StreamCast Networks, owners of the peer-to-peer file sharing platform Morpheus are suing Skype, Kazaa and founders Niklas Zennstr_m and Jaanus Friis over a core technology it claims they sold to eBay as part of the Skype acquisition.
StreamCast is using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICA) as the platform for its attack and it seems the most likely objective is money.
The court documents (which have not yet been made officially available) seeks a restraining order on the use of the technology and damages.
It’s a little complicated, but we’ll try to get this right even though details are still a little sketchy. The story line starts back with Zennstr_m and Friis developing the now infamous Kazaa file sharing program. Like many other similar programs the application is built using a technology called FastTrack which was developed by Estonian programmers headed by Jaan Tallinn, with Ahti Heinla and Priit Kasesalu under contract to the Kazaa/Skype boys.
Now when things got a little hot in the kitchen and Zennstr_m and Friis bailed out of Kazaa, they worked with the same Estonian programmers to develop the Skype application. Though Skype has been extremely coy about giving away too much about the workings of its VoIP service, it’s fairly obvious it uses some sort of P2P technology.
If this case comes to court we may find out a little more about how this growing security risk operates under the hood, which would be a good thing.
Anyway, in bailing out of the Kazaa operation its founders sold the program a Sharman Networks which is based in