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Morpheus Creators Sue eBay

Written by Ben Reid @ 23 May 2006 18:11 User comments (7)

Morpheus Creators Sue eBay StreamCast Networks, the makers of the Morpheus peer-to-peer software, alleges in a lawsuit against internet auction giant eBay is profiting from peer-to-peer technology that rightfully belongs to it.
StreamCast claim in a lawsuit filed to the U.S. Central District Court in Los Angeles on Monday that Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the pair that developed the technology behind the companies Kazaa and Skype, of breaking an agreement to give StreamCast the first right to purchase their FastTrack p2p protocol. FastTrack was formerly the network which Morpheus' file-sharing application operated on and is also the technology foundation of Skype's voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

Up until this lawsuit, the companies had always shared a close working relationship, revealed Michael Weiss, StreamCast's chief executive. Weiss added that StreamCast played major role in the development of FastTrack and that the company had paid to guarantee the right to acquire FastTrack. But then, according to the lawsuit, Zennstrom made plans in secret to ignore the deal and sold the technology to a shell company.

"FastTrack, which Skype has been founded on, was built through a collaboration of (the two companies)," Weiss told in an interview with CNET "We absolutely would have paid them the fair market value and would have met and exceeded other offers for the technology."

Monday's suit is an amendment of a suit first filed in back in January. The complaint now adds eBay to the 21 companies previously named as defendants and also requests that the court force Skype, which was acquired by eBay last October, to halt all sales of its' VoIP products.

Within its' complaint, StreamCast is asking for more than $4 billion in damages. An eBay spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit.


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7 user comments

124.5.2006 1:25

wait...wait...wwaaiiittt....they are sueing becuse they sold it to soemone else? 0-o talk about asore loser 0-o I guess thats what elites do sue each other and the tax payers pay for it ><

224.5.2006 7:40

I say this Sueing people thing has gotten way out of hand in the p2p industries. Technically p2p is illegal so sueing over the rights to these networks in the same court doesn't make sense to me. They should fight their own battles out of court is what I say

324.5.2006 14:36

This is like one drug dealer sueing another for selling on their turf!!! If P2P is illegal, where is the case??? Sounds like another case of "Money-hungry and you've got it" to me. They know what E-bay is worth and they are looking for a piece of the pie!!!

424.5.2006 15:53

p2p is not illegal--the sharing of copyrighted material is. period. the right to networks is important. if Streamcast wins, that's a strike against everyone that stands in the way of p2p and a notch on the side of the average consumer.

525.5.2006 12:59

These guys have no case at all....what has this world come to where you think you can sue just for the fun of it?

629.6.2006 13:07

Why are people saying P2P is illegal??? P2P software is not all.

729.6.2006 17:12

@Auslander Amen to that. It seems Streamcast may have a legitimate claim to the technology they helped develop. It sounds like something fishy happened near the time of the sale with this "shell company."

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