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Thread: Skype As We Know It May Not Exist Much Longer, eBay Says

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    Skype As We Know It May Not Exist Much Longer, eBay Says

    EBay is working on software to replace the guts of Skype but is worried that it may not succeed, may lose a court battle with Skype’s founders over rights to the core technology and may need to do something drastic some time over the next few years. The company said in a regulatory filing yesterday that if the company fails in both the legal and technical avenues it’s pursuing then “continued operation of Skype’s business as currently conducted would likely not be possible.”

    Joltid, a company owned by Skype’s founders, merely licensed some of the system’s core technolgy to eBay when it sold Skype to the auction giant in 2005. Joltid now says that the license has been revoked and eBay is infringing on its rights by continuing to use the technology. The case is scheduled to go to court in June of 2010 but eBay is trying to replace the technology in the mean time. It may not succeed.

    Joseph Galante at Bloomberg News cites Jayanth Angl, an analyst at Info-Tech Research Group, who argues that replacing the technology will not be easy. “It would be quite difficult to replace what they already have as the underlying component to their service,” Angl told Bloomberg. “There are a number of barriers to that, not the least of which are legal barriers.” The creation of another global P2P VOIP and video network that doesn’t infringe on existing patents is no small task.

    Skype is one of the shiniest stars in eBay’s portfolio of companies and is aimed to spin out as an independent company that can sell its own stock in an IPO sometime soon. That’s unlikely to happen until this most important of several lawsuits the company faces is somehow resolved.

    This Spring we reported that Skype’s founders were also interested in raising enough capital to buy Skype back from eBay. It’s been three months since that news was first disclosed and there have been no updates on the effort that we’re aware of.

    Skype continues to grow very quickly. Now with 480 million users around the world, it is twice the size of Facebook and adding users almost as fast. Skype’s being gutted would cause substantial disruption to the communication of millions of families around the world.

    Source: http://technology.newsmedian.com/sky...ger-ebay-says/

    It sounds menacing, but I don't think Skype will be closed. What do you think about it?

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    Senior Member seanstevens's Avatar
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    It's an interesting one. I think that there is a real possibility that Skype may have to close its doors. I would think that ebay will work very hard on producing a similar item that avoids the legal issues. There is also the possibility that someone else comes in under ebay and tries to do a deal to keep Skype (or another form) active.

    I don't really know if Skype is as widespread as it could be. I know there was a marketing push a year or two ago, but that seems to have died down and out of my family and a few work people I know very few people who use it.

    I've used it for a couple of years as an IM at the company I work my day job and not as a phone. I have only recently started using it to talk via webcam to my parents and others - the kids love it.

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    Community Manager Fergal's Avatar
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum Thador and thanks for your participation.

    Joltid now says that the license has been revoked and eBay is infringing on its rights by continuing to use the technology.
    It's very surprising that a company as successful as eBay should find themselves in this position. You would imagine that their legal team would have ensured that the deal was watertight when they made the deal to acquire the Skype technology, from it's original founders.

    Like Sean, I actually know very few people who use the service. I've been planning to get a Skype compatible phone for my PC for quite some time, but have never got round to it. I actually make very few international calls.

    The situation is obviously very serious, eBay will know that statements like that will cause insecurity amongst their users and make them more likely to look for an alternative service. Hence, I don't think they would air something like this in public if the danger wasn't real.

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    I know there are many softwares related to same feature of Skype. Therefore, there is big competition as I believe. The free calls provided by Skype and call anywhere is almost contained in every messenger software.

    I believe Skype should do something more that other can't do exactly.

    Off-topic: Very nice, you're putting the source link that is a very good habbit in order to be save from copy/paste habbit.

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    Wow I sure do hope Skype is not closed. It is the best voice chat software ever. I mean it can beat yahoo/msn any time of the day - Clarity wise and other wise too.

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    Junior Member solidus37's Avatar
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    Skype should not close they are the best in VOIP and the first. I am using it to contact people internationally

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    I personally use gtalk more than skype but I believe skype is much more popular and very easy to use as well.I do not see any reason why skype should not exist for few more years.I will definitely love to see it exist for 5 or 6 more years with features like free call from PC to phone.

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    They should keep Skype!

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    I have been a Skype user for months now, but I haven't used the free call feature yet from PC to phone, because I do not have enough credits to purchase them. For now, I use Yahoo Messenger. Anyway, Skype is an awesome instant messenger than any other competitors like GTalk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bogartkick View Post
    ...I haven't used the free call feature yet from PC to phone, because I do not have enough credits to purchase them...
    Sorry I don't understand and I'm not a Skype user myself. But why would you need to purchase credits if the calls are free?

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    Smile Skype A wonderful tool

    I`ve used Skype to video talk with my nephew in Germany,i hope the issues are resolved.
    conquetthe self

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    that is bad news, i use it in my daily life, it is useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fergal View Post
    Sorry I don't understand and I'm not a Skype user myself. But why would you need to purchase credits if the calls are free?
    You can call landline and mobile phones with bought skype credit.
    Skype users can call each other using microphon without any payment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital View Post
    that is bad news, i use it in my daily life, it is useful.
    Skype is very useful.

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