News all over the web is buzzing about a Chinese company that has reverse engineered Skype, my personal favorite in VoIP applications due to its ease of use in both fixed and mobile settings. What’s even worse is that there’s a good chance that no legal action can stop what’s going on here. The technology is allegedly not patented and due to political influence in China where Skype is essentially outlawed, the Chinese government will probably look the other way. Additionally, this same company has apparently perfected the ability to block Skype in large geographic areas.
The implications of this go far beyond Skype, although Skype is my immediate concern. This raises even bigger questions with many of the web services we use today so much that we’re starting to take them for granted. The Skype situation is probably an extreme case and the difference here is that Skype is a P2P application, yet this should give pause for people to really consider mobile and web settings that are outside of their control.