Skype – Copyright

As a free platform, one wouldn’t think that there were many issues surrounding copyright. However while many do not directly affect its users unlike some other social platforms (such as Facebook and Instagram), there are still some copyright issues that go on behind the scenes as well as directly involving Skype users themselves.

The sharing of copyrighted files over Skype is a big issue. Although Skype states in their Terms of Use that the by using Skype you agree to not sharing files under copyright laws as well as any intellectual property owned by a Third Party there is no way to directly stop one from sharing these files. However if caught, you may be sued by the Third Party directly (for the intellectual property itself), as well as by Skype for not complying with their Terms of Use.

While file sharing is an ongoing issue in regards to copyright for users, a major ownership issue arose in 2009 between the creators of the P2P technology and eBay, who owned Skype at the time. The creators Zennstrom and Friis were unhappy with the eBay ownership of Skype, as eBay were unable to incorporate the software into their existing company. The P2P technology was still owned by the creators and not eBay who owned the rest of the technology. The founders disputed eBay’s right to gain the license of this technology and won the lawsuit resulting in the increase of their role within Skype.

By not being glaringly obvious, copyright issues still surround Skype and the intellectual property of the software itself as well as the files and intellectual property of Third Parties continue to be an issue of this technology.

References:

Keating, 2009, Skype in Legal Fight with Joltid Over P2P Technology, TMCnet, http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/skype/skype-in-legal-fight-with-joltid-over-p2p-technology.asp accessed 20th March 2014

Skype, 2014, Skype Terms of Use, Skype, http://www.skype.com/en/legal/tou/#7 accessed 20th March 2014

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