Skype Founders File Copyright Suit Against eBay Niklas Zennstrom Janus Friis
Posted in: Legal, Privacy & Security at 18/09/2009 02:08
The founders of Skype are escalating their legal battle with eBay.
Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, who became billionaires after selling Skype to eBay in 2005, filed a copyright lawsuit on Wednesday against Skype in the United States District Court of Northern California. The suit comes a little more than two weeks after eBay announced it would sell most of Skype for $1.9 billion, to a consortium of investors led by the private equity firm Silver Lake Partners.
In the court filing, Joltid, a company owned by the Skype founders, alleges that eBay violated their copyright by altering and sharing the peer-to-peer source code behind the free Internet calling service. The Skype founders maintained ownership of that source code after selling Skype to eBay in 2005 and licensed it to eBay.
Skype founders file copyright suit against Skype
Joltid, a peer-to-peer software company established by Skype's founders, filed a copyright suit against Skype Wednesday alleging Joltid's technology is being infringed on by Skype users "in the United States at least 100,000 times each day."
Just the latest in an ongoing license dispute between the popular VoIP service and its developers, the lawsuit, filed in Northern California U.S. District Court, seeks an injunction and damages, which Joltid "reasonably believes are amassing at a rate of $75 million daily," according to the suit.
Skype founders go to court to seek damages
The original founders of Skype initiated a legal action tonight, demanding billions of dollars in damages against the investment group that has just agreed to buy the internet telephony company from eBay for $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion).
In a move that casts serious doubt on the deal, lawyers for Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom issued a writ for copyright infringement against the new investors, including Silver Lake Partners, the private equity firm, and venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Index Ventures.
Report: Skype founders sue Skype [IDG]
With a similar legal battle playing out in the U.K., a company owned by Skype's founders has reportedly filed suit against Skype in the U.S.
Joltid, the company owned by Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, filed a copyright infringement suit against Skype in California, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday.