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Skype: Is The Secret Out?

Alec Saunders brought this story to my attention. If this report from Asia is accurate, then Skype's "walled garden" may be crumbling. Good.

Despite not having published specifications (though AIM has published specs recently), all of the major IM networks have been "cracked" in the sense that third party clients have been written to utilize their networks. One network has been immune until now: Skype. Of course, Skype is more than IM, but all of the other networks have added voice as well. I know Gaim is working on adding VoIP to their IM client.

It was only a matter of time before Skype's "secret" was discovered. And I am tickled it was done in a place where it is unlikely that anything can be done about it. What does concern me is this company is going to license the source code. To me, that sounds like a commercial endeavor, though I suppose nothing is preventing them from licensing to code to, say, the Gaim project, or making it available under the GPL. There is nothing preventing eBay from releasing the specifications for the Skype protocol, either, which I think would be the best defense against this new client.

Edit: Corrected the link on the Skype news to point to the original source article. Apparently, I linked to someone who plagurized the article from elsewhere. Read Tom Keating's explanation of how the original poster "retaliated." Clever.

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