Feeds

Skype racketeering case dismissed

But Steamcast vows to continue litigation

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

One of the longest running feuds in the P2P business has taken a new turn after a judge dismissed a racketeering case brought by Streamcast Networks against Skype.

Streamcast, which develops the Morpheus P2P software, has long maintained that it had rights to the FastTrack/Kazaa P2P software engine on which Morpheus is based. FastTrack was created by a number of developers, including the two founders of Skype, who Streamcast says illegally transferred the technology to Sharman Networks in 2002.

Streamcast filed suit against a number of parties, including Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, Sharman Networks, Joltid (developers of FastTrack/Kazaa), and others under the RICO Act in January last year.

The suit claimed that Zennstrom and Friis also developed Skype's VoIP technology for Streamcast and took it with them, illegally profiting from its use.

A Federal Judge in Los Angeles has decreed that Streamcast failed to prove its case and dismissed all claims against Skype and the other defendents.

The feud dates back to the turn of the decade, when in a bid to evade lawsuits from the RIAA and MPAA, P2P operators took their companies offshore, making an assessment of the true ownership of the assets difficult. Sharman Networks was created in Australia in 2001 to acquire Kazaa. Months later, Sharman blocked Streamcast from using Kazaa, hitting the latter's Morpheus network.

In 2005, Skype was acquired by eBay for $2.6bn. The same year the Supreme Court made an ambiguous ruling in MGM vs Grokster that prompted a number of P2P companies to close down and make peace with the litigants, the RIAA and the MPAA. Streamcast has developed a new network for "authorised content", but continued to defend the legality of Morpheus for another year, until last September.

Proving a case under RICO is difficult, as it requires the plaintiff to prove "a crime within a crime". The act was introduced to combat Mafia racketeering and extortion, and is typically successful in cases involving violence.

Nevertheless, Streamcast has vowed to continue its ligitation. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Google has spaffed more cash on lobbying this year than Big Cable
Don't worry, it'll be cheaper when they use drones
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?