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Video calls on iPhone 4, lawsuits between Skype and Fring

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Quarrels to the sound of threats of lawsuits and with harsh tones between Skype and Fring and in the middle there is support for video calls on the iPhone. The story, which has already led to the closure of the video service on Skype account through the Fring software, started a few days ago when the English company activated on its client the possibility of making video calls, both through the same Fring and with contacts Skype and, more importantly, it worked both via WiFi and 3G. The news was welcomed, also because the official Skype application does not allow video calls.

The functionality has been highlighted by many media because Fring was the first reality to release a similar client, not even Skype in fact able to do such a thing using iPhone. The large number of users who have tried to use the service with a consequent lowering of the quality of communications is also understandable. But if many were happy with the possibility of communicating on video, Skype could not have been as happy both for technical reasons and probably for competition reasons. Hence a question that began, from what we read, with a friendly request and ended with Fring's decision to withdraw the support. In the midst of an excalation that is revealed with cross releases of which the latest (for now) of Skype and with which Fring is accused of having made undue use of Skype technologies and of having damaged the Skype brand both for the poor quality of the communication and then with the sudden withdrawal of the support.

For its part, Fring, who had actually had some quality problems in supporting the video call, accused Skype "once the standard bearer of open communication" of having "banned the competition after Fring took on the role of protagonist of innovation in communication. mobile". Fring, in particular, accuses Skype of refusing the reactivation of the video service after the capacity increase of the Fring servers.

Skype, on the initiative of its legal representative Robert Miller, denies having blocked Fring: “about an hour ago – reads on a blog – Fring said that we blocked their access to Skype. I want one thing to be clear: this false".

The two truths, apparently irreconcilable, could perhaps be so by reading between the lines; Skype may not have done anything to technically prevent the video connection with its users via Fring, but it may not have granted the explicit legal authorization that Fring may need at this point, given that Skype has also explicitly said that what the Fring client was doing was against the rules governing the use of some proprietary protocols and the APIs connected to them.