Will eBay's new investors escape the Kazaa curse?


The real question that I haven't seen answered in any of the articlesrelatingto the partial acquisition of Skype from eBay (EBAY) by a team of private investors is, who will own the underlying IP that runs the Skype P2P communications network? That question must somehow have been answered if savvy investors such as Silver Lake Partners and Netscape founder Marc Andreesen's investment fund, felt comfortable forking over $1.9 billion to eBay. And as TechCrunch's Mike Arrington points out, eBay did okay on this deal, emerging with a paper gain and still some share of any potential upside.

Under the covers, question still lurk, The two controversial Skype founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with eBay, which originally purchased the company from the duo for $2.6 billion. Friis and Zennstrom, who once avoided U.S. soil to avoid litigation with the recording industry, claim that eBay does not own the software the powers the Skype network. Rather, they say that the software IP is merely licensed to eBay by Joltid, an entity the duo still controls. eBay's CEO John Donohoe said today that the new Skype deal does not resolve the legal dispute, according to Dow Jones.