Feeds

Skype founders sue eBay in license brawl

Your software is my software

The next step in data security

The founders of Skype sued eBay for copyright infringement almost two weeks after it agreed to sell a majority stake in the voice over IP business for $2bn.

Joltid, which is owned by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, filed suit in Northern California US District Court over peer-to-peer technology included in Skype software, according to court documents. The company has been locked in a tense dispute with eBay since March, when it accused the online auctioneer of breaching a licensing deal between the two companies.

The complaint seeks infringement damages in excess of $75m per day. It also requests a court order barring Skype from using the technology in the future. Skype has used Joltid's copyrighted code without permission since March, when a license between Skype and eBay was terminated, lawyers for Joltid wrote in the document.

A spokesman for eBay said company lawyers had not yet seen the complaint.

The dispute is likely to complicate eBay's plans to sell 65 percent of Skype to a group of private investors, which agreed to pay $1.9bn and a $125m note in exchange for the majority stake. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission after the deal was struck, eBay warned no settlement had been reached in the dispute.

Joltid's claims center around peer-to-peer technology called GI, or Global Index, software, which the complaint contends fully belongs to the Skype founders through a series of copyrights and patents. In 2007, about two years after they sold Skype to eBay for $2.6bn, the founders learned the buyers had "acquired unauthorized versions of the GI Software source code" and that they "created unauthorized modifications" to it for newer Skype versions and also disclosed it to "third persons."

The software "creates a self-organizing and self-healing distributed storage, transportation and data object management system that eliminates the costs of traditional datacenter solutions and enables a range of applications from communications to broadcasting and beyond.

The complaint also names the firms that agreed to buy the Skype stake, including Silver Lake, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.