Microsoft buys Skype, attacks reverse engineer with bogus takedown notices and florid language

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20 Responses to “Microsoft buys Skype, attacks reverse engineer with bogus takedown notices and florid language”

  1. SaberUK says:

    I remember reading an analysis of this code when it was first published and the author concluded that it was most likely a leak rather than reverse engineered. This seems like a pretty legitimate move by Skype/Microsoft to me.

  2. Goodfella says:

    Very confusing all this

  3. digi_owl says:

    And that the same time they announce a SDK for allowing third party clients to be made.

    Still, with a entrance fee it is unlikely that anything Linux based will get such a client any time soon.

  4. Provided the code was clean-room designed (which does not seem to be given), the DMCA has no jurisdiction over this. The DMCA deals with two things: 1) copyright and 2) circumvention of copy-protection mesures.

    1) the code was not copied, so copyright complaints do not apply
    2) Skype does not implement copy-protection measures, therefore the DMCA has no relevance to this.

    Of course the DMCA gets absused like there’s no tomorrow anytime anybody finds something on the internet to whine about. Unfortunately DMCA counterclaims, while helping to migitate the impact of DMCA takedown notices, does not incur any cost for the fraudulent originator of DMCA takedown notices, so there is no inhibiation to just sending takedown notices whenever you feel like it.

    • John Hupp says:

      Fraudulent DMCA takedown notices can create substantial liability. Michael Crook much? Of course, you have to be willing to litigate it.

      Skype has stated, on the record, that the code was copied. A counter-notice would be stating, on the record, the the code was not copied. If at this point the code stays up, the host has no liability, but Skype could sue the researcher. Of course, most hosts ignore counter-notices, so it rarely gets to that point.

      If the researcher reposted the code in question without filing a counter-notice, it would strongly suggest that they are unwilling to state for the record that the code is original, and hence strongly suggest that it is not.

  5. taras says:

    Hang on, what if two third-party users wanted to chat over Skype? They’d be using Skype’s resources, without Skype getting any benefit. Surely the law would want to prevent that?

    • librtee_dot_com says:

      Skype is P2P. The resources being used are the users own computers, and the computers of others. So you are not really using Skype Inc. resources in any measurable way.

    • Technology in general does not enjoy any special protection of reverse engineering and tinkering. Telecommunication systems are no special case. The only special case with the DMCA and ACTA are copy protection mechanisms.

      If Skype feels whiny about that somebody would enjoy their services without skype being compensated, they can try to claim dammage from that party (and not the producer of the tool to do it). However they have to prove their case in court, and show what damage they suffered for every single case unless they band together and lobby a law trough that makes that process easier for them.

  6. social_maladroit says:

    Reminds me of the old Microsoft strategy of embrace, extend and extinguish, minus the “extend” part.

  7. SarahKH says:

    I… am tired of this shiat.  Honesty and truly tired of it.   This whole “Hey, even though you’re making a client for our service for a platform we don’t support, have no intention of ever supporting and don’t consider it commercially viable to contemplate support for it we’re going to DCMA and sue your ass back in to the stone age.”  and all the other variations of it.  Some of these companies need a legal boot to the head. 

    • Guest says:

      What platform isn’t being supported? It’s available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and every mobile and tablet platform.

      • querent says:

        Yeah, my partner installed it on Ubuntu just last night.

      • dragonfrog says:

        Does it matter what platform does or doesn’t have a Microsoft-issued client?  If someone thinks they can build a compatible client that some users will prefer – special features that appeal to a niche audience, better UI accomodations for the disabled, ability to port it to some Arduino-based hardware gizmo you’re developing in your basement, whatever – what’s your objection to letting them?

        Also, is there a client for Solaris? Linux on PowerPC?  NetBSD?  Yes, I realize not a lot of people use any of those platforms, so Microsoft shouldn’t be expected to support clients for them, but should they be stopping others from developing them?

      • SarahKH says:

        It was more a statement aimed at ALL shenanigans corporations are pulling. As to platforms not being supported? Atari ST, Amiga, DOS, Linux command line, WinCE 3, Java… Commodore 64. Plenty of people have done crazy crazy things with utterly obsolete platforms and OS’s, none of which are remotely commercially viable.

  8. vonbobo says:

    And the consumers who are on the wrong side of the exclusivity fence, many even actually wanting to pay for an official- full featured skype client, continue to lose.

  9. Hamish says:

    I don’t give a damn what happens to Skype. They are charging more now for international calls than regular suppliers do. It has become another ripoff,

  10. benher says:

    “nefarious attempts to subvert Skype’s experience.”
    Fuck nuclear power – there’s enough spin in that sentence to power generators for generations to come.

  11. rossen p. says:

    i wish they’d spend their time and resources making a usable android client, instead. the current one is absolutely pathetic

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