Skype could be disconnected by legal hang up

Our favourite VoIP service Skype could be in serious trouble. A lawsuit brought against its owners eBay could end with the software being broken for g

Our favourite VoIP service Skype could be in serious trouble. A lawsuit brought against its owners eBay could end with the software being broken for good.

eBay brought Skype for a mind-blowing $2.6bn (£1.57bn) back in 2005 but is stuck in a legal tussle with the firm's founders.

Skype creators Janus Frils and Niklas Zennstrom still hold a licence to some of the core technology at the heart of Skype. The tech, called Joltid, is a vital part of the service.

It's thought that Frills and Zennstrom want to buy Skype back from eBay for a knockdown price. Stopping eBay from using Joltid could be a move to push eBay in that direction.  

eBay has admitted that the situation is bad and is desperately working on its own code to keep Skype running. But it has said if that doesn't work "there is the possibility of an adverse result" i.e. no more Skype.

The case won't hit the courts until June 2010 which gives eBay plenty of time to come up with a workaround or negotiate a settlement. But if they can't, it could see 480m worldwide users having their calls hung up early.

(via Information Week