Skype Founders Say eBay Infringed on Copyright


     (CN) – Skype founders say eBay violated copyright laws by copying and sharing its Global Index Software that allows users to sign on to the free Internet calling service. They also claim the software is being infringed by users who download and use Skype in the United States “at least 100,000 times a day.”




     Joltid, the company owned by Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, says eBay violated copyright by altering and sharing the software. They also say they kept ownership of that source code after selling Skype to eBay in 2005.
     “Each day that Skype continues to make available its Internet telephone software for download, Skype users download Joltid’s copyrighted works approximately six times per second,” the lawsuit states.
     The lawsuit in San Francisco Federal Court was filed two weeks after eBay announced plans to sell the company for nearly $2 billion to Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm.
Joltid wants eBay to stop sharing the codes. It also seeks damages, which it estimates could be more than $75 million a day. It also asks for $150,000 for each direct infringement by a Skype user.
Also named as defendants are Silver Lake Partners, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which partnered with Silver Lake in the buyout.
Joltid Ltd. Is represented by Roderick Dorman of Hennigan Bennett.

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