AfterDawn: Tech news

Skype blocking Fring chat client?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 13 Jul 2010 23:11 User comments (3)

Skype blocking Fring chat client? Last week, Fring released an updated iPhone app that allowed users of the new iPhone 4 to video conference over Wi-Fi and 3G with other iPhone, Android and Symbian smartphone owners.
The app got massive publicity, because Apple's own FaceTime app only allows conferencing between iPhones and only over Wi-Fi.

Fring said, later in the week, that it had to "temporarily reduce support" to Skype, which had supported it for years.

Earlier this week, Fring made it public that Skype was blocking the app, and threatening legal action against them.

Said Fring: "They are afraid of open mobile communication. Cowards. Needless to say, we are very disappointed that Skype, who once championed the cause of openness is now trying to muzzle competition, even at the expense of its own users. We’re sorry for the inconvenience Skype has caused you. We’ve contacted Skype and are awaiting an official response from the company."

Skype has responded, and with force. Says legal chief Robert Miller (via TechCrunch): "An hour or so ago, Fring reported on its blog that we had blocked their access to Skype. I want to make one thing absolutely clear: this is untrue. Fring was using Skype software in a way it wasn’t designed to be used – and in a way which is in breach of Skype’s API Terms of Use and End User License Agreement. We’ve been talking with Fring for some time to try to resolve this amicably.

However, over time, Fring’s mis-use of our software was increasingly damaging our brand and reputation with our customers. On Friday, for example, Fring withdrew support for video calls over Skype on iOS 4 without warning, again damaging our brand and disappointing our customers, who have high expectations of the Skype experience.

We actively encourage developers to build products that work with Skype, acting, of course in accordance with our various API licences. At the same time, Skype will rigorously protect our brand and reputation, and those developers that do not comply with our terms will be subject to legal enforcement.

In this case, however, there is no truth to Fring’s claims that Skype has blocked it. Fring made the decision to remove Skype functionality on its own."


The battle is ongoing.

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3 user comments

113.7.2010 23:29

Skype already announced that they will be charging for 3G videocalls by the end of the year; I am sure that destroying all the free clients with this functionality will be the first thing they do in that process.

214.7.2010 2:10

That would explain why native skype application on symbian lacked video call option even though fring supported it for a long time.

314.7.2010 15:58

Skype is full of crap, here...
Everything was fine and dandy until Fring decided to try to let the iPhone people join the rest of the world and use video chat without restrictions.

Skype needs to drop an Android app or shut their hole.
Fring needs to tell Apple to suck it and go back to their full featured Android app.

Apple needs to stay in their hole with the other Apple space cadets and quit trying to buck Apple's system.
Apple wants you to ONLY talk to other Apple phones... That's all you get.

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