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Skype Uses DMCA To Remove Reverse-Engineered Code

The blog owner received three takedown notices from its host, Google's Blogger, and there is now a confirmation that Skype and its new owner Microsoft are using the legal foundation of the DMCA to remove information that could violate Skype's IP rights as well as copyrights.

The editor of the Phoronix blog, which was first to report about the Skype reverse engineering, reported that he was contacted by Skype when he published an article on the project - and described a skype-open-source application that allowed users to send messages to Skype users.

However, the skype-open-source blog owner keeps posting notes and the code for his Epycs app is still available. Epycs emulates Skype 1.4 protocol session handshakes and allows users to send messages to Skype users. However, Skype has abandoned 1.4 some time ago and it cannot login to a network anymore. The skype-open-source author recently said that he is now working on "patching" Skype 4.1 and 3.8 "extensively". The goal is to send messages to Skype clients version 3, 4, and 5.

  • davewolfgang
    Ummmm...isn't skype FREE in the first place....?????
    Reply
  • anti-painkilla
    Free to download, and for the most part, between skype users yes. But it may not always stay that way, and with an open source alternative it may force skype to stay 'free'.

    Also there are other reasons for it, he may want to help people understand how a program like this works, so they can get jobs at skype.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    Since MS bought it some people want to reverse engineer it and essentially "remake" it. There are specific rules allowed to clean room reverse engineer things, obviously these guys aren't following those rules.
    Reply
  • LordConrad
    Problem solved. Just create the blog on servers that are outside the U.S., where the stupid DMCA does not apply.
    Reply
  • martel80
    Exactly, what the hell were they thinking? Is it so hard to get hosted elsewhere? Preferably in a country which does not bend over to U.S (which severely limits the possibilities but still...).
    Reply
  • randomizer
    anti-painkillaBut it may not always stay that way, and with an open source alternative it may force skype to stay 'free'.Skype will remain free because if it doesn't it will lose a good number of users (not paying customers though, unless market share drops enough to make Skype subscriptions pointless). It's one thing to build an exceptional application and charge a fee for it from the start, but to start charging when it has been free for years will not please users. There are alternatives available, although most are probably not yet as polished and will need some corporate backing to improve them.

    An open source implementation of the full Skype protocol would destroy Skype's current freemium business model. Implementing enough only to send text messages to other Skype clients isn't really a threat as this is not Skype's primary purpose (plus the IM scene is saturated with other clients). I guess Microsoft/Skype are taking the initiative and trying to kill this off before he makes progress on something useful.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    davewolfgangUmmmm...isn't skype FREE in the first place....?????
    Skype is FREE, but it's closed-source. Free != open source.

    I usually support open source software, but in this case the blogger needs to STFU and do something else... there's a ton of open source communication software out there and there's no need to mess with Skype. I'll always prefer the official client, anyway.
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    anti-painkillaFree to download, and for the most part, between skype users yes. But it may not always stay that way, and with an open source alternative it may force skype to stay 'free'.Also there are other reasons for it, he may want to help people understand how a program like this works, so they can get jobs at skype.Charging for general skype use would be about as dumb as AOL charging for AIM (Perhaps the only good AOL product they ever made). The idea is to make a rich eco-system which can be a big selling point for MS products. Skype could be added to Outlook, or tied only to PW7/8, or at least charge competing phones an arm and a leg to have skype available for their mobile devices. In short there are lots of ways to make good money by keeping it free to the public.

    My only hope is that they would make the silly program easier to close. I hate that it wants to be on all the time!
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    CaedenVCharging for general skype use would be about as dumb as AOL charging for AIM (Perhaps the only good AOL product they ever made).
    AOL didn't make ICQ. They bought it from Mirabilis some time late in the last millenia (or the beginning of this, don't remember exactly)
    Reply
  • randomstar
    also, if you allow reverse engineering the skype protocol, can you not also send malware, spam and related junk through it, just like what happend with ICQ , AIM, etc? not allowing outside access to the protocol is a good thing to me. I really dont want other people to be able to do that, it causes an application to become even more un-secure.
    Reply