eBay is being sued by the founders of the free online phone service, Skype for copyright infringement and claim damages are growing at a rate of at least $75 million a day. Earlier this year, eBay announced they were looking to sell Skype, after they had purchased it in 2005 from founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom for over $2.6 billion.
Although the site was sold to eBay, Friis & Zennstrom, who have since started Joltid, still own the source code and the actual rights to the software of Skype. The two are accusing eBay of sharing the software’s code to third parties, interested in Skype, who have copied and altered it without permission.
According to a New York Times article, the founders have shown interested and have tried raising money to purchase the service back. However, eBay has since made a deal to sell 65% of Skype to Silver Lake, a private equity firm in Canada, while holding onto the remaining 35%.
eBay said in a statemtent that Friis & Zennstrom’s “allegations and claims are without merit and are founded on fundamental legal and factual errors.”
Om Malik, reporter for Gigaom.com reported Sunday that the case may be coming to an end according to inside sources. “The ongoing legal scuffle between Skype, a division of eBay, and its founders, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, may soon see a resolution, according to someone familiar with the situation. The parties are in discussions to resolve the various issues. The talks are described to be at a sensitive stage and can break down without any conclusion. If the founders and the company can come to an agreement, Skype will be able continue to use JoltID’s technology to power Skype and not disrupt the service that is currently used by hundreds of millions consumers.”