from the so-that's-how-it-works dept

While we already wrote about the Kazaa $100 million settlement news that came out this morning, there's an interesting bit of info on it that came out later in the day: a portion (not clear how much, but we'd assume a large amount) of that settlement fine is going to be paid by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the founders of Kazaa and Skype. If you recall, the pair had apparently sold off everything having to do with Kazaa before founding Skype -- though, they then spent a while hiding out and running around Europe trying to avoid being served with legal papers. It's also why the pair couldn't come to the US, even after the deal to sell Skype for billions. We jokingly said at the time that maybe they could use some of that $2.6 billion to pay their legal fees -- and apparently they took that to heart. Now that this settlement is in place, there are no more pending charges filed by the entertainment industry against the pair. Of course, there is still the racketeering charge filed by competitor (and former partner) Streamcast. In fact, this new development may strengthen that case. The charges there included the suggestion that Zennstrom and Friis were still heavily involved with Kazaa even after they supposedly sold it -- and finding out that they're paying off part of the settlement fees could support that position. Either way, expect to start seeing the pair show up in the US -- perhaps as they go around to entertainment companies trying to pitch their new online TV distribution business.

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  • identicon
    WhoNu, 27 Jul 2006 @ 5:07pm

    It's always good to see these hardened criminals reined in. I'll sure sleep better tonight, maybe even DL some music on the ole kazaa lite.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sean, 27 Jul 2006 @ 5:41pm


    Wow, they are really racking up the charges on them with some of their actions. You would think they would have disappeared after the Kazaa settlement to keep their asses from being asked to pay for some of it. Though if they did make 2.6 billion, what do they care about a few million? And hell, if they face these racketeering charges, it is the US we're talking about. The Judge could probably just be paid off.

    That's my two cents.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adam, 27 Jul 2006 @ 6:14pm

    just pay it


    If I, or any right minded human sold their venture for ANY amount near a billion or more, wouldnt you just pay off your pending problems and lose the stress...

    a few hundred million seems like a bargain to me for a stress free life, when you've got that much. (and that many problems)

    The american legal system is all about the money anyway (as in, the more you have, the more you can get away with)


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Xcetron, 27 Jul 2006 @ 6:24pm

    Now all they have to do is make up so other business so that can support the legal cases which will be filed against Skype.

    This might keep going for awhile.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 27 Jul 2006 @ 8:36pm

    Isnt Kazaa Lite dead?

    KLite K++ ? if there's new backbones to tap into that'd rule. After it was sold off it went the way of the dodo.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Martin Tibbitts, 27 Jul 2006 @ 9:00pm


    I was frankly quite surprised by this. Atone is right...Kazaa itself is not worth 100m. There must have been a substantial "you must play nice" clause in the Ebay Skype buyout, but still.

    Granted, 100m is only a few months interest on 2.6B ; )

    Martin Tibbitts

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Clair Ching, 27 Jul 2006 @ 10:42pm

    Hopefully they wouldn't have any more cases to settle. Isn't it just too much of a hassle to keep on paying for fines, etc.

    Maybe it's time for them to figure out what kind of business they really should enter so they would avoid such troubles in the future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ed, 28 Jul 2006 @ 6:38am

    Bla Bla Bla...

    Everyone had used the Kazaa, Torrent, Edonkey, wharever, at least dozens of times to... Well... to see how the technology works! Just for it.
    Why dozen??? Of course to be sure that geet the right understand on it!

    Gime a break!! All this sucks!!! The American Justice have the eyes strictly on numbers(the big ones, with lot of zeros) and the interniment industry have the power and the control !!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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